21 education

Aubergine IT
The case
21 education (www.21education.org)
Education and personal development never end. It is important that students are flexible and can adapt to changes. To do so, 21education provides an educational platform in which the so called 21st century skills are embedded. This application stimulates students to take ownership of their progress, ask feedback from other students and prepare for the future job market.
Project description
During their Masters study, two teachers conducted research to discover how to make the (future) employee future-proof.
The educational sector is facing a great challenge. The labour market for which students are being prepared is changing at a rapid pace. Professions change or disappear and new professions are added. In a changing labour market, education has to adapt. This requires the development of new skills, better known as 21st-century skills. But how does one know that students are sufficiently prepared to enter the labour market? How does one make these skills measurable and visible?

The customer was the educational institute that employs the two teachers who initiated the project. The customer required a system that would be practical and focused on autonomy, relationship and structure. The system should also motivate students to work on their skills. For that reason we've applied gamification and created a peer-feedback system.
The project was developed in co-creation with the labour market, the educational institute and their students.

Students consult with teachers and internship organisations about what the 21st century goals mean for them. Students work from existing content of the study program and self-created content, possibly in collaboration with the labour practice. Students can browse through the learning objectives and discover on what aspects they can still improve themselves. They choose an assignment for an objective, read the instructions, do the work and hand in the result. They can also choose to not send the result to the teacher but to send it to another student for peer feedback. When a student submits an assignment for final review, the teacher can examine the results and approve (or reject) these. Based on the complexity of the assignment, the student receives extra stars (progress indicators) for the learning objective.

Due to budget constraints (just 5 weeks of design and 6 weeks of development) we have used an agile approach to closely involve the customer. Every week all participants of the project convened in one room to test the progress and to discuss next steps. The approach was very successful in this project, and we have achieved far more than was expected in advance.

At first, the digital agency Comaxx approached Aubergine IT to discuss a project partnership based on the concept of a custom web app in PHP (using Symfony or Laravel). During the project briefing we found out this would be a great fit for Drupal. Goals are Taxonomy terms, assignments and results are nodes, stars are ‘Flags’ on a Taxonomy term. We are convinced that using Drupal was the main reason why we have created so much value for the customer within the budget constraints.

We believe that the most tangible achievement is that the two initiating teachers received so much positive feedback on 21 education that they have decided to fully dedicate their time and energy to make this application prosper. To this end, they have started a foundation to roll out this application to multiple schools.
Limited budget: efficiently using Drupal Contrib modules enabled a highly successful outcome.

Single Sign On: students required a Single Sign On authentication mechanism with the existing educational network. We have used the OpenID Connect module to achieve this. Also we had to ensure that the correct relations between students, classes and teachers.

Future expansions: we have created the application that is now running for three study programs and is used by more than 300 students.
In the future, it should be possible to support multiple schools and practice institutions with multiple courses and different sets of learning objectives. We have already prepared the application for this.

Community contributions
We have fixed an issue in the Zurb Foundation Drupal Theme: https://www.drupal.org/node/2915974