School Management Software

a comprehensive solution for digitalizing school management

System structure:

  • Cloud server
  • Web application

Industry

  • Education

Timeline

  • 6 months

Team composition:

Pavel, Software Engineer
Zakhar, Software Engineer
Hanna, Software Engineer
Lena, Project Manager
Anna, UX/UI Designer

Challenge:

School management software is a comprehensive solution for digitalizing school management, providing full control of the educational process, including all the roles involved. The software includes such functionality as curriculum board, lesson schedule, logbook, and so on.

Alex, CEO

Our customer reached us with a very common problem. To operate the educational process they have to use different managing systems for reporting, scheduling, working with the logbooks and class registers. Moreover, the systems were completely outdated and the management workflow varied greatly. The problem got worse during the pandemic when there was a need for remote work.

So the major request was to combine all the systems into one modern, multifunctional, and easy-to-use service, capable of managing a huge load of workflow.

The only thing we were provided with at the very beginning was superficial requirements of what this service should look like. Add here a limited budget, and you will see why the task became a real challenge.

Therefore, we have to not just develop the software but to create the whole system workflow, make a product design, and conduct the testing phase to assure the quality of the product and its being in accordance with the end user's requirements and expectations.

To achieve a goal having been set we had to conduct the research of the market, check and analyze all the existing solutions and have a close look at education systems of different regions. All these pre-actions were critical to creating an unprecedented solution.

A lot of time and effort was put into the automatic scheduling feature. This feature is worth talking about and could have been a complete project on its own because it is a unique solution, having no similar features in the market at the moment. 

As we have mentioned, the budget was strictly limited even for MVP, but the scope was impressive.

App Flow & Structure

Design

Anna, UX/UI Designer

Colours

Typography

Anna, UX/UI Designer

Solution

After careful research, we’ve realized that there was no overall decision at the market, so it would correspond in full to all the requirements. So we can say without hesitation that we’ve made a unique system, a comprehensive solution,  having the features of different software in one place.

We have worked on the project from the very beginning to the end, including such stages of the web application development services lifecycle as initial research, design, and so on. As a result, we have provided the customer with the software with unique features,  Automatic scheduling, Electronic school journal, Exams management. We will have a closer look at each of the main features further.

At this stage, we completed an MVP of SaaS solution, designed for school administration, teachers, students, and their parents roles. It allowed us to work within the limited budget. Today, two localizations are available - English and Arabic. The system still has points to refine, as the potential of such a system is limitless. However, the customer has a working program to collect feedback from users and attract investors now.

It’s scalable, modern, smooth design graphics and animations, clear colors, fast, user-friendly & self-intuitive, is secure, and accepts heavy user load.

 

Challenges and wins:

  • First, we had to make profound research on the client’s regional education system and the alternatives all around the world. That made our solution universal and applicable to the education system of any country. Just by clicking through the appropriate check-boxes, you customize the system to your needs.
  • We’ve also developed a design system. It makes the solution absolutely scalable and agile. It can easily be applied to new challenges and educational institutions.
Lena, Project Manager

According to our research, we fixed the logic and illustrated it through the modern and useful interface, implementing solutions that allow you to accumulate all the important functions in one space that are needed for high-quality and convenient school management.

Such projects often have interfaces like a terrible Excel document, but our interface is airy, not overloaded, user-friendly.

Interesting features we implemented:

Electronic school journal and analytics
Electronic school journal is a global but easy-to-use system, having amazing features for school workflow and processes analytics. For example, it’s possible to check the scores for a separate student, for the selected class, the school in general or to check the statistics relevant for the teacher or the school subject. Another amazing feature – the possibility to check the dynamics in different time periods. There’s also a possibility to define the access rules for different groups, as well as the access levels. Attendance logging and discipline notes are also included.
Exams management
Exams handling is also covered. The main challenge was to assign teachers and examined classes, in order to exclude a coincidence of the teacher and his class to be examined and distribute teachers’ load evenly. So now the algorithm itself selects the classes to be examined this semester and the teacher, excluding the one who is lecturing the class this year and prepares the class for exam.
“Fast start”
It’s always difficult to shift to a new software because a lot of data should be transferred too. Up to the customer’s request, we did our best to make the process as easy as it can be. In the end, we have created really suitable export and import of data, assuring a fast and convenient implementation of the software in the workflow. It was possible to download an Excel document with the students' list, and the students’ cards would be created automatically.
Automatic scheduling and Teaching plans
Composing the schedule is difficult administrative work, and there’s no open-source algorithms for it. So our automatic scheduling is a unique solution, having no analogs in the world today. We use a genetic algorithm to make it multipurpose, as if it was created manually by the human being. We’ve tried a few decisions, but there were hitches with equal distribution of the workload of teachers and students and the need to generate a different schedule every interaction. Moreover, there are variables such as teachers' days off, weekends, public holidays (which are different in different regions). During the production process, another problem was pointed out. We need to have an opportunity to edit the schedule. Therefore, we’ve got the one which takes into account the overwork / non-completion of teachers. Also, the annual schedule is duplicated in the current one which can be edited, and saved back to the annual.
Pavel, Software Engineer

For automatic scheduling we used a genetic algorithm, being a substring of the evolutionary algorithm, when math from biology is used. So to say, “under the hood” there's a simulation of mutation occurring and chromosome forming. As soon as the simulations are completed, the optimal option is picked, or the one, which is matching the inserted criteria best. 

In alternative solutions, presented in the market, the planning is realized with simple iterations. The final result has a lot of flows and faults, the number of events for the teachers are not balanced, so the teachers are often overloaded. In our case, the algorithm creates a collection of a couple of the schedule options. After that, it picks the best match. It looks like a survival of the fittest in natural selection. Genetic algorithm makes this selection possible 

But there are still a lot of points to rework. Nowadays, the algorithms we use do not include the setting and limitation of the beginning and the end of the classes for both students and teachers. The teachers load and so-called “hours for academic development” is not included in the calculation as well.

School Management Software

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