Learnosity Demo Site

We recently launched a Demo site showcasing our question types, features, authoring platform and reporting options. Learnosity Demo

Authors, clients and anyone interested in interactive assessment can use the Demo site to test the functionality of our products. Try authoring different question types, browse the various reports that can be generated or test the functionality of our features.

Developers can download the entire site to experiment with integration into individual platforms and for easy reference all the code is directly accessible via GitHub.

Learnosity Feature Update – Math Formula Question

Simple equation entry

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 3.40.42 pm

The equation editor allows users to easily input simple or more complex math or scientific expressions with zero training.   The convenient toolbar enables entry with a mouse, and shows the keyboard shortcuts so students can become even quicker at filling in complex math responses.

Template questions

Response positions

The equation editor also allows templates to be created which allows authors to ask complex questions where some parts of the formula are editable, and some parts are not editable.  There can be multiple areas which are editable in any question.

Powerful Validation

Validated response

Authors will have the ability to enter an equation within the Authoring site and generate correct responses using the systems algorithmic capability. Learnosity use several methods to calculate responses including checking that a response is symbolically equivalent, literally equivalent and that it has the same mathematical value.

Visit the Demo site and try it out

 

New Features – Calculator, Ruler and Protractor

We’ve recently added some great new features to the Learnosity toolkits.

Calculator and Scientific Calculator

The basic calculator and scientific calculator features have been released.  The basic calculator does exactly what is says on tin – providing a convenient 4 function calculator for students right when they need it.scientificcalc

The scientific calculator provides an extension to the basic calculator, new functions include sine, cosine, tangent, exponential, logarithm, pi and the ability to change the mode of the calculator from degrees to radians. The basic 4 function or scientific calculator can be embedded into all Learnosity Apps that use the Questions API

Docs and Demo

Ruler and Protractor Tools

rulerprotractor

The ruler and protractor form part of the new image tool feature. The ruler (15cm, 30cm, 6in, 12in) and protractor can be rotated, dragged and embedded into all Learnosity Apps that use the Questions API, custom defined images can also be supported.  These are available in our new v2 Questions API.

Docs and Demo

Migrating to WebRTC for Audio

The first embeddable question that Learnosity created allowed an easy and seamless way for audio capture to be included in assessment.  We use Flash as it’s is was the only technology that allowed us to do this.   However Google have been pushing the WebRTC standard and we’ve been tracking that closely.  Recently enough of the standard has been implemented in Chrome (for desktop) that we’ve been able to replicate the functionality that Flash has been providing and which will allow us to make audio recording more seamless and prevalent.  We expect that Chrome on Android will be functional in the very near future at which point we’ll be integrating this into our core platform.  Check out our current WebRTC demo.

Update: On android platform Firefox Beta and Chrome Beta now support this functionality.

 

Jobs in Dublin: Business Development & Project Management

Learnosity are looking for a couple of bright people to join our business development & sales support team in the IFSC in Dublin.

Who are Learnosity?

We are a multi-award winning technology company who are shaping the future of digital education by providing assessment technology to educational providers worldwide. With offices in Dublin and Sydney (and a New York one in the works) we’re well on our way to becoming a global company, yet are still small enough for you to directly contribute to the year-on-year growth of the company.

What is the role?

Given the size of the company your role will be dynamic and varied, giving you the opportunity to develop existing skills and also to learn new ones. Key areas in which you may be involved include:

  • Account Management

You will be a point of contact between the tech team in Sydney and our clients in Ireland, the UK and the USA; responsible for ensuring that your clients’ needs are appropriately communicated to the dev team and all bugs and issues are resolved in a timely manner.

  • Sales Support

You will need to acquire a thorough understanding of our product suite so that you can support our customers by delivering client training and support. You may also be asked to help with drafting client proposals, functional specs and expressions of interest.

  • Operations & Technical PM

Key areas of responsibility include issuing progress reports, monitoring downtime, highlighting areas of risk and suggesting process improvements.

Given that our technical team is based in Sydney we anticipate that you may be asked to spend a couple of weeks in Sydney to familiarise yourself with our product suite.

Who are we looking for?

We want some great all rounders who are flexible and can quickly adapt to changing requirements and priorities. This is a great opportunity to join a rapidly expanding technology company where you can take ownership of a role and make it your own.

You will need:

  • a great attitude, and willingness to tackle any problem
  • a high focus on attention to detail
  • excellent communication and interpersonal skills

You are:

  • self-motivated and comfortable taking full ownership of projects
  • happy to work independently yet also a team player eager to take on new challenges
  • able to cope with pressure and to meet tight deadlines
  • constantly looking for ways to improve existing processes & highlighting areas for review

It would be advantageous if you have:

  • a degree in Business Information Systems or similar
  • an inherent and natural flair for software (you don’t have to be a programmer, just comfortable with technology)

At Learnosity we know that our people are core to our success. With diverse backgrounds, talents and personalities our team is made up of really smart, passionate and dedicated people who take their work – but not themselves – seriously. Expected salary range: €25,000 – €30,000 depending on experience.

If this sounds like the job for you, email a covering letter – explaining why you’ll be great – and your CV to careers@learnosity.com

Please use “Learnosity Ireland – Your Name” as the subject of the email.

 

Web Developer Jobs in Sydney

Learnosity are looking for a couple of bright junior or mid level web developers to join our systems engineering team in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

We are a multi-award winning technology company who are shaping the future of digital education by providing assessment technology to educational providers worldwide. With offices in Dublin and Sydney (and a New York one in the works) we’re well on our way to becoming a global company yet are still small enough for you to take ownership of your domain and see your coding in direct action.

