What is the digitization of education? It’s a changing pattern of possibilities within teaching and learning. Digital learning frames the new reality of delivering high-quality and effective digital education. EdTech develops a variety of products and services which include everything from learning games to tutoring platforms.
The market analysis suggests that the EdTech market share would reach $40.9 billion by 2022. The reason for such vivid growth is the symbiosis of modern technologies with the best practices in education. Such an approach creates new trends in educational practices that no one could avoid in contemporary society.
Moreover, EdTech involves the solution to the previously unsolved issues, like creating digital learning platforms for creative and non-traditional skills, for example, car design specialists. If you always wanted to design your own car or you simply were always into the car designs’ trends, you have to check out Inktank.academy - the very first platform for car design online classes. You can watch a small sneak peak of what to expect from the e-Learning plarform.
Based on the personal experience of Inktank.academy web development, we will share the most relevant details about the product development process and web technologies that were used. So, whether you are a junior web developer or an entrepreneur who is willing to start a small business in EdTech we hope that this article will answer some of your questions.
Pain Points of the Online Education
So, before discussing the web development of the car design platform, let’s mention the main pain points of contemporary digital education, which were solved by the mentioned application.
The modern educational process is a mixture of schools’ classes, online courses, YouTube channels, books, podcasts, blogs, and search engines, like Google. Today we have plenty of channels to receive education and boost our knowledge, however, at the same time, users may experience certain pain points. Such pain points create dissatisfaction with the process of online education. For example, there are some of the mentioned pain points:
“Difficult to find the right resource to achieve the learning goals”. Currently, the excess of information could be a major problem in filtering the relevant digital courses for users. In that case, achieving the learning goals are more difficult than ever before.
“It’s difficult to find a mentor”. People got used to a certain level of mentorship when talking about learning. Nevertheless, some of the digital platforms don’t have this one-on-one practice when a student can ask questions or get clear visual instructions. As a result the impression of the learning process doesn't have much value.
“Courses are boring”. Quite often the courses are very basic in their curriculum with simple graphics and main bullet points without the depth into the learning subject. Consequently, the courses can be quite boring for the students.
“It’s not quite clear how to apply the acquired knowledge”. Since it’s much easier to learn about something rather than apply this knowledge in practice, the essence of practical usage of the learning might be twisted.
“What’s the impact of learning?”. Sometimes it could be hard to measure the progress and judge how far you’ve come along in anything you learn. Additionally, it’s quite unclear what the learning goals even are.
It's crucial to understand that online education provides a great opportunity for everyone, however, it’s not a panacea and certain pain points may occur. So, the new product which is entering the market should be focusing on solving these issues and provide a unique approach to certain challenges.
Precisely, inktank.academy was developed to make digital learning efficient and find solutions for the major challenges in the educational sector.
Inktank.academy: Revolutionizing Approach to e-Learning
Inktank.academy is an online platform dedicated to teaching car design. The platform offers courses with video tutorials that explain different aspects and techniques of car design.
So, if you always wanted to learn how to draw an awesome care design, this platform was developed specifically for you. The car design courses have no restrictions regarding the level of your skills and will be suitable for design students, design professionals, and design enthusiasts.
What is the Inktank Academy mission? The first and foremost purpose of the platform is to make high-quality car design teaching available for everybody. Whether you are studying a design field and want to be qualified as a car designer or you already working as product design and want to improve your skills - you will get a high-level course from the top professionals in the industry. One way or another the EdTech platform offers the online courses that start at a basic level and steadily develop its complexity throughout the course.
Moreover, inktank.academy has the aim to support design universities, students and professional car designers in their education, to improve their skills, knowledge and creativity. The team is willing to support everybody in the world to reach their goals in car design.
How does it work? The modern learning system suggests that every student can learn at his own pace, when and where is the most convenient for them. Moreover, the learning process is based on personal preferences which are more interested to learn for him/her at the moment. The process of e-learning is quite simple. You watch the course videos, make the assignments, upload your work and receive feedback. At this point, the smart combination of the videos, assignments, and system of feedback creates the individual learning experience.
We asked the inktank.academy product owners to comment on what was the inspiration to create such a platform? So, that’s what we’ve got:
- “Most LMS [Learning management system] out there are highly focused on theoretical subjects. They are great solutions to offer an education that is provided through dry text, images, and video. Our online academy is focused on a creative niche subject; Car design.
We don’t need a lot of the features that the conventional LMS’s offer and have specific needs which they do not offer. In our app, we deliver the content through videos and allow the students to upload their work on the assignments. Nothing special so far. What sets our platform apart is the feedback and social learning tools. We have created a great feedback tool that allows tutors to sketch over students’ uploads, giving them very precise and helpful feedback without having to leave the app. The feedback from other students and tutors (likes, comments, sketches) are directly linked to the skill areas of our subject, Car design. This way the students have a great overview of which skill areas they are strong in, and in which they can still improve."
Let’s discuss what is distinguish the Inktank from the other EdTech platforms:
The variety of skill areas. Hand sketching, digital sketching, modeling, creative methods, concept development, background knowledge - all of these and more are covered by the online academy.
