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Task

Prepclass is a Nigerian EdTech (educational technology) company that focuses on connecting potential learners with skilled tutors in a variety of areas, including nursery, formal and informal education, etc.

Although Prepclass tutors specialise in different areas, most of these areas have standardised tests as the final exam. Because of that a significant part of the educational process is based on practicing the previous years’ tests. The problem is that they usually have different formats, leading to a lot of paperwork and a custom organisational process when tutors need to verify results.

The task was to create an application that allows Prepclass to automate and simplify such communication between tutors and learners when practising standardised tests. Also the application should provide easy access to educational courses, as well as a convenient way for learners to ask questions and for tutor to answer them. The plan was to deliver the product in two phases - the initial MVP and the main part of the project.

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When we started working on phase one, the main issues were MVP requirements, a limited budget and deadline constraints. After several rounds of requirements investigations and discussion, we proposed an actual MVP list of features and an implementation plan. After receiving the client’s approval, we delivered a fully working application with an administrative site in 4 weeks.

Prepclass needed the ability to use dynamic formulas (similar to LaTeX format) in courses and exam questions, but there was no existing solution for React Native, only limited libraries for browser use. We made a custom module which renders such formulas in React Native and implemented a special plugin for WYSIWYG editor on the administration site. As a result, tutors were able to type any formula in a suitable format, thus the amount of time required to add the course into administrative site or edit it decreased to simple formula text editing.

Our client also needed to integrate a local payment system based on cellular network MTN Nigeria to the application, but the cellular operator had neither SDK, nor comprehensive documentation for their payment API. We spent two weeks communicating with cellular operator technical support, investigating the existing version of their API description to get our own full and valid API documentation. Then we built a client SDK for that API both for the React Native app and the administrative site. Eventually the payment system was integrated to the application, and users now have the option to pay through the familiar service. The process from the start of investigation to the release of the final version of the SDK together with the application and the admin site took 4 weeks.

In phase two we added more features and improved the application:

  • simplified the process of adding courses and made it faster by implementing our own custom module

  • added analytics for both - users and tutors - to track progress and identify users’ weak spots

  • added a Q&A section where users and tutors can communicate

  • added an integration with the local payment system

To bring our solution, we used the following technologies: React Native, React, Redux, Flow, Laravel PHP 7, CSS, SASS, HTML, JS, Jquery, Bootstrap

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Result

The MVP was delivered within the set time and budget and in general was very successful by presenting it our client was able to get funding for further phases. In phase two we improved the application by adding a lot of features from customers’ requests, and in the first two weeks after the release the app had 15k active users and a 4.8 overall feedback rating.

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