SEVEN youths have come together to develop an educational app for students sitting for the BAC II examinations.
Called Tesdopi, the app offers multiple-choice exercises in three subjects – mathematics, chemistry and physics – that students can practice. If any question is answered incorrectly, a video tutorial on that particular question will pop up so that the student can learn from the mistake.
Tesdopi CEO Srun Sovan, 29, says the app helps students to track their progress in the subject matter they are weakest in.
“Through the app, students can clearly see what area of any subject they have mastered and what they continue to be weak in. And it helps them to improve over time.
“Students will also learn to think strategically as they approach a particular question and master the various concepts, especially in mathematics and physics. Ultimately, they can measure their competency,” she says.
Since its launch on August 4, more than 1,000 students have downloaded the app to measure their competence in the three subjects. The majority of those using the app were preparing for their BAC II exam which was held on August 20.
However, Sovan says Tesdopi goes further than the BAC II examinations. It also enables “data-rich” learning which makes both learning and teaching more efficient and effective.
She says by using a “Mastery-Learning concept”, students can be the masters of their own learning experience by studying at their own pace and saving time.
“Teachers and school administrators can also use Tesdopi to assess their students’ progress in real time, and provide remedial solutions as and when required,” Sovan says.
The seven members who developed the app, she says, were made up of a Fulbright scholar, an education specialist, an IT technician, and a National Mathematics Olympics contestant, while the project implementers were experienced in handling various social media campaigns.
Being passionate about the project, the team invested their own money to create the app, Sovan says.
“It took two months of research and conducting surveys with students, teachers and education experts before Tesdopi was finalised. We wanted to make it user-friendly and of benefit to students, which is why so much of care was taken in its development,” she says.
On why the app was developed in the first place, she says the team noticed that a lot of students were stressed out when examinations approached.
“Many found it difficult to identify exactly what area of a particular subject they were good at and where they were weak and needed help. This formed the premise of developing the app in the first place.
“We also noticed that students used a lot of worksheets when practising their lessons, even though it is just as important to know the right approach to answering the questions. This takes practice to achieve which is also something that Tesdopi provides,” she says.
Sovan says the app is unique in that with it, students can assess their competence and abilities without being constrained by time as in an examination setting.
“This is important because the app stresses on learning and strategy to approach the main lessons and exercises that appear frequently in examinations,” she says.
For now, the app is only available to Android users. However, many students have asked for an iOS version.
“We have not worked on an iOS version as yet. Also, having internet connectivity is a requirement to use the app, but this is difficult for students who live in the outskirts of the towns and provincial cities where such services are poor,” she says.
Hence, she says the team has been updating Tesdopi to version 7.0 and resolving some of the initial bugs which caused it to crash in the earlier versions.
“Based on user feedback, plans are being made to further develop the app so that it can work without the need for internet services and to make it available to those using the iOS system as well,” Sovan says.
Also, the app as it currently stands is based on an “exercise” model of learning. So the team is planning to build a better version where lessons can be categorised such that students can practice the relevant exercises correctly and complete learning each chapter within a set time.
Sovan stressed that the app does not use timing or duration as a base for the exercises. This, she says, is because the team wanted “learning” as the measurement instead of time.
“In Cambodia, we use the timing as the measurement, and then learning, so some students might catch on with the lesson while some can’t do so within a given timeframe. And we want to change that system of learning,” she says.