Although efforts have been made to create inclusive learning and working environments, improvements can always be made. Drawing on our experiences as students, we wanted to create a tool for instructors to gather data anonymously from students in order to improve upon and better understand their inclusivity policies and their students’ feelings about the class. We wanted to help instructors make students feel more comfortable learning in their classes. As students, we know how difficult school can be even without considering the effects of an uncomfortable or non-inclusive work environment. With feedback from students about inclusivity policies, instructors can make active efforts to create a welcoming, positive environment for learning.
What it does
Inclusurveity is an informational, data visualization tool for professors and departments to better understand their efforts in making their learning space inclusive to all. A professor or department can create a unique surveyId that is linked to a survey with pre-determined questions and a comment box for users. With this surveyId, students can submit responses to questions about their feelings towards the inclusivity policies in the class. Once submitted, the data populated in our database, and the owner of the survey can go to the survey's results page to view graphs of the data. We have implemented filtering options that will allow users to view data by department, instructor, and by course to show a full range of data describing how students feel about the inclusivity policies of a school.
How we built it
Utilizing React and Material UI for front end development, we created a backend using Flask with our database in Firebase. We were able to create our own API in flask using GET and POST data from and into Firebase. We made HTTP requests using axios from the front end in order to communicate between the front and back end.
Challenges we ran into
We were able to run our application locally, but we ran into issues when trying to deploy to Google Cloud. We had never used Google Cloud before and were somewhat unfamiliar with the cloud in general, which created a large learning curve when trying to deploy. Additionally, we ran into various issues connecting our front end and back end when sending API requests, such as our GET methods not retrieving the correct data from our database. However, through hard work and determination, we successfully deployed our app to the cloud.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Although we faced many challenges with deploying to Google Cloud, we are proud of our application and the fact that we created a fully functional prototype of our idea. With teamwork, we were able to combine our previous knowledge and learn new technologies to make an application that communicates between the front and back end.
What we learned
Through this process, we were able to learn a variety of new technologies. From figuring out how to create an API with Flask to how to deploy to Google Cloud, this experience gave us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zones and learn new skills.
What's next for inclusurveity
We hope to extend this tool to provide larger scale organizations beyond UW with the opportunity to publicly present their employees' feedback on the overall inclusiveness of the company. Therefore, with this information, everyone from applicants to the company to company executives can analyze employee responses in order to understand the company better or reflect and improve upon the feedback.