Interview: Two years retrospective
This month DigiExam celebrates two years on the market. After several years of research and development, DigiExam finally saw the light of day in May 2014. Two years later over 1000 schools are connected, more than 200 000 examinations written and a lot of teachers and students have replaced pen and paper in favour of digital exams.
We sat down with one of the DigiExam founders, Nima Marefat, to talk about technical developments, responsibility and the DigiExam mission. DigiExam regularly receives questions regarding ways of cheating and possible workarounds. In line of the company’s desire to be transparent and straightforward, some of these general questions are answered in this interview.
When you free teachers of repetitive administration tasks, you allow for more energy focused on creative and meaningful education. Our mission at DigiExam is to provide teachers and students with an effective assessment tool that simplifies their day-to day lives.
We talked and listened to a lot of teachers. From all over the world. We realized that the desire to minimize monotone tasks, like sorting, grading and creating exams- was universal. Teachers in Sweden, India and US have the same passion for teaching and the same aversions against time consuming admin. So DigiExam set out to minimize as much as possible of these, necessary but not so stimulating, tasks.
Firstly, it was to develop a reliable and easy-to-use product. Secondly, it was to set the user’s expectations on a reasonable level. Today we are really proud of our product. When we deliver DigiExam to a new school, it’s with great confidence we can say- It is going to work.
We constantly strive to stay ahead and adapt to customer feedback, regulations and technical demands. As it should be, the product is constantly improving. We maintain a high level of security and reliability and are constantly focused on making the experience as intuitive and user friendly as possible. This is our no.1 priority. Our aim is to improve the assessment experience for teachers and students, by saving them time through digitizing the process. It is not to eliminate all forms of test-cheating attempts; that is neither our, nor the school’s mission. The focus lies on enabling teachers to provide meaningful education to all students.
As all digital products, there is no such thing as 100% security in every aspect, forever. To claim such a thing would be naïve. If the Pentagon and similar organizations and companies with practically unlimited amounts of resources can be hacked, so can we. It’s important to be aware of the risks and act to anticipate and prevent them. When DigiExam is downloaded from us, or we provide teachers with an account, we can safely say that it does work in a secure and reliable way. However, just like when you buy for example a TV or a car, you can’t screw them apart, add some extra homemade technology, and then claim your guarantee from the supplier. The same logic applies to source code. When offering a service, like DigiExam, we will always have to allocate large resources to protect us and our developers hard work behind the products DNA.
Together with the passionate team at DigiExam I would like to thank all of our customers from the heart. Some have been with us from the start, and some are new to the DigiExam family. Together we have learned a lot from these past two years and I can promise that we are doing our best to deliver a great product in every aspect and to always be at your service.