Skip to main content

Brazilian students created an app that keeps even slackers on track

In Brazil, the undergraduate equivalent of a thesis is the Trabalho de Conclusão de Curso, or TCC. The paper or project sums up everything students have learned over their four years at school and can take between six months to a year to complete. From start to finish, there are lots of deadlines meant to keep students on track, but many still struggle to complete their projects on time.

In preparing for a hackathon at their school, Federal University of Goiás, Ketlen Komorek and Tiago Hermano wanted to make the TCC less overwhelming for their classmates. They looked for tech-based solutions but found most apps were geared towards formatting papers than addressing the whole process. Their team developed an app, Minha Jornada TCC, that uses gamification and planning tools specifically created for the undergraduate thesis paper.

After winning first place at their university’s hackathon, they participated in the Red Bull Basement University competition. The event brought together students from 25 countries to pitch tech solutions to make students’ lives better.

Mentes brilhantes = SUCESSO✨

No dia 30/06 foram premiados os vencedores do Hackathon, onde diversas soluções para assuntos da Universidade foram apresentadas. A equipe Jornada TCC se destacou e levou a melhor.????

Parabéns a todos participantes! ????


— UFG (@ufg_oficial) July 4, 2019

For the Minha Jornada app, students answer a few questions about their work habits and notification preferences (slackers will get more nudges than non-procrastinators), and the app does the rest. Many of the TCC projects follow the same pattern of due dates, so the app uses a template to automatically create a schedule. Users can add subtasks to their planner for further customization.

A taskbar will show students how far along they are in their “journey.” Minha Jornada translates to “My Journey,” and the TCC is such a long process that Komorek and Hermano see it as an apt comparison. They want students to regularly engage with the app and stay motivated. “We’re just using project management techniques combined with gamification, so they could have a broader view of the whole process they’re doing,” said Hermano. The team also wants to make the app free for students.

“We’re using project management techniques combined with gamification, so they could have a broader view of the whole process they’re doing.”

“We also believe that the real value is when you bring the teacher-supervisor to the process,” said Hermano. Professors sometimes have more than a dozen projects to supervise, so it can be difficult to keep tabs on students who are missing crucial deadlines. The app would give supervisors clear views on where their students are in their projects. They’re hoping universities will be willing to pay for the app so students don’t have, In return, they’ll get insights into which departments might be lacking in resources, as well as — the team hopes — a higher percentage of people completing the TCC in a timely fashion.

The team has only been working on the app for a few months, so they have some areas they want to improve. Better privacy protection and a way to anonymize the data the app provides to the university is on the list, as is adding more flexibility to the scheduling. A fine arts major might be creating a sculpture for their TCC, so the standard deadline template wouldn’t be very useful.

Komorek provided a lot of feedback while working on her TCC this year, creating a workshop for local micro-entrepreneurs to learn about digital marketing. Hermano is also going to use the app this year for his own final project, which is of course about Minha Jornada. “I intend to use it, use this project as my final thesis,” he said, “like a meta final thesis.”

Editors' Recommendations

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
Facebook VP released from Brazilian prison as dispute over WhatsApp data continues

Updated 3-2-2016 by Lulu Chang: Facebook certainly carries some clout. Barely a day after being taken into custody in Brazil, Facebook vice president Diego Dzodan has been released. On Wednesday, a judge determined that the executive could be freed even as officials continue with their investigation regarding messaging app WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired back in 2014.

While Brazil has not divulged much information regarding the legal proceedings at hand, it is at least clear that Dzodan will not need to sit in a cell while the government deliberates. “He continues to respond to the process,” Luciano Andrade, a spokesman for the court in Aracaju in northeast Brazil, told the Washington Post. “The process is against Facebook, but as he is responsible for Facebook in Latin America the judge requested the imprisonment.”

Read more
Want to find (or avoid) the kinkiest college students? Dating app Clover will tell you
clover dating app main

At 18, there's so much to consider when deciding where to spend the next four years of your life. College, those wondrous days often heralded as the best era of any one human's existence, has become so much more than an institution for higher education -- rather, it's advertised as a sun-drenched wonderland where you'll meet lifelong friends, join ten thousand clubs, and oh yeah, hook up (though that's generally not in the admissions pamphlet).

But for all the hormonal late teens who can't decide whether they'd prefer a rural or urban environment or how much they should weigh the reputation of the economics department of one school versus the engineering department of another, dating app Clover might have some information that'll make your choice a bit more, shall we say, straightforward. It's college, baby.

Read more
Huge discounts arrive on Garmin smartwatches for Memorial Day
The Garmin Instinct 2X Solar on a person's wrist.

Best Buy is currently offering discounts for a range of smartwatches by Garmin, a brand that's grown in popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts because of the accuracy and durability of its products. Garmin devices almost always quickly sell out when ever they're involved in smartwatch deals, and we don't expect this to be any different. It won't take up too much time to browse through the 30 Garmin smartwatches that the retailer is selling for cheaper than usual -- choose what you want to buy and proceed with the purchase immediately, before the bargain ends.

What to buy in Best Buy's Garmin smartwatches sale
If you only need a basic fitness-focused smartwatch, you can't go wrong with the . It's the cheapest option in Best Buy's sale at just $120, after an $80 discount on its original price of $200, but it still packs quite a lot of features, including the ability to track your heart rate, sleep, and stress levels. It also offers an always-on mode that's often seen in high-end smartwatches, and it can last up to six days on a single charge when GPS is not activated. Meanwhile, outdoor lovers will want to take a look at the , which is in our list of the best Garmin watches as the best rugged Garmin watch. It's protected by a fiber-reinforced polymer case with a water-resistant design, with a battery life of up to 14 days, and it's available for just $180 for savings of $50 on its sticker price of $230.

Read more