With the rise of covid-19, online learning has become the new norm for all of us. However, students have increasingly provided negative feedback of feeling disconnected during the learning process. Detrimental learning behaviours such as using phone/surfing other websites during online lectures/tutorials have become commonplace. As such, we want to encourage students to be more attentive and participative during these lessons.
In addition, with the increasing usage of online exams, there have been many occurences of students cheating as it is difficult to monitor students during exams. This is despite several measures being put in place including locked down browsers and the use of zoom webcams.
What it does
Application: Monitors participants to ensure their faces are focused on the screen. Focus.exe uses a trained machine learning model on openCV to correctly identify faces on the screen with high accuracy. Data is sent to backend using mySQL, flask, processed, then sent to our flutter desktop application based on the room name.
Hardware: Able to do a environmental scan either manually or periodically to ensure fairness during exams.
How I built it
OpenCV for real-time face recognition, mySQL database and flask (ngrok) server for backend, Flutter for application creation. Arduino as well as the use of cardboard, tape, rocks for hardware.
Challenges I ran into
Some of the challenges we faced includes lack of material for building a hardware prototype and lack of time as the hackathon was only 24 hours. It was also not easy coordinating with our teammates as we were working on different things and we faced some difficulties when trying to put everything together as everyone has their own style of doing their work. In addition, we realised that there was a huge disconnect between academic studies and the real world as schools do not necessarily provide us with the knowledge to build apps/web. Hence in this aspect, we experienced significant difficulties when using app-building and server tools such as flask and flutter.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are able to create a simple but yet fully functional app for face recognition and proctoring. Moreover, we came up with a hardware proctoring device to complement the proctoring needs especially during an exam.
What I learned
Individually, we learnt a lot on how to use open-source tools to create stuff. It takes a huge amount of effort to understand the APIs and documentations online which are definitely not the most beginner-friendly to read. As a team, we realised the need to coordinate our work efficiently so that we can seamlessly combine all our components into one functioning project. In addition, with the tight timelines, we also managed to learn how to manage our time properly while delegating tasks to different group mates to ensure we are able to complete the project on time and effectively. Overall, it was a really great experience as we also managed to learn the strengths and weaknesses of each of our team members to better utilise our strengths.
What's next for Focus
Application: Integration into school's system so that student's details can be synchronised with the app.
Hardware: We hope that we are able to use the hardware remotely through bluetooth and subsequently, Wi-fi so that Professors will be able to control the camera's position wirelessly, which will greatly aid in increasing proctoring effectiveness.