Inspiration

Everybody uses YouTube to learn. From doctors to lawyers, to software engineers, all of us have had to look up a video tutorial at some point in our life. Despite the large quantity of educational content available on YouTube, there exists a lack of access to quality, inexpensive practice material from which to work with. For instance, students looking to study medicine must first complete the Medical College Entrance Exam (MCAT), and while there is no shortage of MCAT related videos on YouTube, practice materials from the official Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) website range from $30 for a single practice exam to $350 for a complete bundle (accessible for one year). According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the effort to provide all education to all youths and adolescents globally by the year 2030 represents an extraordinary challenge. It is estimated that USD $39 billion dollars would be needed each year to accomplish this goal. [https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000245238] Many Asian cultures still rely upon the caste system, in which final year high school grades determine the career trajectory of one's entire future. These are notoriously the most stressful and difficult periods for many students. Ultimately, for these students, access to knowledge is equivalent to economic, political, and geographical freedom. Moreover, the pedagogical literature has demonstrated that while passive strategies for studying such as re-reading and highlighting and video watching are popular among students, active strategies such as recalling information are much more likely to result in improvements in performance [citation] Finally, the need for a community-driven learning platform stems from our tendency to overestimate our own abilities, a phenomenon coined by the Dunning-Kruger effect. A platform dedicated to practice sidesteps misleading feelings of competency by providing objective measures of progress. Ultimately, we see a tremendous need for an open-source platform such as Jarvis, which provides access to quality problem sets for students and learners everywhere.

What it does

While a variety of education exists freely available on YouTube, there is a lack of relevant test materials for students. Jarvis is a community-driven, open-source learning platform, which gives users the ability to upvote and contribute practice problems for playlists on YouTube. User flow: Step One: Create an account Step Two: Select a playlist from a list of subjects to learn Step Three: Watch the video! Step Four: Test your knowledge against the most upvoted questions. Step Five: Contribute questions or recommend playlists of your own! Step Six: Keep score of your progress.

How we built it

Jarvis is a web application that uses node and expresses for the back-end, and plain JavaScript, HTML, and CSS for the front-end. We used YouTubes Data API to retrieve playlists from YouTube and then rendered the data onto views. We also used MongoDB to keep track of all our datasets including collections such as user info, playlist info, video info, question bank.

Challenges we ran into

Being relative beginners in programming with no formal education in computer science, everything was a challenge that needed to be solved. The YouTube API we used had less than stellar documentation, where the most important step about setting up the API with the official googleapis library is not even on the Youtube API v3 website. Another difficulty we ran into was the structural difference between MongoDB and SQL, due to the unexpected differences, the entire structure of the project had to be rebuilt from the ground up, one idea at a time. Another challenge that is obvious to any hackathon is the time, manpower, and energy limitations.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Everything about this project we are proud of. From the very inception of this idea that was very dear to our student's hearts, to see the project being built step by step. Overcoming our inexperience and holding out to the very end on sheer will and tenacity. This project is the culmination of our dedication and we could not be more proud of what we have done.

What we learned

We learned the intricacies of developing a full-stack application. We learned how API calls can be utilized in a server. We learned how to connect and use a database for storing and retrieving data.

What's next for Jarvis

Jarvis started initially as a pool of brilliant ideas. However, as development went on, it dawned on us that within the limitations of this hackathon, some of these features are simply not feasible. So the future of Jarvis will be to feature these nonessential but nevertheless brilliant fragments of our initial imagination of Jarvis. Weekly leaderboards and monthly competitions. Forums for discussion. Lesson plans consisting of multiple playlists and possibly textbook integration. It is an all-in-one place for aspiring students.

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