Digital Asia

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Type


On-campus job

Challenge


How can we integrate documentaries on Asian culture and history into high school curriculum

Timeline


January 2017 - April 2018

Solution


An Angular powered CMS and website

I worked with the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) as a web developer, and worked on Digital Asia. The objective was to build a portal that students can use to watch annotated documentaries on Asia. The first solution I worked on was a static angular application, that could be deployed in the serverless environment we were initially working with.

After the first iteration was complete, the static website was developed and introduced to teachers from high schools around Urbana, Champaign, Tuscola, and Fisher in Illinois. Before the launch, we also held a "Digital Asia Usability Testing" session, where we asked teachers about how they anticipate students using the platform, and what improvements we could make to the platform. We gained valuable insight from the session, and learned that teachers are also looking for help with preparing for assignments, and would like to have a space on the website where they could access content related to the documentaries.

With this new requirement, we began work on a dashboard for teachers. The onboarding process involved CEAPS staff giving access to teachers, at their verified school email IDs, which they could later on log in with. The dashboard contains resources such as supplemental presentations, video transcripts and curriculum guides, to assist teachers while they are covering documentaries. With the dashboard now functional, we extended its functionality by creating a section that allowed CEAPS staff to add and edit content, which was earlier not possible in the serverless environment.

To accommodate the technical requirements of this content management system, I also developed a PHP backend, hosted on an Apache server available on the university's hosting environment. The Angular frontend now queries the PHP backend to access content and for all operations related to the dashboard. I also implemented a client-side restriction on content, as due to licensing agreements, the documentaries on the website could only be viewed from North America.