Imagine you're sitting in a large lecture hall like Griffith Theater, listening to your Computer Architecture professor lecture about caches. There are 200 other people in your class, and when you realize you do not understand how the different types of cache misses work, you are too intimidated to ask. This app addresses that problem.
What it does
AskLive lets you anonymously ask and answer questions live in class. It removes the social barrier of pluralistic ignorance, a psychology concept where if you see that no one else if asking questions, you may believe that you, "like everyone else", should understand the material and not need to ask questions. It also removes barriers for students who may feel anxious about asking questions in a large, impersonal class.
After a student asks a question on the app, other students can upvote your questions if they also had similar questions or answer the question if they know the answer. TAs and instructors will be able to monitor and answer questions during or after the class. This allows course staff to better understand what material students need the most help with. It also utilizes the wisdom of the crowd, another psychology concept where the collective opinion of a group tends to close to the correct answer.
What's next for AskLive
The original idea was to share the data between instances by utilizing a SQL server hosted in the cloud. However, because of time and other constraints, we are currently using data local to each app instead. Going forward, the first change we want to make is to create that SQL server, so that different instances of the app can connect to each other.
We hope to eventually be able to implement this app with a connected web application side for the instructors to use. We already have the support of one professor who would be interested in seeing a tool like this, so we will likely keep developing this tool!