Teaching children how to code: how CodeFever uses data for success

We had a pleasant conversation with Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever. She introduced us to their business, why they needed dashboards inside their platform, and how it supports their mission to educate children in digital programming skills. Read the interview with Fien below!

What is CodeFever?

CodeFever is a Belgian startup in education. They organize programming classes and coding camps for children, in order to teach them coding skills in a fun way.

CodeFever teaching children how to code

The Belgian education system does not yet include programming as part of their trajectory at such a young age. As a response, CodeFever decided to take the matter into their own hands, and offer longer-term trajectories for children who want to learn programming.

Coding initiation sessions for children have been around for a while, but those are usually without obligation, or simply one-time lessons. Fien explains:

“This is where we tackle things differently. We are the first to offer a full trajectory for children’s programming. It’s more than just an introduction: we guide and teach them basic programming skills in a customized program, so they really get the knack of it.”

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

Dashboards as an instrument for measuring student enrollment

CodeFever uses Cumul.io embedded inside their learning platform. The CodeFever team uses this platform to manage enrollments into their program. In order to share more insights across their organization, they decided to add Cumul.io dashboards to their application. Fien explains:

“The opening page of our platform shows a dashboard with the enrollment statistics for this season. In that way, everyone at the office is constantly up-to-date on the number of students enrolled, how they are divided between course levels, new vs. returning students, how we are performing against our enrollment target, and more.”

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

This dashboard is shared with all colleagues, to constantly align the team on their common goal. On top of that, there are a few dashboards that are only available to admins. Basically, those dashboards contain more information on payments, demographic information, and information on how the parents found out about CodeFever.

Sample of embedded dashboards in CodeFever
The dashboard above is a sample dashboard with fake data, merely used to illustrate the look & feel of the dashboards inside the CodeFever platform.

They use the dashboards mostly to analyze global trends in their enrollment statistics, or to compare across seasons. They have built a nice interface on top of this, which makes it easy for any employee or admin to browse through the dashboards and select the one they want to analyze in more detail.

This can all be done directly from the CodeFever platform. Thanks to the security mechanism of Cumul.io, Fien can easily set rules on who has access to which dashboards.

The next step: a reporting module for teachers

CodeFever has been using Cumul.io for a few years now. While they started out, using it for operational efficiency, they soon saw the need for sharing insights with their teachers as well. Fien was a CodeFever teacher herself, before she started working fulltime for the company. She explains how she already saw the need for more data insights back then as a teacher:

“Whenever I tested the students with a small quiz, I realized that I had absolutely no idea what each single student answered. Some students probably knew the answer, but others might have just followed the group in an act of group pressure. There was no way I could measure for individual students how well they picked up on the subject matter.”

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

CodeFever teaching children how to code

As a result, they introduced a new way of running quizzes. Instead of asking questions in group, they developed small tests and projected the questions in class, so students could answer individually by clicking a button. To evaluate these results, they are currently developing new dashboards in Cumul.io:

“As we were already using Cumul.io for course enrollment, I immediately saw the value it could add for teachers. If we could show them how many children passed the test, which questions they answered correctly or wrongly, top & bottom students of the class,… our teachers would be able to adjust courses where needed, and take the right actions in class more confidently.”

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

 

This chart contains dummy data of imaginary students, and is just an example representation of the visualizations used in the CodeFever platform.

Why embedding, instead of programming it yourself?

Just like the enrollment dashboards, they will also embed the teacher dashboards inside their platform. Because they are using Cumul.io for building & embedding the dashboards, CodeFever can gradually roll out new reporting features in a relatively fast and easy way. Fien confirms this would have cost her a lot of time if she needed to develop the dashboards from scratch:

“Because we were already working with Cumul.io internally, we never even considered this approach. Sure, I can quite easily program a bar chart myself, but with Cumul.io, I had a much wider range of advanced charts available. And it all just looks so nice. Programming this myself simply wouldn’t make sense. Why waste time to reinvent the wheel?

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

Ease of use as the main value driver

Fien manages the dashboards end-to-end, from creation to embedding. She talks positively about her experiences with Cumul.io:

“I’m a fan of statistics, so building the dashboards is right up my alley. I love that it has so many special chart types, like the sunburst chart. On top of that, Cumul.io is really easy to navigate so it’s pretty simple to create or adapt new dashboards fast. And if I can’t find the solution right away, the support team is always super fast to help me.”

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

Sample of embedded dashboards in CodeFever
SThe dashboard above is a sample dashboard with fake data, merely used to illustrate the look & feel of the dashboards inside the CodeFever platform.

In addition to the dashboarding, as a developer Fien has seen the integration capabilities of Cumul.io improve over time. She was one of Cumul.io’s early adopters when we had just launched our integration. Because they rebuilt part of their platform since then, she has recently done the Cumul.io integration again from scratch.

“Back in 2018, I remember struggling a bit with the integration, but the support team helped me a lot. Now, when I redid the integration, I was really blown away. It had become so easy to integrate, I was able to pull it off in a flash. I don’t think I asked more than 2 questions, everything was super well documented.

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

Conclusion

To round off, we asked Fien the question: “What is the biggest value of the embedded dashboards for you?” In short, she told us it’s the efficiency gain, and the sense of oversight.

“What I personally like is, whenever colleagues ask me for specific data, I can just point them towards the dashboards. I don’t have to pull stuff manually from the database, or provide updates every 2 weeks. The data updates automatically. And most of all, it just makes our data so much more visual, and organized.”

Fien Spriet, Developer Learning Platform at CodeFever

We’d love to thank CodeFever, and especially Fien for the interview! We were really inspired by how they are using dashboards to improve their way of working, and to improve their educational programs.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *