Use Case Diagrams: The Main Functions of “MeetingOfMinds”


Use Case diagram is the useful UML diagrams especially for highlighting the functions of the system, different roles  and how these roles interact with the system. Hence,it aims to present the high level view of the system particularly for stakeholders.

In the case of “MeetingOfMinds” application, we have three actors who are: Student, Professors and Administrator and each of them has different interface in which he will be able to interact with the application and use the services ( functions ) provided. We has used Smart Draw online tool to build the Use Case Diagrams for the “MeetingOfMinds” application. 

The following diagrams describe the four main functions of “MeetingOfMinds” application.

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Application Requirements

After identifying the application purpose and target group, based on these we developed a set of requirements that should be met on the application. But before the actual development of the software, we needed to decide what is essential for the first version of it [1] and what features are recommended for the future work. Thus, we chose to prioritize the requirements. We used the MoSCoW technique to do so. This way, we selected an appropriate set of requirements from the overall set in order to develop cost-effective software that respects its purpose. We, also, identified the desired or nice to have features in the future versions. A brief description of the MoSCoW technique we applied can be found below: Continue reading “Application Requirements”

An alternative business model of MOMs

Undoubtedly, the internet has reshaped nearly every aspect of our daily life. As the world has become more and more connected through the information and communication technologies advancement, web 2.0 was introduced. Since then, online social networks (OSN) and social network sites (SNS) have appeared as a major societal phenomenon in the latest decade. It is widely known that web 2.0 technologies are versatile and affordable. With web 2.0, the services provided by the networks are conditional on content that users create. Moreover, web 2.0 is allowing users with no experience and knowledge of programming language, for example, HTML, CSS and JavaScript to transform a read-only web to a read/write web.

Social network sites have permeated internet users in all generations, and turning to a significant communication tool, especially in the student communities as it enables students to deliver instructional content and provide opportunities to connect to other students and educational staffs. These days, the number of social network site and its user are increasing rapidly as we can see from famous social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, these were launched in 2004, 2005 and 2006 respectively. In fact, three of them are new platforms, but they have already reached over millions of users, besides, their valuation is counted in billions of US$. This is an astonishing development which cannot be found in any other line of business. According to those mentioned above, it demonstrates the power of network effects, where the benefit of individuals depends on the usage and presence of the network by others.

In an early age when the internet first boom, the common way businesses endeavoured to make money on the traffic was used to display or text advertising. As well as others, the Facebook business model from the beginning was based on monetising of the social network that has been generated. The number of users was more significant than an interaction between brand and a user. Consequently, Facebook could not make enough money from advertising service even though several advertisers spent their money on advertising. Therefore, Facebook changed and modified its business model in 2009. In early 2009, Microsoft turned into the exclusive provider for Facebook standard banner ads using the Microsoft ad Centre platform together with Microsoft’s digital advertising solution. Afterwards, during the late 2009 Facebook became less dependent upon the deal with Microsoft. They established to make money on their new experimental advertising efforts as well as through sales of third-party brands. Even though Facebook has proved that this revenue model works well for their business as it became the no.1 SNS advertised on ranked by display ad impressions in the US, some argue that a business model based on advertising still has some weaknesses, linked to the customer behaviour.

A supplementary source of income of Facebook can come from selling users’ information to advertisers. Obviously, there is privacy issue implicated. Nonetheless, from their aspect users’ usage patterns and information on users can be made anonymous and still comprise of high value to advertisers.

Social Network can be categorised as multi-sided platform business model. According to Jun Loayza (president of, there are five unique business models for social media: freemium, affiliate, subscription, virtual goods and advertising. These five revenue models are far better than monetising from just advertising. As an academic social network (ASN), Meeting of Minds aims to assist students to share common academic interests, profiles, preferences together with their historical studies. Furthermore, we are strongly concern about users’ privacy, so, that makes our business model different from the typical ones. Our business model will be drawn as a combination between affiliate model and advertising model because affiliate model does not require a large number of fund available, therefore, we as an affiliate marketer only need to develop our website and use it as the main advertising source. The advertising model is an online standard business model which sites can sell advertisement against the traffic. Indeed, all of these models will be done without tracking and storing private information of MOMs users.

