Problem

Attendance at office hours has been shown to be positively correlated with academic standing. However, 66% of students never attend office hours. Two significant contributing factors to this lack of attendance are the time and location of the office hours. See studies here and here

Solution

Our solution is an easy-to-use website that makes office hours accessible online. Students submit questions to the teacher, and teachers respond to these questions by video. Students can view previous questions and answers, which are recorded in association with individual questions.

Our Mission

  • Improve office hours attendance
  • Reduce the friction of attending office hours
  • Improve student academic performance

Process

Front-end Design:

  • Used Sketch to draw up a outline of website
  • Coded the design using HTML, Javascript, and CSS.

Back-end Design:

  • Used Django (Python) to build complex database structure

Video Streaming API:

  • Determined best API for project is YouTube Live Streaming API, but did not have time to implement it

Challenges

  • Implementing and understanding the YouTube Live Streaming API
  • Issue with date ranges and time zones, so kept all times in UTC
  • Publishing website from front-end

Accomplishments

  • Domain hosting set up here
  • Functional local website with admin editing and website updating
  • Business plan with initial, beginning, and future strategies for Ruminate

Our Future

Near future, we plan to connect with specific teachers at Cornell University to test and provide feedback on the software. We will survey some of their students to measure the efficacy of the software on the student's office hour attendance and academic standing. Some functionality we want to add is attendance statistics for the teachers. Later, we plan on expanding into other Upstate New York colleges and generating revenue by creating a biannual subscription service. We will attempt integrate our web service into Blackboard or Canvas to reduce friction of signing up.

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