Studos Helps Students in Brazil Prepare for University Entrance Exams with Assistance from AWS EdStart
Studos is dedicated to improving educational processes in Brazil and facilitating new means of learning through technology. The company was launched after two teachers, Leonardo Prates and Wilson Fernandes, developed a website to help biology students prepare for the Federal University of Santa Catarina entrance exam. “Students had difficulty preparing for the exam because they had no content to study, they didn't have a way to practice exercises, and they didn't know if they were learning or not. We developed a website where they could practice, study, and get help,” says Prates, cofounder and chief executive officer at Studos.
Success with the biology website prompted the pair to consider how they could expand the idea. Every year, more than eight million students take the ENEM (Exame Nacional do Ensino Médio), a test that validates the content students learn in high school and determines admission to the Federal Universities of Brazil. Prates and Fernandes wanted to create an educational solution to improve student learning and make life easier for teachers and school managers.
Studos eventually evolved from a website into a comprehensive educational assessment platform that analyzes student learning, allows students to set goals, and produces detailed weekly performance reports. The platform also provides teachers with a 90,000-question database of practice questions separated by discipline, subject, and level of difficulty they can use to quickly and easily create and apply tests, tasks, and simulations. The goal is to evaluate students and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Based on weaknesses, the platform uses artificial intelligence to suggest activities to improve student performance. With detailed results and reports, a school can help ensure student success in the classroom.
The Studos platform was originally launched on premises, but once it reached 1,000 users, Prates and Fernandes realized they needed a more scalable solution.
The exchanges AWS EdStart has facilitated for us—both with AWS personnel and with other members of the program—have been very rich.”
Cofounder and Chief Executive Officer, Studos
Scaling to Accommodate Growth on AWS
Studos uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon CloudFront to distribute and store static content such as questions, images, teachers’ materials, and application files. It also uses Amazon Aurora to provide a cluster interface with automatic scaling, which allows Studos to support simultaneous users. “AWS helps us deliver quality service to our users. All services are practical and self-scaling. This greatly simplifies our job and helps us not only in terms of performance, but also with our costs,” says Prates.
Studos also turned to the AWS EdStart program for support and guidance. AWS EdStart helps entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions in the AWS Cloud. As part of that program, Studos participates in AWS EdStart networking events and webinars and receives guidance and support from AWS personnel. “AWS EdStart enabled our success in many ways, from facilitating connections with AWS specialists and other entrepreneurs in the program to helping us think about how we could improve our product delivery for more students in a simpler and easier way. They also provided credits so we could test new services without spending a lot of money. The exchanges AWS EdStart has facilitated for us—both with AWS personnel and with other members of the program—have been very rich,” says Prates.
Enabling Student and Teacher Success
Studos is making a difference for students. Prates says students that use the platform have improved their learning levels by an average of 14 percent, and several students that use Studos have placed first among their peers on entrance exams.
Studos is also making a difference for teachers. Before Studos, it took the average teacher 2 hours to create a test. With Studos, that has been reduced to just 20 minutes. In addition, the platform is helping teachers zero in on areas where students need help. “The possibility of immediate feedback on the performance of students and the class is extremely valuable for the teacher, who manages to resume the content of the most necessary points for the class and verify which students need more attention and on which topics,” says Fabíola da Costa Braga, a pedagogical advisor at the Vila Olímpia school.
Studos’ future plans include segregating the platform into microservices to further increase its scale. “We predict more than three million users in 2021, and this increase in our scale will be possible using several AWS services,” says Prates. “Meanwhile, our primary goal will remain the same: to meet the pain points of teachers, students, and school managers; understand in depth how those pains can be remedied; and deliver a simple, intuitive, and engaging solution.”
Benefits of AWS
- Enables deployment of a comprehensive educational and assessment platform
- Improves student learning levels by 14%
- Lowers teachers’ test creation time from 2 hours to 20 minutes
- Scales to approximately 10,000 daily users and more than 150,000 users per week
AWS Services Used
AWS EdStart, the AWS educational technology (EdTech) startup accelerator, is designed to help entrepreneurs build the next generation of online learning, analytics, and campus management solutions on the AWS Cloud.
Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.
Amazon Simple Storage Service
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.
Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud, that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.
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