As university students, we have been noticing issues with very large class sizes. With lectures often being taught to over 400 students, it becomes very difficult and anxiety-provoking to speak up when you don't understand the content. As well, with classes of this size, professors do not have time to answer every student who raises their hand. This raises the problem of professors not being able to tell if students are following the lecture, and not answering questions efficiently. Our hack addresses these issues by providing a real-time communication environment between the class and the professor. KeepUp has the potential to increase classroom efficiency and improve student experiences worldwide.

What it does

KeepUp allows the professor to gauge the understanding of the material in real-time while providing students a platform to pose questions. It allows students to upvote questions asked by their peers that they would like to hear answered, making it easy for a professor to know which questions to prioritize.

How We built it

KeepUp was built using JavaScript and Firebase, which provided hosting for our web app and the backend database.

Challenges We ran into

As it was, for all of us, our first time working with a firebase database, we encountered some difficulties when it came to pulling data out of the firebase. It took a lot of work to finally get this part of the hack working which unfortunately took time away from implementing some other features (See what’s next section). But it was very rewarding to have a working backend in Firebase and we are glad we worked to overcome the challenge.

Accomplishments that We are proud of

We are proud of creating a useful app that helps solve a problem that affects all of us. We recognized that there is a gap in between students and teachers when it comes to communication and question answering and we were able to implement a solution. We are proud of our product and its future potential and scalability.

What We learned

We all learned a lot throughout the implementation of KeepUp. First and foremost, we got the chance to learn how to use Firebase for hosting a website and interacting with the backend database. This will prove useful to all of us in future projects. We also further developed our skills in web design.

What's next for KeepUp

  • There are several features we would like to add to KeepUp to make it more efficient in classrooms:
  • Add a timeout feature so that questions disappear after 10 minutes of inactivity (10 minutes of not being upvoted)
  • Adding a widget feature so that the basic information from the website can be seen in the corner of your screen at all time
  • Adding Login for users for more specific individual functions. For example, a teacher can remove answered questions, or the original poster can mark their question as answered.
  • Censoring of questions as they are posted, so nothing inappropriate gets through.
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