Online school has imposed many challenges for students looking for educational support on the peer-to-peer level. Now that students have resorted to online study groups rather than in-person meetings, not knowing where these group chats are can be hinder a students' success in the course.

We are providing a central gateway for all course and community group chat links that can help build a better online community and support for students looking for it!

What it does:

On ConnectU, users can browse or search for group chats that are related to their courses or communities they want to join. Users can also submit links by creating an account that platform admins can manually reject or approve to publish.

How we built it:

  • React
  • Next.js
  • Chakra-UI
  • GraphQL
  • Google Cloud Platform

Challenges we ran into

For this hack, our team had to adjust our workload due to a team member leaving the group for a family emergency. This caused some difficulty when integrating the different levels of skills we each possess during our build.

Once we found our flow, we worked efficiently by motivating and supporting each other which resulted in an amazing learning experience.

Another challenge we faced, was dealing with deployments. This was my first time using google cloud run so deploying was an interesting challenge.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our team prioritized CI/CD from the beginning, which enable an efficient and high-quality process of developing and deploying the app in the future.

During our design process, we opted to provide an app that displays a high-quality experience and seamless design. Thus, keeping in mind responsive design and accessibility principles.

What we learned:

We learned how to prioritize the features that we wanted to implement in our MVP. Certain features had complicated our backend development which caused a few setbacks.

In addition, we learned how to manage the integration between two services (frontend and backend) with continuous integration/continuous deployment.

Our beginner frontend members learned how to use chakra UI and received an introduction to react!

What's next for ConnectU?

ConnectU will be integrated within the student club "UTM Computer Science Student Community" which is supported by CS faculty where we can continue to develop & polish this application further.

In the future, we will be implementing an analytical tool that can help determine bad actors who have malicious intentions. This will prevent group chat raids or spammers in the future.

In addition, the project will be open sourced so that any academic institutions can host their own ConnectU's for their student communities!

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