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Cambridge Assessment English

Cambridge Assessment English

8 minutes of reading

Discovery: to spread knowledge, mobility

Answer fast: What would be your strategy to quickly spread an idea around the world?

What if it wasn’t an idea but a language instead?

Unsurprisingly, English is the most widely studied language in the world.

It is estimated that there are around 1.5 billion English speakers around the world. The number seems striking, however it represents only 20% of the planet’s inhabitants.

It is clear that there is still plenty of room to grow. But the question is: How to excite English learners around the world?

How to do it easily, quickly and cheaply?

These were the questions that Cambridge English Assessment, one of Cambridge University’s department, considered one of the best universities in the world, asked Bravi.

Recognized as one of the largest English language schools in the world, Cambridge Assessment English provides proficiency certifications for over 5 million people each year and is co-creator and co-owner of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the world’s most important English language proficiency exam for immigration and higher education.

The exam is used by more than 25.000 educational institutions, employers and government agencies to validate English proficiency levels, and it is directly associated with the credibility of Cambridge University, a 800-year-old institution.

For a long time, the University has focused on assessing and measuring the quality of language teaching. However, they realized it was necessary to go beyond and start spreading their know-how on the subject to learners around the world.

In order to contribute to this purpose, Cambridge University decided to invest in mobile learning. Their goal was to unite the smartphone’s popularity with the concept of gamification; however, the University didn’t know how to do that.

Thus, here is where Bravi’s journey with the University of Cambridge begins.

Journey: costumization as a solution

Challenged with the mission of developing an application capable of spreading knowledge of the English language globally, Bravi did not think twice before bringing Bravi Quiz into play.

Bravi Quiz was already a fully validated product, developed on a question and answer format that allows users to challenge one another in fun knowledge battles.

Bravi Quiz is usually used by companies interested in exploring gamification and mobile learning in their employee training programs.

For a moment, think about a company that wants to leverage staff knowledge about a particular routine within the company, such as installing management software.

Quiz allows employees to be educated using their mobile devices, indispensable resources these days. This practice is known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).

From a platform standpoint, Quiz stands out for being a white label application. This means it is possible to use the app structure while customizing its features to attend each customer’s needs.

When it comes to Quiz Your English, as the app was named, the development team faced two major challenges, one related to the implementation of new features and another related to the system design that would allow the app to achieve global coverage. 

Let’s discuss each one of them further so we can better understand the project complexities. 

Among the features developed exclusively for this project, there are paid and closed topics (accessed with a code).

This paid topics feature enabled Cambridge to provide users more in-depth preparation.

Since the app’s purpose is for users to challenge other players from all over the world in a fast and fun game, the technology must meet all the necessary requirements for such a bold idea to work.

It means that a user in London with a 5G network must be able to compete with a user on a GPRS network in Cambodia without the application crashing.

In order to achieve this stability it is important to invest in great mobile development practices.

Besides strictly following the Android and iOS development guidelines, Bravi was also highly invested in establishing great quality assurance processes. Bravi searched for the most widely used devices worldwide and supplied them to the agile team involved in the project, guaranteeing a flawless experience for all users.

In practice, it was a quality process leveraged in data analysis and test automation, so the team would be able to validate the app features across multiple devices.

Finally, another solution that had to be implemented during the Quiz Your English development process concerned the backend system, since, in order to support the increased data load, the application required constant adaptations.

We moved from a traditional data center architecture in Germany to Google Cloud in England. All to evolve the backend and accommodate the data management and security demands.

All of these difficulties have been overcome so the app runs smoothly on all devices, assuring a pleasant user experience.

That being said, let’s move on to the next session where we will be talking about the app’s user experience.

Experience: knowledge battles to promote learning

It’s not difficult to understand why Quiz Your English was such a success from the start.

When we say success, we’re talking about over 650,000 successful app downloads in over 150 countries.

When downloading the application, users choose between creating a registration or logging in with their Google or Facebook account. From there, they can select the content difficulty level (from beginner to advanced) to start battling with other players. All questions require an answer to be given within ten seconds, which makes the game even more agile and dynamic. Those who provide correct answers faster get more points. After five questions are answered, the winner is calculated based on who scored the most points.

These Quiz Your English features have captivated the audience and justify its success: gamification, usability, learning, engagement, practicality and repetition, to name a few.

Let’s try to explain how the game works while addressing these topics separately and briefly.

It all starts with a buzzword: gamification. Put yourself in the shoes of those who need to improve their language skills. Imagine attending classes in an old classroom, going over textbooks, doing a lot of homework and taking traditional tests in order to learn a language. It can be not only tiring but boring as well.

Gamification allows users to have fun while learning. This is the foundation of Quiz Your English.

Usability specifically concerns the user experience. The app is fast, functional, intuitive and very easy to use. For this reason, it has been a popular tool among English learners all around the world.

Learning is measured by the knowledge acquired while playing the game. Users engage with the app as they perceive the quality of the content and realize how fast they are evolving while having fun on the platform.

Engagement with the platform is achieved by a number of factors related to the platform’s gamification: the ability to challenge friends, the ranking that encourages continuous improvement, and performance monitoring.

But maybe none of this would make sense to users if the app wasn’t practical: the app consists of battles that last up to one minute or so, involving 5 questions of 10 seconds each. This way, users can play a game in the supermarket checkout line, or several in the office reception, for example.

Microlearning: small (but repetitive) learning cycles, where instead of focusing on a particular activity for one hour, the exercises are diluted into small parts over days and weeks. This is exactly why the app provides such fast content absorption.

Finally, the app is such a success because it is fun. While it interests those who want to learn the language, it is also attractive to those who are exhausted and looking for entertainment that is also somewhat productive.

Results: a true global reach

Now that you understand Bravi’s discovery process, journey, and experience with Cambridge University, it’s time to showcase the impressive Quiz Your English results obtained along the way.

The most significant number refers to the total app downloads: more than 650 thousand, between Android and iOS devices.

The amount of users is a bit smaller yet impactful: there are 554 thousand users being challenged in English battles. The number is smaller than the amount of downloads as some users downloaded the application more than once.

We are proud to say that Quiz Your English has reached all the corners of the world, since app users are currently playing from 150 different countries.

Since the app release date, 6.9 million matches have been played, and every day, an average of 18,000 battles are completed.

Users tend to spend on average 4.5 minutes per day playing the game, showing how the concept of micro-learning has been well received by the public.

Finally, we are proud to say that the success of Quiz Your English has been recognized in Brazil.

Technology professionals have published an article on Techtudo’s website recommending Quiz Your English to their users. In the article, readers are exposed to a series of positive app feedback, such as “simple design and easy to use interface” and “fun gameplay with extra items to use”.

These professionals rated the app with a 9.5 overall score, a 10 for game interface, usability and performance, and an 8 for functionality. “It’s very useful for those who have attended classes in the past and need to continue practicing. The download is free and certainly worth it, ” conclude the professionals.

More than an excellent example of how gamification can achieve impressive numbers, the partnership between Bravi and Cambridge Assessment English has shown that when the same purpose brings companies together, great results are inevitable consequences.