Re-coding learning

Sci-Code’s platform aims to improve how programming is taught and learned

Sci-code

Photo: Sci-Code / InnoMag
The team behind Sci-Code.

Vegard Skjervheim
InnoMag.no

Today’s education system is not good enough when it comes to learning coding and programming, believe the entrepreneurs behind Sci-Code. By providing a platform for software and tools for teachers, content creators, institutions, and students, their goal is to make the learning process more enjoyable, more visual, and easier to access.

The entrepreneurs met while studying at the University of Agder. They were all looking for people with the same work ethic as themselves—an ethic in stark contrast to the “do-just-enough-to-get-a-job” attitude they think is strong among many students.
“We are very ambitious people and strongly believe in what we are doing,” says Magnus Lysfjord, CEO of Sci-Code.

Non-theoretical and interactive

Sci-Code is registered at InnoBørs, “Norway’s independent innovation exchange where the good ideas meet capital and competence.” In addition to Lysfjord, the core team includes COO Tarek Rahou and CTO Simen Fossnes. Shradha Venkittaramanan is a business analyst and part of the marketing team.

The goal of the Sci-Code learning platform is to help the education sector learn programming languages in a non-theoretical and interactive way.

“With the abundance of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) jobs in the market, we realized that a global solution for knowledge dissemination is necessary to continue to be in line with the democratization of technology,” says Lysfjord. “This means improving and optimizing the over-obvious shortcomings of our current education system—a system we have all experienced painfully as university students.

“Lean content manufacturing”

Sci-Code offers an arena where teachers, students, and developers can come together. Some of the key features when learning ICT with Sci-Code is monitoring and documenting performance, an effective feedback system, continuous guiding through the program, algorithm visualization, and a rich library that can be easily adapted to multiple languages.

The idea is that the platform should offer value through all stages of the learning process: “Content owners need tools for efficient production, driving and sharing of engaging content, and interactive exercises for ICT,” says Fossnes. “Teachers need a reliable platform where they can find the information and content they need to learn about ICT. Students need stimulating content. In addition, it is necessary to document the learning process to know if we are moving in the right direction, and to structure the curriculum better to be more adaptable to working life demands.”

“Instead of spending weeks on creating interactive coding tasks, like at Codeacademy, our lean content manufacturing system enables any expert to create learning software in any language, in minutes, without having to code,” Lysfjord adds.

Positive feedback

The product is still under development, and the team currently runs five pilots at Asker youth schools and one at the University of Agder. So far, the feedback has been positive, says Rahou.

“Our customers believe that the platform will definitely lower the threshold to start programming for many students,” said Rahou. “The head of the Center for Artificial Intelligence Research, associated with the University of Agder, also believes in the ability the platform has to visualize the dynamics of complex AI algorithms and that it helps students to practice such algorithms.”

Now the team wants to raise funds for further development of the platform. They applied for NOK 1.5 million from InnoBørs.

“Since we are in an early phase of product launch, we meet our potential investors by chance and at mechanical engineering events, at incubators, and at conferences—for example, at our presentation at the Opera House during Aftenposten’s ATech conference. We receive regular guidance and feedback from our partners—including the Research Council—which helps us to move in the right direction,” concludes Venkittaramanan.

This article was originally published in Norwegian in the April 24, 2018, issue of innomag.no (www.innomag.no/ukens-grundercase-vil-gjore-ikt-enklere-og-mer-tilgjengelig-med-egen-laeringsplattform).

This article originally appeared in the July 13, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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