The client, a highly respected educationist with extensive experience in Academia spanning 20 years, worked closely with school administration teams to improve teacher confidence and student achievement in U.S schools. She wanted to create a customized and interactive web based platform that would deliver excellent STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning experience for high school students.
The client had a clear vision of the revolutionary education portal that school administrators, teachers and students could use to easily connect and engage with each other - a system that would greatly enhance STEM teaching experience and improve student performance.
Thanks to our successful collaboration many years ago, the client decided to hire Asahi Tech for this project. We did a short discovery session to capture the founder’s vision and translate it into software requirement specifications.
To develop this closed-loop, web-based social learning network, our team went with Node.js based GetStream.io. Automation Anywhere was used for automation of task assignments and student grading. As this had to be a lightweight application and the timeline for a beta product was short, the choice of off-the-shelf open source social network turned out to be a great decision. It enabled us to deliver an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) in under 8 weeks, while keeping total cost of ownership (TCO) to a minimum. After developing the MVP, which helped the client demo a preliminary version of the product to interested schools to gauge interest, our team continued to develop the complete product.
Here are the key features we implemented in the application.
Once WhyScience enters into an agreement with a school, a team member from WhyScience installs the social network on a server within school premises. It was architected this way based on client's request to meet security and administrative control needs of the schools.
Once the installation is completed, a WhyScience team member creates the super administrator for that school installation. The super admin can then administer the site, and create the required instructor and student logins.
Additionally, in order to allow new users to get a feel for the application’s features before committing to a license, we added capabilities to the application for the creation of trial users with three-day access.
We developed capabilities in the application to allow instructors to create a library of courses, associated reading material, assignments, and assessments to facilitate learning. The architecture we put in place allows for course modules to be customized and configured at any time by school administrators based on school and subject requirements.
We developed archiving capability for course modules, assignments and assessments. This helps teachers create course materials for multiple school terms at once, but activate only the relevant course material for the term that they are in. Archived modules can be re-activated when need arises.
We created features to allow instructors to share course material with their peers so that they can then clone them and make modifications to the modules to suit their teaching needs.
With the increasing popularity and widespread adoption of the learning system in schools in Connecticut and New York, the client needed extensive support, periodic maintenance and product updates. We provided this through a separate annual service agreement, which was renewed more than 3 times.
The software solution we developed helped the client provide an ingenious way for schools to deliver excellent STEM learning to students.
Why Science was awarded the CT Next Entrepreneur Innovation Award and the software is widely regarded as an easy and effective social learning system in the state of Connecticut.
The educational social network we developed provides the following benefits.