Groupal

http://www.groupalapp.me

Dependencies: php5, CodeIgniter, jquery, jqueryui, GroupMe API, GroupMePHP wrapper, CAS

Credits: NameCheap for the web domain

Introduction

Before we ever even attended college, we were always bombarded by this idea: college was hard, but it was easy to find people in your classes to study with. When we came in, this idea was perennial and looming, but weeks went by and we found ourselves no closer to getting study groups. To this day, studying is often a solitary task of secluded problem solving and mind-numbing scanning of dozens (if not hundreds) of pages.

There had to be a better way.

Groupal came out of the ardent desire to do better, to be better. People working together just works. But if it's so hard to find someone to study with, what are you supposed to do?

Right now there is no help and no aid. But there can be. And there will be. It's called Groupal, and it's here.

How Does Groupal Work?

You're having a bad day. You just failed your first math quiz at Princeton. A 25/50 in Multivariable Calculus. You're good at this. How did you do so poorly? Yes, the average was a 30, but your entire self-esteem is shot. Are you really supposed to be here?

Yes. Yes, you are.

You just need to do better. With Groupal.

You log on to our website. You put in your ID and you're brought to a screen with a large orange "Groupal" in the middle and a search bar to find your class. Your fingers slip onto the black plastic of your keyboard and type in "M". "A". "T". "2". "0". "1". Instantly two study groups pop up in front of your eyes and your pupils dilate in anticapation. Which one is best for you? Hm. It looks like this one only has four other people. Why not take it? A few seconds after your index finger presses down on the mousepad, an alert sounds from your phone. It vibrates in your pocket and you take it out.

You've just been added to a GroupMe, one of the most popular multi-platform messaging services out there. Made for your study group. You do belong, you just had to find where.

Future Directions

Groupal can take a life of its own.

There's no need to restrict it to simply finding and joining group messages. We want it to be able to automate events planning. With just a few taps of your phone, a meeting time and place are set. It can send you an alert a day in advance, 10 minutes in advance, it doesn't matter. As often or as little as you want in order to remember your study time.

Beyond that, we want overall improved integration with GroupMe. Adding a GroupMe frame into the website itself that lets you chat within Groupal is one idea we had.

For a more comprehensive list of future features, we plan to:

  • Combining course names with catalog numbers in search bar
  • Add bots which can add or remove trolls or spammers from a group
  • Detect changes to name of group, people within group, and fix accordingly to match Groupal settings
  • Make removing a user from Groupal also remove them from that study group's GroupMe
  • Make removing a user from a GroupMe also remove them from that study group on Groupal
  • Make Groupal delete a group when there are no more users
  • Create a maximum number of groups per class
  • Create a maximum number of classes per user
  • Filter by precepts, lectures
  • Create a schedule for each study group on Groupal website based on GroupMe events
  • Integrate GroupMe events with a user's calendar (either on Google Calendar or phone calendar)
  • Have an option to send user notifications when new study group is added to a subject the user follows
  • Add a dedicated profile page

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