More than 60 high-quality car design courses. The EdTech platform offers video-based courses recorded and produced by the professional film team. The high-resolution videos allow students to watch every single tiny element of sketching while the detailed explanations of the process shown will guide students in their learning experience.
A strong group of tutors. Having skilled tutors with an exceptional experience is the predominant reason for the success of the inktank.academy. The team consists of chief designers, design directors, exterior designs, etc.. who were working with brands such as Porsche, Bentley, Volkswagen, and Mercedes.
Interactive feedback. The feature that certainly stands out from the wide majority of the learning platforms, nowadays. While sharing and receiving feedback from tutors and the community, the student gets the essence of transparency in the digital learning process. Consequently, such practice helps to improve the work of the team and create new ideas for education.
Flexibility in learning. As with any other digital classroom, the platform suggests learning what you want and when you want it. Choose what to learn and do it buy your own speed.
Leveling system. You have the chance to get a certain number of experience points after you finish the course or when other students like your work. Besides, the coin system allows you to unlock the courses and level up to make better results.
The full spectrum of car design skills. If you are worrying that only people with a specific background can benefit from InTank - you are wrong. The platform covers the full spectrum of car design. So it’s no matter what level you have - from beginner to professional, from hand sketching to CAD modeling, from the first design to complete concepts - all that is matter your time and willingness to learn a new skill with the help of modern technological solutions.
The inktank.academy leaders elaborated on the main advantages of the product, how it will contribute the current market of EdTech and the scaling plans for the next 5 years:
“It is a bespoke solution for our niche product. By building it completely to our needs the end result is much cleaner and stronger than trying to force an existing LMS to our needs. Speaking of the market contribution it’s fair to say that LMS’s that fulfill the needs for creative fields are still very underdeveloped. Our app is a great addition to the market that serves our niche very well. Our app is currently focused on one specific niche in the creative field. We hope to expand the app functionality to be able to serve other creative fields as well.”
Inktank.academy: The Project in Development
In case you are wondering how to develop the EdTech web app or you’re currently working on a similar project, this section of the article will be useful to you. We will mention the main challenges that we face during the development process and the solutions that were implemented.
So, using a supplied prototype by the inktank.academy team, 2muchcoffee developed an eLearning platform from scratch. Our team used Angular to create a functional frontend, and REST API for a customized backend.
User roles. Educational platform related to professionalization in car design has 3 types of users:
Student - after becoming a member, has access to a variety of courses with different difficulty levels.
Tutor - has the option of adding his lessons for admin review and look through students' work after they have finished the course.
Admin - who has the option to add and edit content for students.
2muchcoffee contribution. Our team provided a full cycle development, including specification and docs preparing, project managing, Linux server setup and configuration, UI/UX designs creation, front-end development using Angular, back-end development using NodeJS and API integration, QA and testing, prototyping of PWA UI/UX structure.
What was the technical challenge? Integrate taxamo service into the existing payment model in the application, which means to make some additional layer between the application and the payment systems Stripe and Paypal.
What is the most difficult issue in terms of architecture/performance? Additional libraries for the implementation of this integration were not used, however, its implementation directly affected the architecture of the application on both the front and the backend.
Moreover, on the front end, our devs had to partially remake the registration system and completely remake the payment system, replacing the own custom form with the one prefaced by this library, etc.
Also, a lot of architectural changes had to be made on the backend. For example remaking, the receipt of web hooks, since now they had to be received through the taxamo service, and not from payment systems directly.
One of the issues that arose during the integration of taxamo was that we lost the ability to receive hooks about transaction errors from PayPal. The bottom line was that in the settings of the PayPal account it is possible to specify only one address for sending web hooks, and for the taxamo service to work here it was necessary to specify the address provided by the service itself, this condition is necessary for its operation. After that, we were no longer able to receive webhooks on our server, where the application backend is located, and, accordingly, perform the necessary actions if the payments were not successful. But since we still had the opportunity to independently access the payment system from the backend, it was decided to request the necessary data from the payment system on our own.
For this, crowns of tasks with certain logic were created, which in turn requested the necessary data in PayPal at the right time. Yes, of course, this greatly complicated the logic associated with the application working with PayPal, however, we needed to solve this situation in such a way that we could use both the PayPal payment system and the taxamo service and we succeeded. The created crowns themselves did not in any way overload the work of the server-side and did not degrade the application performance.
While the EdTech market is lacking the courses in creative niches - the inktank.academy goal was to change this pattern. Therefore, the idea of the Inktank team was to create a top-notch car design platform - something that turned out to be a great collaboration between both of our teams. Based on the brilliant idea our devs were able to develop robust and scalable products using the best practices of Angular.
At 2muchcoffee, we are always very conscious of the new trends in our niche market. Therefore, to be a part of such a web development project is to contribute to the future of EdTech.
Having 6 years of experience in full-cycle complex projects we are ready to assist projects with complex architecture, such as inktank.academy. The EdTech platform is the first digital learning application for everyone who wants to become a car designer. The platform incorporates the best industry trends and multimedia (video, assignments and the system of feedback) to create a smooth educational experience. You can try a one week for free to test the full power of the digital learning practice.