- UI & UX Design
- PHP/Laravel Backend
- Safari and Chrome
- Advanced analytics and dashboard
- Custom CMS and admin functionality
- Custom 'betting system' of points accumulated
- Mobile Responsive Design
- WCAG compliant
In large university classrooms, professors often struggle to encourage participation and accurately evaluate progress, especially with nervous first-year students. The University of Ottawa, the largest English-French university in the world, is all too familiar with this challenge. In an effort to find a solution and study the effects of game-based learning, Biology Professor, Elaine Beaulieu and her colleagues decided to create a game to help their students learn technical vocabulary. With their hypothesis in hand and excited by the possibilities, there was only on problem — they had no idea how to build it.
Elaine started looking for a partner with the right skills. First, she reached out to another department at the university. While the price was reasonable, it would take more time than she had to complete the project. She continued her search online, reaching out to software developers that seemed promising. One company stood out with a thoughtful response that gave her confidence she would be in good hands. Elaine chose to work with Iversoft, and we were delighted.
Iversoft was able to understand our idea really quickly and provide solution that we hadn’t thought about before. We felt like they knew what they were doing, that we were in good hands, and that communication channels were wide open and easy.
We created Elaine’s app in two phases. In phase one, we researched, designed, and developed a custom web app, combining her requirements with our expert recommendations. In phase two, we layered on graphics and branding to make the app more engaging. During the design phase, we focused heavily on user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) to ensure the look and feel aligned with her tech-savvy student’s expectations and allowed them to navigate and participate with ease.
The result is BioLingo, a mobile-responsive web app that packages leading education research concepts in a fun, accessible game. Students use BioLingo to test their knowledge of course material through multiple-choice trivia questions. To make participation more convenient, there are several ways to access quizzes. Students can choose to use a desktop or mobile device, Safari or Chrome, and their preferred language (English or French).
To encourage participation, students can compete with others to earn points and rank on the class leaderboard, which is accessible through their account dashboard. They can also earn tokens as they play, helping boost a small percentage of their grade. User accounts are linked to the students’ university email addresses, allowing Elaine to track individual engagement and participating for course evaluation through built-in data tracking. We also custom-developed a content management system (CMS) to create a user-friendly experience in the backend. Elaine can easily add or remove questions to create new test sets.
While Elaine is still collecting data to test her hypothesis on the impact of game-based learning, one thing is already clear: students enjoy it. In fact, during the initial launch, several students complained about restrictions Elaine placed on the game and requested to use it more. They are motivated to earn points and collect tokens to improve their grade. Seeing how engaged Elaine’s student have become, professors in other departments have asked her about reskinning the app to use with their own students.