However, an only business model cannot hit the nail on the head; thus business model canvas is used in order to fill the gaps and help us to estimate risks in investments. The business model canvas of Meeting of Minds will be illustrated in the next entry.

Team Meeting on the 18th April 2018

A.Next Steps

Nina took the team through the information she had collected (through a literature review) on potential users perceptions and demands.  She had summarised this information as a blog post and also started to build the presentation for the Dragons Den with these findings.  Others in the team would now add to the Dragons Den presentation.

The team would now break into two groups:

  1. Ema and Kholoud working on the design (Supanoot was also happy to provide support in designing mock ups).
  2. Supanoot (with support from Nina) on the business plan and marketing.

Each group needed to identify what blogs they were going to produce – and  to circulate an email to the team setting out these blogs.  Continue reading “Team Meeting on the 18th April 2018”

Encouraging the Online Creation of Knowledge

There have been a number of models of digital literacy over the last couple of decades.

Groupings by Usage

In 2001, Prensky suggested that younger people thought and processed information in fundamentally different ways compared to older generations.  He suggested that younger people (pre 1980s) were ‘digital natives’ and ‘speakers’ of the new technologies, while older people were ‘digital immigrants’ who were able to learn and use the new technologies, but not in the same intuitive way.  But this dividing of generations has not been borne out by research (Helsper and Eynon, 2009), and more recent studies have been more nuanced. For example a recent study found that information search competencies have a high-level correlation with information literacy and a low-level correction with digital nativity (Çoklar, Yaman, and Yurdakul, (2017).

As a replacement for Prensky’s model, White and LeCornu (2011) suggested that the creation of Web 2.0 resulted in users behaving in either a resident-like fashion (using sites as social spaces for sharing and discussion), or visitors using the Web in a more instrumental way.  It would be expected (according to the Pareto Principle) that visitors would predominate over a small number of ‘noisy’ residents. Wright, White, Hirst, and Cann, (2013) found that there was evidence that the visitor and resident model could be used to map student attitudes to academic use of social networks.

creative commons image taken from

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Homophily Among Students and Academics

Homophily and Academic Isolation

In addition to the sense of isolation felt by all researchers who will spend much of their time working alone, some people may also be subject to additional feelings of isolation.

Research suggests that international and part-time doctoral researchers, and those from underrepresented minority groups, are more likely to feel isolated.  

Studies have also shown that unless a programme is specifically designed to support interdisciplinary researchers, they will often feel excluded from the wider traditional research culture of the university. ‘The increased diversity of the doctoral researcher population can lead to challenges and mismatches in expectations between student and supervisor ’. Duke and Denicolo (2017).   Continue reading “Homophily Among Students and Academics”

Power Differentials Between Students and Supervisors

Any social network potentially brings together groups with different perspectives and circumstances. ‘MeetingofMinds’ must take into account possible power dynamics between students and academics.

Models of PhD Supervision

There have been a number of attempts to model PhD supervision. More recently these have focused on supportive approaches allowing students to move from a state of relative dependency to complete independence (through a shift in the balance of control).

However there are also a number of potential power inequalities built into the relationship between supervisor and student. This includes:

  1. The supervisor is in a position of legitimate authority.
  2. They have perceived abilities to mediate rewards (e.g supporting publications) or punishments (e.g being unavailable for important meetings).
  3. A student may be influenced by the perceived expertise of the supervisor.
  4. Some students may be in awe of their supervisor, seeing them an example that they wish to live up to.

Photograph from  Contributor(s): Queensland figaro – Copied and digitised from an image appearing in Queensland figaro, 28 July 1888, p. 140., Public Domain,

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