In the last 2 weeks, one of my friends Chanda Pwapwa (also a software developer) and I
have been developing an application for the Google Apps Developer Challenge, a competition wherein developers worldwide are given the chance to demonstrate what they can do with the Google Apps API and the Google Drive API. Our entry for this challenge falls under the Not-for-Profit: Education category: a web application called Prep-hub.
Prep-hub is a web application that hosts past examinations and test papers for students and encourages collaboration and discussion between students as they prepare for examinations and/or tests.
Students have access to an archive of tests/examinations, giving them a chance to go over
questions asked in previous exams. Upon viewing a certain test / exam, students can either start or view conversations for individual test / exam questions. It’s largely a collaborative effort and the application is designed to fuel and improve discussion. For instance, if the student doesn’t completely understand a subject matter that one test item is about, he or she can click ‘Start Conversation’ and post his or her question which other people can comment on and provide feedback to. The resulting thread of conversation is then readily available for viewing to other people, so that they may also gain insight from the discussion and improve their understanding of the subject.
In addition to hosting past exam and test papers, we realize that a student may want to
create a list of tasks that they feel would further aide in their preparation for an exam. We
provide the platform to do this via the use of the Google Tasks API. On the Manage Tasks
page we have provided a place where a student/user would be able to create, read, update
and delete tasks that pertain to their preparation process. The first time that a user goes to
the Manage Tasks page, he or she will be led to a Google authentication page wherein he/
she will enter his/her Google credentials. After that, he/she may now create tasks and notes for whatever task that needs to be done, such as reading a certain chapter or studying for a specific test.
Finally, the Upcoming Features page on the website lists all the things that we are developing for future releases. Some of the features users can look forward to are the ability to upload their own past papers to the site and the ability to manage calendar events. We also plan to have full profiles for each user, which would allow them to keep track of past activity on Prep-hub, and an answer rating system, which would then highlight the most useful answers in Prep-hub conversations.
As a current part time student myself, I fully realize the vital role that past tests and
examinations play in the preparation for a test or exam. By consulting and attempting to
answer the questions on these tests, students can somehow gauge their knowledge of the
subject matter they will be tested on. However, students may sometimes find themselves
struggling to tackle certain sections of a past exam or test and they may have no-one
immediately available to help them. Prep-hub aims to solve this problem that we believe far too many students face. Essentially Prep-hub creates a platform in which knowledge can be transferred easily and effectively.
The Prep-hub system is currently still in its raw form, having only been developed over a
few days, it is what some would call a beta product. We believe the application will have
much more to offer in the future and we hope to build on requirements that are driven by the users. Ideally we would like to pilot the system with a few students and assess the feedback they give us. If you want to check it out, you can do so by going to the website at http://www.prep-hub.com.