In many academic institutions, teachers and professors are scrambling to adapt their curriculum into a remote learning format. However, this change isn’t easy, and early surveys suggest that it has hurt the quality of education.
When teachers were asked about the issues they faced, the number one response was the lack of strategies for keeping students engaged and motivated during remote learning. We wanted to give instructors a new avenue to foster classroom engagement by developing the webapp Pollodium.
What it does
Pollodium is a learning platform that is designed to foster friendly competition among peers. Students fight to claim their spot at the top of the podium through a series of questions created by the instructor. The instructor has the option to ask for typed responses or illustrated responses. After a poll, the students can look through their peers’ answers and anonymously vote on the best response. Students whose responses are positively received by their peers will get points, and those with the most points at the end of the lesson will be at the top of the Podium!
How we built it
We used express for our API endpoints. We also used socket.io for real-time bidirectional communication between the server and its users.
We used React.js to modularize components of our website in order to make it easy to navigate through and also improve organization for us as developers. We used socket.io for communication and used event listeners to wait for triggers to update the webpage.
Challenges and Learning
One of the challenges we ran into was figuring out how to get all of the front-end components to update on new information from the server. Since our project displays real-time votes and answer submissions, we needed to be constantly updating all of the connected clients with the same voting data. We decided to use websocket based communication, the coolest technical piece of this project. It was difficult to learn the new paradigm and figure out room-based communication, but the result was fast and with no noticeable lag.
What's next for Pollodium
We planned for an area for teachers to create/edit quizzes, but we didn’t have enough time to finish it, so in the demo, there are only premade quizzes. We also want to add the UI for a better authentication system, so that teachers can make sure only their students join their online quiz.