As first generation students from low-income families, we in the past have struggled to receive high quality tutoring when needed, and because of this, we struggled and had to depend on self-studying and hopefully receive high academic grades.

What it does

TutorFirst connects low-income students to tutor volunteers by allowing them to set 60-minute appointments for the subject they need help with the most.

How we built it

This web application's data is stored in Azure Cosmos DB, and this database utilizes the mongodb/mongoose API. The backend used Node.js, and HTML/CSS/JS and Bootstrap were used to create the frontend.

Challenges we ran into

Initially we were planning to integrate video conferencing within the web app, however when attempting to implement, all users were able to connect to a specific room, but videos weren't streamed properly. After debugging, we realized that there was a problem with the Peer.js framework, and with the limited time given, we had to decide to simply providing the zoom link so that the tutoring happens in a third-party service.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Nodemailer was employed as an email service to send emails

What we learned

In the past, we have used Heroku to deploy our side projects, and that required a lot of steps, such as adding a procfile. However, when deploying to azure Web Apps this time around, we realized and appreciated the simplicity involved in deploying, specifically through using the Local Git method. Furthermore with the integration of the Azure Cosmos DB and the Deployment Center within the azure platform, the process of deploying, debugging using the deployment logs, and monitoring our data was significantly more efficient.

What's next for TutorFirst

With more time, we plan on implementing a built-in video conferencing system to save the hassle of providing links. We would also improve the scheduling system on the student platform to allow more flexibility. We also plan on making the web application more robust by implementing a gradebook system and even perhaps a chatting system where students can message tutors for the duration of their tutoring sessions.

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