LambdaMaths: Team SSA's ICHack19 Project
LambdaMaths is a prototypical messenger chatbot with the lofty aim of having students do their homework on Facebook Messenger. Students appreciate having automated tools that check their work instantly and give them transparent and instant feedback, tools that do this exist. They are also annoying and clunky to use, requiring you to login through their various portals and use their dated UI.
LambdaMaths changes that. Kids have Messenger open almost constantly and work well with doing short bursts of work, both in terms of productivity and accuracy. Students interact with a chatbot, either of their own volition because they want to practice various skills, asking for anything from practice on a certain topic to generating an entire quiz covering the years material for them. More importantly, they can do this as many times as they want: we generate the questions on the fly using various algorithms that take into account the students progress with their past questions, their target and predicted grade and various other factors to ensure they are being sufficiently challenged and learning.
Teachers can also set specific homework through the chatbot, via their dashboard, which is not only useful for setting homework, but also for getting a quick glance of everything about their various classrooms, ranging from big-picture average-success rate of their entire class or cohort, to smaller detail like being able to see students troubles with a specific question or their success rate on a given topic. This gives them the opportunity to tackle issues their students are facing early on and improves the transparency of the students progress on both the educator and students side.
Trying it out
Come on over to table 6 and give it a try. It's currently in development mode, so you'll need to try it on one of the developers phones/laptops or request to be added as a tester!
We used git for our version control and our CI/CD pipeline, where pushing to git master immediately triggered some of our tests and deployed the release on Heroku.
As the teachers communicate through LambdaMaths, they are only able to see which questions they answer, and whether they answered it correctly, along with the comments they provide.