The inspiration for this project was to eliminate the need for students to carry a separate device to respond to class activities. We felt that this device was essential because professors in the UBC have been upset about the misuse of the i-clicker. There have been instances on campus where students gave their i-clickers to their friends to take quizzes for them. In the US, there was a well-publicized case of students in a prestigious university being suspended because they gave their i-clickers to their friends to take their examinations. Also, a number of students on campus have admitted that they have forgotten to take their i-clickers to class on more than one occasion.
What it does
Our solution combines a mobile application with a low energy Bluetooth enabled beacon, which would record the activities of the user, including the time of entry and exit into a classroom. This data is then sent to the professor who would be able to keep track of the students in class. The device would also replicate the functions of the i-clicker thus eliminating the need for an additional device. It is our belief that incorporating this solution in a smartphone would reduce the inclination to cheat because students would not choose to give their phones(and password) to other students for extended periods of time. Also, our device, in the future, will have the ability to detect whether a student is carrying more than one registered phone at a time, thereby alerting the professor.
How we built it
We use Swift, x-code, java scripts, and Google-apps-scripts. The coding people split the work and then exchange the work to make sure that coding is correct.
Challenges we ran into
Initially, some of our original teammates decided not to participate and it took a while for us to find the teammates with an ideal fit. Our application was built using the Swift- which is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, OS X, tvOS, and watchOS, which was a new challenging language for our teammates to learn. The event commenced at the end of a long working day for most of us and we had to channelize our energies to come up with Sygnul.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are able to get it work within 24 hours with a new project team using unfamiliar coding language. The team collaboration and assets we have as a combination of 2 computer science/engineering students, 1 commerce student, and 2 graduate students from Sauder School of Business.
We were able to come up with a working prototype of the model within 24 hours and also develop a suitable business plan to seek initial funding for the device. We had our difficulties and dead ends but in the end, we made a product that we are proud of.
We had a wonderful team that worked in tandem to create the technology and the business behind it. Our team comprised of students of computer science, commerce and business administration. We were able to bring our collective knowledge and experience together to build Sygnal.
What we learned
As business students, we learned some key aspects and concepts of coding and how to work as a team. We also understood how to serve as intermediaries between business management and IT.
Technical students learnt how to work with business professionals to express their ideas and difficulties. At the same time, they learned a new coding language called Swift that would benefit them immensely.
What's next for Sygnal
Our initial goal is continue working on the current prototype of Sygnal. We want to test it in classrooms across the campus and continue refining the product. In the future, we hope to take it across universities in Vancouver and Canada. We believe that this device has applications that extend beyond the confines of the academic industry and would like to investigate potential areas of growth and development.