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Inkbulb — the ultimate platform to prepare Indian secondary school graduates for their next challenge.

Intro

SteelKiwi developed this project in close collaboration with 2 UK-based engineers. Their Indian roots and experience working with environmental solutions were the inspiration for the project, which aims to help Indian schoolchildren overcome one of the biggest obstacles on their way to a valuable higher education. With a technical background, the two were able to contribute to and influence the project flow.

The Purpose

The value of a higher education cannot be overestimated. Inkbulb’s main purpose is to give Indian students a way to adequately prepare themselves to take the Joint Entrance Examination (?) (JEE), the most important step in being able to attend an Indian Institute of Technology (?).

India has the 3rd largest educational system in the world, after the USA and China. With the 2nd largest population on Earth, after China, it’s no wonder that the competition for entering higher educational institutions in the country is extremely high.

There are over 650 higher educational institutions in India. Of particular importance in India’s educational system are the universities that fall under the 1961 Institutes of Technology Act which place a special honour on the selected institutions.

While admission criteria varies from university to university, the basis is always the same. Each student must pass the JEE in order to be accepted. This exam is divided into two parts, the JEE Mains and the JEE Advanced. In 2015, 1.3 million students registered for the JEE Mains, while only 117 thousand (almost 9%) were able to proceed onto the JEE Advanced. Only 26.5 thousand of those students (only 2% of all JEE registrants) have been declared qualified for admission to Indian Institutes of Technology.

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Color Palette & Typography

Segoe UI

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

Registration Process

REGISTRATION
REGISTRATION
DESIGNING
DESIGNING

To design the Inkbulb system, we kept three possible issues in mind:

  • The likelihood of high load on servers
  • User access through potentially slow internet connections
  • Possible future development of mobile applications

In order to solve these issues, we decided to develop separate client-side and server-side solutions, independently developed as much as possible. The server-side solution was implemented with RESTful API using Django. The core of this was Django REST framework. A separate server with API functionality makes it possible to scale horizontally.

A single page application was created for the frontend using Google’s AngularJS framework. The client-side has been deployed on a separate server to make scaling and the utilization of a content delivery network (CDN) possible.

Using the chosen technology stack, the frontend and backend were developed separately with the development process divided into 10 milestones, 4 for the frontend and 6 for the backend. An additional milestone was planned for deployment of the frontend and backend on separate servers and high load testing was performed using New Relic analytics.

Process details

Using the chosen technology stack, the frontend and backend were developed separately with the development process divided into 10 milestones, 4 for the frontend and 6 for the backend. An additional milestone was planned for deployment of the frontend and backend on separate servers and high load testing was performed using New Relic analytics.

At the end of the lengthy development process, we created a finished product which is user-friendly and useful for various user roles, whether they be students, staff, or admin. In general, students are able to practise using the platform, staff can manage content on the website, and admin are able to manage users, system settings, and content, if necessary.

Tag Config

The system’s main component is the Problem section which provides students with a task to solve in one of three subjects, math, physics, or chemistry. The system is designed to define Subject > Topic > Concept for each Problem, which can be done easily inside Tag Config, available for users with staff privileges.

Practice Selection

For students users, the system is simple! They can Register > Select Topic and Concept and begin practicing.

PROBLEMS

Once a Practice session is started, users get a package of Problems to solve. The system has 6 types of problems available for students: Single Choice Problem, Multiple Choice Problem, Paragraph Based Problem, Matrix Match Problem, Assertion Reason Problem, and Integer Type Problem.

Every answer affects the student’s rating and level of knowledge inside the Concept. Students are able to keep track of their results through the insightful dashboard:

Question add/edit

Problems have a number of characteristics, including Subject, Type, and Difficulty. Staff users can attribute these characteristics to a problem when it is being added or edited to the program. The create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) process for Problems was simplified as much as possible to allow staff to edit information “on the fly” without unnecessary page reloads.
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Adaptive system

The Adaptive Learning Module settings, available for staff users, are another interesting part of the system. This feature measures the performance of students and allows staff users to adapt the system to improve student performance. By analyzing each action that a student performs inside Subjects and Concepts and comparing it with the results of other students, this module makes it possible to get students to practice Problems they have difficulty with at a more rapid frequency, helping them improve in sections they struggle in.

REVIEW PROBLEM
REVIEW PROBLEM

Review problem

We also developed a flexible filtering system for staff users, helping them review and edit or approve a list of Problems. Each Problem has various statuses assigned (Active, Waiting for review, Missing content, etc.). Our filtering system allows staff to conveniently work with multiple Problems at once, saving them lots of time.

About results

With this project, SteelKiwi was able to develop a system that is ready to support ~50k users at the same time, displaying and running ~10k Problems an hour. The system is designed to be as flexible as possible so that any number of Subjects and Exams can be added. Future plans include expanding the system to support a new Exams section.

Mobile applications are coming soon.

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