School Observation App

Consulting projects to help schools all over the world

backed by technology from Redwerk

The Education PartnersThe Education PartnersNew York, NY, United States

The Education Partners strengthens capabilities and drives rapid, sustainable and systemic change to deliver quality education for all. Part of the GEMS family of companies.

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Full Product Cycle

Redwerk implemented the entire school observation app from the ground up. We went through the following phases: requirement discovery with GEMS staff, prototyping, architecture, UI/UX design, development, testing, deployment, maintenance, and support.

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We are glad to bring innovation to any field, including education and e-learning. We are happy to support and develop your innovative idea and our team is eager to participate in your project leveraging our experience.

Challenge

The Education Partners sets benchmarks for quality education and they needed an efficient way to collect data and enter it directly into a handheld device, such as an iPhone.

Redwerk was asked to develop an app for school observers allowing them to take notes about teachers, pupils, lessons, the school building, etc. in a simple and user-friendly way, quickly and more efficiently than with a pencil and paper. All data entered would be uploaded to the backend via a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to the server, where it could be accessed freely from any location. We also had to take into account that observers might not always have Internet access while performing their reviews.

Solution

We created a fast and simple UI/UX to facilitate real-time note taking. The assessment scales are implemented as sliders, helping minimize the time required to set values. The navigation menu was designed to help observers jump between forms quickly and easily. Originally designed as a four-screen app, we ended up with as many as 20 screens of light and user-friendly design.

We chose a Django stack on the backend to facilitate rapid development. Django also presents an admin UI out-of-the-box, makes it easy to create a REST API, simplifies the app’s architecture, and provides elegant means to work with ORM databases.

The app allows observers to take photos and videos during their observations; fortunately, we can easily handle the huge amount of data this feature entails. We also used the Boto AWS library for deleting media as it requires fewer requests than the native Django library.

On the mobile side, our team used the native iOS SDK instead of a cross-platform development framework such as PhoneGap or Ionic to ensure optimum performance and access the full functionality of the device. We chose to use Realm instead of one of the typical iOS database solutions, partly for performance concerns, but also for thread safety. Because of the massive amount of media the app would have to handle, performance was a priority for us throughout the development process.

Testing this app brought our QA team back to school in a way they certainly never expected. We paid close attention to make sure the app met the functional and performance requirements, but it was also fun to imagine we were inspecting our own school teachers and administrators!

Process

We used Basecamp as a communication tool for this project. First, the client described the basic concept of the app, its intended use case, and projects similar to it. Our team outlined the features and provided wireframes.

After the prototype was approved, we created the design and began implementing the first version of the app. Once it was finished, we worked closely with the GEMS team to define which features to implement next. This approach allowed us to show a working product to the client comparatively quickly and build out the app’s functionality in a logical fashion.

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2

developers worked on the project

1

QA engineer

3

months from 0 to launch

34,352

lines of code

100%

deadlines met

Results

Advancements in technology transform all aspects of life, including education. Thanks to this app, The Education Partners observers can now take notes more effectively and secure that information for future review. We hope that this app will help them both save time and maintain their high educational standards.

School observation app
I highly recommend Redwerk. It has been a pleasure working with them. Profound knowledge in product design and the all-around support provided by the team has led to a successful product and a great collaboration.

I-nan Chen, Creative Consultant at GEMS Americas

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Redwerk team comments
Alexander

Alexander
QA Engineer

Definitely a fun app both to use and to test. There are loads of forms and assessment criteria, but thanks to the smooth UX, it’s easy to navigate between them. Because of its built-in functionality for uploading photos and videos, which can slow down the system if they’re large enough, we ran it against load testing to make sure every report created would be uploaded to the server.

Redwerk team comments
Nikita

Nikita
iOS Developer

It felt good being part of this project. We were not only solving technical challenges, but also contributing to a really handy app for assessing educational institutions. The app was written from scratch using only the latest technologies and libraries. We tried our best to make it as stable and robust as possible. Would I use this product for assessing a school? You bet I would!

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