Cal Poly

Students at Cal Poly use Lucidchart to easily diagram concepts and collaborate on those diagrams from any location.

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Key benefits

Students don't have time to learn a new complicated software in one semester, so Lucidchart allows them to start diagramming with little to no learning curve.
Lucidchart allows students to easily share their work and work on them together in real time, rather than having to email diagrams back and forth. Dr. Griggs can also offer timely feedback on students' work thanks to these collaboration features
Students can also work on their diagrams from any location on any device instead of being restricted to the lab computers. Dr. Griggs doesn't have to worry about whether students work on Macs or PCs.

SIZELarge (2501+ employees)

Cal Poly is a nationally-ranked public university that prides itself on the individual success of its students and is consistently recognized as one of the nation's best values for graduates' return on investment. The university's core philosophy is Learn by Doing, which is a powerful combination of academic expertise and hands-on experience. 

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Dr. Griggs teaches Systems Analysis and Design, Information Systems, and Enterprise-Wide Business Processes at Cal Poly—not exactly easy subjects. He has found that creating visuals and collaborating are key to helping students get the most out of these complex courses. The problem was that neither activity was going very smoothly.

He and his students were using diagramming programs, but when those couldn’t get the job done, students and instructors were responsible for obtaining and installing secondary drawing apps on their personal machines. Many students’ usage was restricted to on-campus computers due to a lack of platform independence. Dr. Griggs said, “A majority of students now have Macs and this poses a problem, given that most labs are PC-based. Previously, students had to do all of their assignments in the lab.”

In addition, collaboration was slow and inefficient, as students were forced to use email as their only means of sharing diagrams with peers and teachers.

Searching for a solution

Dr. Griggs knew there had to be a better way to diagram and knew he needed to find it in order to help his students be successful in his classes. He began searching online for “cloud-based drawing tools.” As he searched, he was looking for three key components:

  1. The diagramming tool needed to be flexible and compatible with any operating system or device so that students could work from home or school.

  2. Dr. Griggs wanted to be able to easily check students’ progress in the editor to allow for faster feedback and instruction.

  3. The platform needed to be easy to use—students only had one semester to master it and wouldn’t want to waste time with expensive and complicated software.  

Diagramming with Lucidchart

As Dr. Griggs continued his search, he came across Lucidchart’s webiste—and realized the platform checked all his boxes. The platform offers real-time collaboration so students can work together from any location and not be dependent on lab computers. They are able to work on diagrams simultaneously during collaborative lab exercises.

Students have started using Lucidchart in other classes as well, finding great value in its mind mapping and presentation features. One student even used the iPhone mockup features for an elevator pitch for a business idea in their marketing class.

Dr. Griggs describes the benefits Lucidchart provides for his classes:

“Lucidchart streamlines and standardizes much of the modeling and simulation parts of my classes and it eliminates the overhead associated with managing multiple application environments. Also, the Lucidchart application simulation features are very helpful in the demonstration of software project ideas. Lucidchart is a great product and solves a number of problems in the teaching of technical subjects.”

Additional resources

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