Inspiration

As current university students we understand the impact Covid has had on education and the way it has affected students’ grades. With lectures now being primarily remote, focus and concentration during online lectures and presentation has gone down dramatically. Suffering from the same lack of motivation to be engaged in class, we aspired to create a solution to this problem and create a source of motivation through what is Vitreous.

What it does

Vitreous is a zoom-like platform that incorporates ocular tracking of its participants(students) and rewards engagement during online lectures. Aiming to encourage in-class engagement, Vitreous incentivizes focus and engagement during lectures by tracking students' line of sight. When a students sight Is aimed at an assigned pinpoint in the instructors presentation, the students participation is tracked, and points are added to their running participation grade for extra credit. Instructors also have the ability to add pinpoints to specific areas within their presentation. Rather than forcing students to use this feature, Vitreous allows students to toggle the focal feature on or off. By opting to have the feature on and focusing on the presentation, students are awarded extra credit on their participation grades.

How we built it

Using JavaScript, Node.js, & Express.Js, we built a zoom lookalike for web conferencing. Within this conferencing platform, we included the ocular tracking software which was incorporated using JavaScript, HTML, & CSS. The project's webpage was built using React, JavaScript, CSS, & HTML.

Challenges we ran into

Creating a zoom-like environment mostly using Node.Js was completely out of our comfort zone and level of knowledge/experience. Incorporating a software for focal tracking, which we also had no experience in was equally as difficult. Working tirelessly and collaborating to bring our idea to reality enhanced our communication skills and tested our ability to adapt and quickly learn new technologies.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This project challenged us by testing our abilities and forcing us to step out of our comfort zone, but at the end, proved to be extremely rewarding. Throughout these\ 36 hours, we were able to learn new technologies and languages we weren’t familiar with and build a full project from it. The way we approached the problem and executed the solution is an accomplishment this team is very proud of.

What we learned

Through Vitreous we learned the importance of communication and collaboration. By effectively communicating, we were able to divide the work in order to proficiently manage our time. By collaborating on GitHub, we were able to complete a functional application and effectively deliver our solution.

What's next for Vitreous

We plan to continue working on this solution and adding additional features for Vitreous to soon launch a production-ready application professors and students can download.

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