Suggestions and feedback from our customers were always an active force behind the evolution of Linways.
Linways emerged as a world-class product after undergoing a lot of metamorphoses. At each stage of our product development, we put up a lot of effort to make it more customer-centric. We have been always about building long term relationships with our customers.
For us, it wasn’t just taking requirements or building a product. We were trying to help the people we care about, by solving a real problem that they face in their daily lives.
Transforming Linways AMS for the betterment of the educational system was possible to a greater extent based on customer feedback and ideas. The contributions made by our customers has driven the cycle of development and made us more productive. To make our product more functional and user friendly we listened to our customer`s voices.
At different stages of revamping our software, we gave priorities to the suggestions given by our customers. The role of teachers in everyone’s life is priceless as they are a group of elite people who can drive and build up a better society with their actions. Similarly, they always stood as a pioneer of our product.
Working on with Collective and Refined Ideas in Development
Working on collective ideas always proves to be more rewarding than focusing on unitary requirements. In Linways AMS, features are developed by putting up a set of collective ideas. At the stage of initiating new features, we brainstorm the ideas given by our customers along with the ones put up by our team. Discussions were held on relevant ideas and requirements. Once a prototype was made, we conveyed the same with customers and their suggestions and feedback to make sure that the feature was easy to use, and made the task easier for the user.
There are numerous modules and features that made Linways stand tall among similar Academic Management Softwares. Some of them include the addition of Rubrics in Integrating Outcome Based Education and development of an advanced version of the accreditation Module.
Let’s have a look at how we built an upgraded version of the Excellence and Assessment Tool (EXAT) with the suggestions we got from customers. For many of the institutions and faculty accreditation works always turn out to be a big nightmare. Gathering huge loads of data as well as the submission of numerous kinds of reports in the prescribed format is quite a hectic process. And the data needs to be furnished with great precision. A lot of time and energy need to be put into this task. So taking this as a need for the hour, we developed the EXAT Module to simplify the accreditation
This helped the teachers, and the institution, to streamline and simplify the entire accreditation process with ease.
Let’s have a look at some of the unique features that are present in the EXAT module. When we first built the NAAC module, customers only had a few limited configurations. They always had to rely on us to make any major changes in the forms or reports. We tried to solve this issue by giving more power to the customer. The trigger was a suggestion in the form of a question:
“Is it possible to make them self equipped for handling the different scenarios that come across while handling EXAT?”
Interestingly we made that possible with the improved version of EXAT. All those complex forms can be easily created by the user and the fields can be defined in the required formats. This helped our customers in saving a lot of time as they could create customized forms in the formats they wanted, and it solved the issue of them having to constantly reach out to us for every minor update.
The outstanding feature of the EXAT module was reports could be generated using the fields added in the forms and also by combining multiple forms. We were able to incorporate the best features and functionalities in this module with the help of our customers who provided us information based on real-time difficulties they faced had during the data collection for accreditation
The exam controller module which made the workflow of autonomous institutions a lot easier to manage came about from such a suggestion.
The process starting from Exam Declaration, Student Registration, Hall Ticket Distribution, Time Table Creation, Seating Arrangement, Provision for Internal and External Valuation until Result Publish and Marks Card Distribution can be done in a short period of time.
Course file is another major feature in the Academic Management System, and lots of teachers and colleges use it almost all the time. Here’s how the feature to create course files with a single click evolved in Linways.
Reducing the workload of the teachers meant they could spend more time focused on teaching. Thus came the course file diary
Teachers have a protocol to submit records of the subject taken for a batch at the end of each semester. In the AMS the student data, internal exam reports, attendance report, subject plan reports were all available. But it was time-consuming to fetch data from the separate section and bind up altogether. So one of our clients came up with an idea, once all other scattered reports are assorted within the system, they can generate a Course File Dairy.
So we worked on that case and deployed a Course Dairy that contained multiple reports based on the requirement given. Of course that customer was happy with us as we delivered it on a fast track basis. Also, when we introduced this feature to other clients they also found it useful as we developed a feature that can minimize their workload
In not less than a few months span we came to know that the pattern followed by all colleges or universities were not the same for a Course Dairy. Suddenly our development team came up with an idea, let this feature be more dynamic. That was actually the best move from our part, so we gave the provision selectively include the data that was required. Well, we modified our Course File dairy to a fully-fledged dynamic one!
Strategies to Make the customer self equipped
A system is complete only when the customers become self equipped with the product they are using. When a product becomes a part of the user’s lifestyle, it blends with the life itself. All the great products, we don’t think about how we use it because we know it, it’s familiar. It needs to be intuitive, and so easy to use that the user doesn’t even have to think twice about it.
When we came to know about this particular concern of our teachers we took it up as a challenge to find a solution for this. As a result, we implemented a tool to generate custom reports.
In its initial stages, the internal assessments in our platform were just some data fields that could be added. But later on we figured that the same report can be used for analytical purposes too if there was a provision to find the average, percentage, etc.
This was a major breakthrough in providing insightful data for the management to help them take informed decisions.
So why just average and percentage.? Let the computation happen in any desired manner. Then a great advancement was done on this, an option to define the formula was given. Similarly normalization and mark calculation using attendance percentage can also be accomplished using this tool.
Using a common tool in multiple batches was at times necessary for performing various analytical reports. Also it would be a tougher task for faculty from a certain age group for configuring the assessment rules. Foreseeing that case, a functionality to define and keep multiple templates was also handled. Thus enabling reusability of templates once created.
Building an earmarked section for handling Outcome-Based Education
Outcome-Based Education is a learning paradigm that focuses on the outcomes or goals instead of results. At the initial stage of approaching OBE, the knowledge base we had was very limited and vague. If we had set off with that limited information, our OBE module would not have helped any of the colleges to get Accreditation. But we made that come true !! We took a firm determination to learn about all facets of OBE before starting to work with that. Fortunately all the doors which we knocked opened for us. A lot of academic experts, even outside our customer community stood with us for bringing the OBE module to limelight. The requirements and guidance given by our customers were also very significant at the stage of gearing up with OBE
The next phase after developing OBE was making the OBE open-ended so that rules and targets can be set up as per the user’s need and that gave us wide acceptance among customers. Once that task was completed we got some suggestions on implementing the Rubrics. Why go for Rubrics? We researched and ended up finding endless possibilities of Rubrics in an education system. We always give greater emphasis on reducing the task of teachers and helping students learn in a better way so the same vision drove us in the implementation of Rubrics in OBE
Linways is always proud of having teachers and students as its ultimate beneficiaries. They have always proved to be the revolutionaries of the world. Teachers are capable of grooming many generations of students by putting effort into them and giving them appropriate guidance. When they share ideas with us Linways is always happy to take initiatives in implementing them. The experience that a teacher gains from their experience and selfless efforts are impeccable. They can easily identify the changes required in the education system from time to time, in order to mend with the transformations taking place in the education system suggestions from them are very essential.
As we continue to grow we expect to get the same support from our customers and we are indebted to all of them who have put up with amazing suggestions and ideas.
Though we want to mention the names of the teachers and well-wishers who’ve selflessly helped us in this journey, there’s an off chance we might forget somebody’s name.
We really don’t want that to happen, and that’s why we are refraining ourselves from naming. Everyone faces in our minds, and we’ll never forget the guidance and help that you’ve given us.
That’s how we stay excited and continue to create beautiful things upon our vision to improve the way the world is learning with the help of technology.
Also published on Medium.