If you're anything like me, it has probably often been difficult to raise your hand in class and ask questions you think are stupid, irrelevant or repetitive. With virtual classes now being the new normal, the lack of interactivity between teachers and students is only making the problem worse. Thankfully, Clarify can come in and save the day! No account necessary, create an account and try it with your friends: https://clarify-io.web.app
What it does
After you join a classroom using a room code generated by Clarify, you will be able to participate in:
1. Live Q&A
Throughout the class, or whenever the instructor opens up the class for questions, you will be able to articulate any confusions into the question box and shoot it into the Questions list for the class to see. If there are others who have the same question, they can give your question an upvote. The most popular questions are at the top of the list so the instructor can tackle the most pressing questions the class has at any point.
2. Polling system
With four simple, intuitive options, the poll allows the instructor to quickly gauge the overall feeling of the class at any point in time. For instance, you can switch from "happy" to "confused" whenever you think the instructor has said something you do not quite understand, and the instructor can stop and explain things again if the class seems to be in a bit of a pickle. When he prompts for feedback on his explanation, students can switch to "happy" again and the instructor will know it is a good time to move on to the next concept.
How we built it
-> built the frontend using React, Ant Design components, and vanilla html + css
-> built the backend using Cloud Firestore
-> collaborated and controlled versions through GitHub: https://github.com/MLH-Fellowship/clarify
Challenges we ran into
We had never worked with Firebase before, so there was a learning curve we had to climb. I (Prionti) wrote a fair amount of CSS at the start, until Lily told me about the existence of Ant Design and how convenient it can make frontend design. While we then switched to using Ant, I spent a lot of time working on something we did not end up using. Schedule management and finding time to meet and discuss the way forward was also often a blocker. This was also Caleb's first time using Git this intensely.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We learned our way around Firebase and integrating it with code quite smoothly. And we were able to produce a functional, operational tool in a short span of time despite not being able to invest too much time from the get go!
What's next for Clarify
- Instructor-only permissions like pinning questions and resolving questions
- Show different UI based on whether you are an instructor or student
- Room names and user names
- Dark Mode
- Lots of UI enhancements!