OpenMath was an innovator in the online education space when the vertical was still in its infancy. Their open source IMathAS platform enabled online math assessment and course management for a large and growing number of students at all levels of study. Schools, instructors, and students all liked the ease-of-use and the accuracy of results, and things were looking good. Except for one major problem. IMathAS was outdated. Built entirely from Plain Old PHP without an established environment/framework, implementing the platform meant extra work for learning institutions—what started off as the benefit of customizability and guaranteed compatibility was becoming a drawback in an age where everyone wants a ready-to-go software package. There were also some significant security concerns, and the platform as a whole wasn’t built to scale despite the clear market demand. OpenMath needed help to give IMathAS the full-package makeover it needed, and Zibtek was there to lend a hand.
New Math: Overhauls, Updates, and Ultimate Usability
Zibtek took the functionality and accuracy that made people love IMathAS and built a robust and responsive framework around it, making it easier to implement and even easier to use. With support for multiple user types (Admin, Group Admin, Teacher, Student, etc.) and a mobile-responsive user interface, OpenMath’s brainchild was ready to meet a major growth spurt. Our US-based project lead worked closely with the team at OpenMath and with our offshore developers to build the modern online learning tool IMathAS was always meant to be. The PHP framework Yii 2 was used for the backbone of the upgraded platform’s functionality, with a surrounding environment built on MySQL, Bootstrap, and HTML5—fully compliant, fully responsive, easy to implement on the institution-side and completely compatible with any web-enabled device. This would have been enough to help OpenMath grow the way it wanted to, but we weren’t done yet. A complete messaging system to allow on-platform communication between students and instructors was built into the framework, as was grade book functionality that made marking, tracking and viewing grades far more efficient for teachers and administrators. Our developers built a forum for more open discussions about the math concepts and assignments groups of students were working on, and support for language and cultural adaptation was added. And of course, Zibtek plugged up all the security holes and conducted a full quality assessment of the finished platform to ensure it lived up to its potential.
Multiply Your Resources, Not Your Costs
OpenMath had some options when it came to upgrading their IMathAS platform. Because they went with Zibtek, they got everything they were looking for and then some, and it all happened quickly and under budget—an especially important consideration for an open source project. Our unique way of outsourcing provides top talent and complete scalability at a fraction of the cost of in-house talent and with way more control and communication than traditional offshore outsourcing. Want to see what the Zibtek difference can do for you? Drop us a line and let us know what you’re looking for!