Exam Delivery App

Exam Delivery App

Customer

Our customer is an independently owned, client-driven company working with some of the largest international awarding, professional and government bodies to offer a complete range of e-assessment services from consultancy to testing and custom development. They created one of the most comprehensive, secure and innovative solutions in the area that benefits and improves the educational process for the end users.

Actively growing, the product has expanded from being purely an e-assessment system to a system that can also be used to produce, scan and mark paper-based exams. Millions of high-stakes exams are delivered through the system.

Challenge

Moving along with the technologies, paper-based exams have been significantly replaced with on-screen delivery solutions over the last few years. Moreover, the popularity of mobile devices has extremely grown, and nowadays more and more students wish to use their own laptops and tablets in all aspects of life. In regards to the expectations, one of the biggest awarding organizations made a request: they wished to provide their learners with a new type of application that can be used for exam delivery across different devices and platforms.

The most important requirement was limited time for development. Besides, the complete list of supported devices and platforms had not been decided from the start and the customer was about to do more research on the end users’ expectations.

Solution

Despite many options being investigated for the mobile development, PhoneGap platform was an essential choice for this work as long as it matched the most important criteria:

  • It allows creating natively installed applications for mobile devices using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript — that means rapid development.
  • It supports a plugin architecture, so native device APIs can be extended in a modular way in case if new types of devices are to be supported.

Development started with a single-page web application using AngularJS to represent a bare bone for the future mobile wrappings as well as to be used separately on the web. On the server side, we used .NET web services to provide the data access API. The service methods return JSON objects to the mobile application side. Also, the same API was designed for future re-use in accessing data via multiple supervisor dashboards and third-party applications.

Next step was creating mobile applications. iOS and Windows were selected as the top priority for the first release of the product.

During this stage, our team implemented some interesting features:

  • Running the app in restricted mode in order to prevent cheating during exams. Guided access feature of iOS was used in order to achieve this.
  • Battery monitoring — students to be warned when their devices get to the critical battery level so they are able to submit exam answers in time.
  • Opportunity to work in offline mode — exam data is securely preserved in local device storage and submitted when connection is back on.
  • A smooth system of exam process control – invigilators are able to monitor each student device activity via interactive dashboards.

During the development phase, our team set up required continuous integration infrastructure as well as ensured good quality coverage with Karma, a test runner for unit testing, and Protractor, a test framework for writing end-to-end tests. Ubertesters services and tools were used to distribute the iOS app for manual testing and to ensure earlier feedback from the customer.

Results / Benefits

Currently, both iOS and Windows apps are being prepared for the first release, which is highly awaited by end users who have already given a very positive feedback on the beta version.

Both customer and team are looking forward to continuing with new devices support (Android looks like a very promising candidate) and introducing new features. Therefore, this work obviously proves a perfect collaboration of the customer and our company in order to reach new market levels and keep up with the new technologies and user expectations.

Technologies

DoubleT App
Digital Assets Collaboration Platform