Inspiration

Going through school in Kampala, Uganda, I always had problems finding past papers. Past papers are a sure way to do revision because the lecturers will probably set something which has been set in a past exam. They were also a good way to guide revision before exams.

Pastpapers were mostly hard copy actual papers, and would get lost all the time. The photocopy business was one of the most popular business at Makerere University (and other universities) because students photocopied past papers over and over again from their friends. The student with the largest collection of past papers was worshipped!

We built this to ease the process of revision for other students :)

What it does

PastpaperHub is a collection of past papers from all universities in Uganda. When users log in with Facebook, they can browse the repository by course, course unit, year and university. When a past paper is selected, the questions for that paper are displayed. Each question has answers suggested by other Facebook users. The most liked answers will probably be the most correct. The platform enables students to discuss ideas without having to meet in person. It bridges the gap between students from different universities and encourages the sharing of knowledge within the online community. And yes, it helps bring the community closer through education!

How we built it

The core functionality is built around the Facebook comments plugin, and Facebook login. To make use of the these, we used JavaScript for our logic, node with expressjs and Firebase for our hosting and database.

Challenges we ran into

We were not able to build the prototype we had in time

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were able to dumb down out prototype into something even easier for a user to navigate. All the code was written in less than a month!

What we learned

We learned to always time-box new projects. Time-boxing forces one to think of the simplest and scrappiest implementation, in order to get a product out to market, test it, and reiterate based on user feedback.

What's next for PastPaperHub

Add more past papers, put it out there and let the users give us feedback, then use that to make it even better for every student to use!

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