We were inspired by the fact that we all had a lot of trouble and had to spend a lot of time to make a 4-year graduation plan. Everyone was required to do this, however, there wasn't an easy way to do it intuitively, and involved digging through course descriptions and dozens of webpages to make sure your prerequisites were satisfied, or that you had the right corequisites at the same time.

What it does

It is a web app that allows users to select a premade degree plan to edit to their liking. It allows users to add in classes where they want, as well as easily see which classes are corequisites, and which are prerequisites.

How we built it

We built the back end with Django, which allows a superuser (in the real world, this would be a counselor or advisor that has knowledge of the degree plans) to create a premeditated 4 year plan for every major that their school offers. The back end allows the superuser to create a new class, add in the prerequisites and corequisites for that class, as well as information like how many credits it is.

Challenges we ran into

We had to spend quite a bit of time figuring out the exact specifics of how we would model the data and store it in the back end. We had to do this because even though a lot of it is hacked together right now, we will be able to scale it to an actual use case. We also wanted to support two main user stories: one where their university has subscribed to our product, and offers official premade degree plans, and one where the user wants to use it but must add all their classes in themselves because their university does not have the official ones. We needed to be able to store the course data in a way that would make it easy to cater to both of these use cases.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are really proud of the fact that we were able to come up with a data storage scheme that makes it easy for superusers to create official course sets, as well as a one-time or individual user to create their own courses to add to their page.

What we learned

This was the first time most of us have worked with Django, so we had a lot of fun learning how to use it. We also explored things like drag and drop with javascript on the front end for the first time.

What's next for CourseBlocks

We plan to make this an ongoing side project, and with the progress we've made in the past 24 hours, plus the refinement we can bring to it over the next few months, I believe we will end up with something that will be used widely by our university. A lot of students had been complaining about how hard it is to plan classes and we believe that we finally have the solution. In the long term, I believe we will also be able to build the system out to license to other universities to use with their own curriculum.

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