A year ago, we started coding small tools and software, showing our work live in a stream. Many viewers wanted to learn more about programming so we wondered: Is it possible to teach people all over the world in an interactive way by streaming over the internet? Can we combine the power of offline-lessons (e.g. lectures at the university) and online tutorial-videos?
Working with the live chat and creating interactive sessions, we came to realize the enormous potential of live streaming education. Unfortunately, there is no software available to track the questions and needs of students in real time while presenting our knowledge.
InterLecture (Interaction & Lecture) shall solve this problem.
What it does
InterLecture provides a toolsuite to support live education streams. The teacher is able to combine his lecture with instant feedback from the viewers.
A typical lecture starts with a presentation on the topic. During the presentation, the viewers are able to ask questions via chat which are filtered and displayed to the teacher in real time. After their talk and answering frequently asked questions, they will give multiple exercises created beforehand to the viewers. The questions are answered via whisper messages and automatically evaluated by our software. Results are returned in the live chat. To strengthen the viewer interaction and increase learning success, our algorithm pairs faster and slower learning students together to discuss and solve problems. Learning progress is achieved by repeatly presenting different aspects of a topic and providing matching exercises for each part. InterLecture provides teachers with analytics like viewer involvement or percentage of correct answers to better understand weaknesses and interests of their students.
The participants' motivation is additionally increased by scoring points for correct answers and helping other viewers. The most capable and engaged users then also compete for a spot on the presented leaderboard. At the end of the stream, all participants can earn an individually created badge showing their success.
How we built it
We use Twitch as a very widely used and user friendly livestreaming platform. Twitch is open for addons (e.g. chat bots) and modification.
InterLecture reads, analyzes and writes chat messages continously, using a IRC Chat Bot and a backend, written in Scala.
User feedback is shown to the teacher and viewers with web interfaces, created with the scala template engine.