Learnosity web developer

We are looking for some great all round web developers but specialisations in one or more of the following areas will really help:

  • UX Design and usability
  • Automated testing and Test Driven Development (TDD)

If successful you will:

  • work with, learn from, and contribute to an incredibly strong developer team
  • use plenty of JavaScript, PHP, ColdFusion and some other languages
  • create robust cloud based systems used by students globally
  • design new interactive question types
  • get to experiment with cutting edge technologies and contribute to the company product roadmap

You will need:

  • a great attitude, and willingness to tackle any problem
  • 1 to 4 years of experience developing web applications
  • fluent written & spoken English

You will be:

  • a team player who likes to get involved with new challenges
  • passionate about technology  & keen to continue learning

It would be great if you have:

  • a degree in Computer Science, Engineering or similar.
  • been contributing to open source projects
  • experience with PHP, Python or Java
  • version Control System experience (Git and SVN)

At Learnosity we know that our people are core to our success. With diverse backgrounds, talents and personalities our developer team is made up of really smart, passionate and dedicated people who take their work – but not themselves – seriously.

Typically your role will be project based, working closely with a team of 3 or 4 and reporting directly to your Development Manager. Working with the latest technology means that we’re all learning every day and that your ideas and suggestions can directly impact the company’s product roadmap.

If this sounds like the job for you, email a covering letter explaining why you’ll be great and your resume to careers@learnosity.com – no agencies please.

Railo DSN Allow permissions

I got asked a question by one of our sysadmins earlier about permissions on railo DSN’s. I had usually just set the permissions in the admin and then copied the resulting values into our puppet configs. But a quick dig through the source code and I found the full low down.

This is a typical DSN connection line from the railo-web.xml.cfm

 <data-source allow="15" blob="false" class="org.gjt.mm.mysql.Driver" clob="false" connectionTimeout="1" custom="characterEncoding=UTF-8&autoReconnect=true&useUnicode=true&allowMultiQueries=true&useOldAliasMetadataBehavior=true&jdbcCompliantTruncation=true&tinyInt1isBit=true&zeroDateTimeBehavior=exception" database="dbname" dsn="jdbc:mysql://{host}:{port}/{database}" host="localhost" metaCacheTimeout="60000" name="datasourcename" password="dbpassword" port="3306" storage="false" username="dbusername" validate="false"/>

The field I was interested in was allow=”15″.

In the file: railo-java/railo-loader/src/railo/runtime/db/DataSource.java I got the details:

1 SELECT
2 DELETE
4 UPDATE
8 INSERT
16 CREATE
32 GRANT
64 REVOKE
128 DROP
256 ALTER

Some handy values:

  • 1 – SELECT only
  • 15 – SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE

It’s great to be able to get right into the source to get the full details of what the system is doing.

Cheers,
Mark

Job: DevOps/Linux Engineer in Sydney, Australia

Learnosity are looking for a DevOps/Linux Engineer to join our growing team in Sydney

Learnosity is multi award winning company which provides assessment technology to the largest education publishers and assessment companies globally. With offices in Dublin and Sydney we deliver millions of assessments every year to users on 6 continents.

You will:

  • Work with the development teams to get application code released into production
  • Monitor systems to ensure they are all performing efficiently
  • Actively look for ways to improve operations and deployment
  • Develop scripts to automate every repetitive task

You will need:

  • Experience working with secure, high performance and high availability Linux systems
  • Experience with Cloud infrastructure and virtualisation.
  • Strong understanding of networking and systems architecture
  • Experience of administering web servers for high availability sites;

You will be:

  • a team player who likes to get involved with new challenges
  • keen to continue learning new technologies
  • passionate about technology

It would be great if you have:

  • A degree in Computer Science, Engineering or similar.
  • been contributing to open source projects
  • Experience with PHP, Python or Java
  • Version Control System experience (Git and SVN)

This is a full time role where you’ll be working with an awesome team in a great office based in Sydney's CBD. Using cutting edge technology and systems you’ll have a chance to get on board with a rapidly expanding company. Salary commensurate with experience.

If this sounds like the job for you, email a covering letter explaining why you'll be great and your resume to careers@learnosity.com – no agencies please.

Cloudfront performance testing

We're in the process of rolling out Amazon Cloudfront on our systems as the next step in enhancing performance for our customers and users.

While I was confident that it would make a difference I wanted to get an understanding of exactly how much of a difference it would make to an end user, so I performed to basic A/B testing of page load with and without the CDN enabled.

The testing was performed from our Sydney office using Amazon Cloudfront which has a CDN Point of Presence in Sydney, and the main application was running from our staging environment in Amazon's North California data center.

The results were significantly better than I was expecting and are best illustrated by the picture below:

Chart of performance of CDN vs No CDN

Key findings:

  • Time to load complete was reduced by 35% (~2 seconds)
  • All of the gain was in the time between DomReady and the Onload firing
  • It's definitely worth the effort

The other key question that was asked around the office was is it worth the effort given it's only on first page load and we aggressively cache all the static assets, so for most users it won't matter.

The two counter arguments to this are:

  • First impressions count – so every page load should be fast
  • As this is a SAAS model we do upgrades frequently – which even for existing users will invalidate their cached data

So, we'll definitely be rolling it out over the coming weeks and months to more and more of our systems.