Thanks to ‘ExamPoa’, revising for exams has become enjoyable
By Boniface Otieno Kanyamwaya
Exams are just round the corner, yet you don’t feel the urge to settle down and bury your head in the books? You are not alone.
Oxford University Press East Africa (OUPEA), the leading educational publisher in Eastern and Central Africa region, discovered that many students, especially those preparing for their national exams, do enjoy the revision process.
From a research it conducted in 2011 on how to support learning in schools, OUPEA found that learning did not take place only in the classroom. The publisher also found that the uptake of digital content among young learners was on the rise.
“We thought of how we could put this together because at the end of the day, we were looking at how we can improve the education system,” says Rosebelle Otieno, OUPEA’s Publishing Manager.
Out of this experience, Otieno says ExamPoa, a mobile application designed for both primary school pupils and secondary school students was developed.
The Android–based app can be accessed and downloaded from Safaricom AppStore or ExamPoa’s website.
Once downloaded to the phone, users are prompted to install the app. It is installed in a matter of seconds, after which it is ready for use.
ExamPoa, Otieno says, provides all kinds of helpful materials, from revision tips to handy guidelines in tackling specific topics.
“Users can click on content, pay for it, and then download it. They can then choose to use the learning materials either online or offline,” says Otieno.
There are two broad categories of downloadable contents. These are quizzes accompanied by revision notes, and model examinations.
“Quizzes are available for both primary and secondary learners whereas model examinations are only available for primary learners,” says Otieno.
For quizzes and notes, each download (bundle) has five quizzes of 10 questions each. In addition, each model examinations downloaded carries 50 questions.
The advantage of using the app, Otieno says, is that it is cost effective. For instance, each bundle (a total of 50 questions) plus notes (in the case of quizzes) is priced at Ksh 60 (US$0.6). Also, payment can be made through various payment platforms available on the app.
Currently, the app allows primary school pupils to only access English and Science quizzes while secondary school students can access only Biology, English and History learning materials.
“We are in the process of incorporating more subjects,” says Otieno, adding that they recently conducted a research in Mombasa and Nairobi in both private and public schools and established that learners would prefer to have more questions and more subjects on the App.
In comparison to other platforms that support online learning, Otieno says ExamPoa offers interactive coursework, and exam-based questions designed to suit the needs of learners. The app also provides users with appropriate responses and reports.
“The user gets the report on performance and expected answers after finishing an individual quiz or model examination,” she says.
“We have had campaigns with students in the last few months trying to show them how the app works. We expect to see more students signing up for this app going forward,” says Otieno.
According to the Publishing Manager, teachers and parents were at first apprehensive about the app. They thought that it could be used for exam cheating and in drilling children for exams only, and not for Enhancing learning.
However, they later discovered that they can closely monitor what the students are learning and even help them.
“As we move into the future, the next frontier is going to be about how we can use virtual reality in learning,” says