Make teaching more effective

What it does

Problem: Traditionally, during a class lecture, students' comprehension is judged using feedback mechanisms like a raise of hands or randomly asking questions etc. We feel this is an effective method of since most of the students feel shy about asking questions or fear being put in the spot.

Solution: Learn Space allows teachers to gather student feedback through a very unique and unobtrusive feedback mechanism. While listening to lectures or watching lecture videos, students can tag parts of the lecture they find "confusing", "important", etc. For instructors, we aggregate this data for lecture analysis by creating heat maps that helps them to understand how different parts of the lecture were comprehended. By interacting with the heat map, they can identify specific parts of lectures that were, for instance, problematic.

How I built it

We built the platform using Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s (HMH) identity and document APIs. The identity API allows us to identify the user roles (instructor vs student), whereas the document API allows us to access class lectures and videos.

We used MEAN stack using Meteor JS as the framework. For data manipulation, we used an open source library “crossfilter.js” and for data visualization, we used a combination of d3js and dcjs.

Challenges I ran into

Understanding HMH APIs Visualizing Data Integrating Meteor with D3 js

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We were able to come up with an idea that has a great potential to impact education and have a real social impact. We see it as opportunity that allows teachers to teach better and students to learn better.

What I learned

New Frameworks and APIs. The possibilities of up and coming technologies. The virtues of perseverance and patience :)

What's next for Learn Space

Currently, the platform servers as a teaching aid to the instructors. On this front, we plan on extending it to provide real time feedback to the teachers.

We also plan to introduce a learning component for students as well where they can review and revisit their stored tags only, saving them the trouble of watching complete videos again.

We also plan on making this a more collaborative experience where students can collaborate with their peers and teachers to seek and provide help.

We also see a tremendous potential of this application in special education, where learning and teaching is far more challenging.

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