However, our researchers have also conducted a survey among Estonian schools and the results show that there are many bottlenecks as well in our digital services of our education.
The main problems that emerged are the fragmentation of the digital services used, the need to create multiple user accounts on different platforms, the complexity of monolithic learning management systems (e.g. Moodle) and the scarcity of analytics functionalities on online learning platforms. To provide solutions to these problems, NetGroup and Tallinn University started with a development project, to develop a new learning management service system.
The aim of the project is to create a working prototype of a new generation smart web-based learning management system for general education schools based on the needs of users (teachers, students, school leaders and education officials).
The Tallinn University Centre for Educational Technology has been conducting research on innovative learning environments and digital learning materials for over ten years. As a result, an education technology research group completed a concept of the next generation digital learning ecosystem, from which the initial prototype was developed. The prototype was developed using a user-friendly design research method, and for each iteration, students, teachers, school leaders and school representatives were brought to the design sessions to provide feedback and ideas. In the last iteration, the solution was piloted in two different schools.
As a result of the project, NetGroup received the necessary input for the development of the Schoolaby learning environment, which is planned to be tested in Estonian schools in the coming months, and further plans are to export it to foreign markets as well.
The most important innovations of the created solution include interoperability with the most used information systems in schools (e.g. Estonia’s eKool, Opiq, eKoolikott). The Schoolaby platform has the ability to connect with different learning apps. Additionally, it also has a learning analytics dashboard for school leaders and school administrators that supports data-driven digital innovation management.
Based on the experience gained in the spring of last year, it can be said that the need for such a web-based platform is likely to grow exponentially in Estonian and in schools abroad, allowing school leaders and school administrators to be better prepared.
The developers were:
Mart Laanpere, Senior Research Fellow in Educational Technology at the School of Digital Technologies
Priit Tammets, Analyst at the School of Digital Technologies
Ilja Šmorgun, Associate Professor of Interaction Design