Advanced e-learning portal for students and teachers (4-13 years)


Bildungsraum Nordwestschweiz



The Background

Four Swiss cantons of Aargau, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt and Solothurn (Bildungsraum Nordwestschweiz) have set themselves a formidable goal to improve their educational system within the upcoming years.


By working together the quality and effectiveness of the cantonal education systems should be increased. With the development and implementation of common performance tests and the development of a collection of exercises for competency-based practice and testing, the Bildungsraum Nordwestschweiz is preparing themselves for a world-class educational ecosystem.

For this major challenge the Institut for Bildungsevaluation, University of Zurich (IBE) and the Dutch assessment institute Cito were selected to compose all the requirements for the new system. IBE and Cito defined the advanced set of needs to redefine the educational system for the Swiss children between the age of 4 and 13 year. This formed the new e-learning portal Mindsteps which enables the students and teachers to have access to a very advanced learning system for both high-stake and low-stake assessment based learning.


Via the e-learning portal Mindsteps the students can be tested on a regular basis on their knowledge of different topics throughout the year. Both the students and teachers have access to an item database which can be used during the whole school year. Teachers can use the item database for developing their tailor-made computer based low-stake tests or tailor-made computer based learning units. Both can be allocated to a student or to a specific group of students. Students can use the item database for learning wherever they are (outside of school).

The primary function of the item database for teachers and students is to deliver data driven information about the learning processes of students. By means of differentiation within each class or learning group this instrument is adapted and advanced to support the individual learning progress.

The technical basis for the project is a well-designed IT-Solution. All items are stored in an item database (Aufgaben-Datenbank). A web application has been developed for administering high-stake, and low-stake testing as well as learning.

The Solution

Trifork was asked to solve the most challenging part of the project; providing the digital assessment platform: the heart of the e-learning portal Mindsteps.

Trifork’s QTI Assessment Delivery Engine is a quality product which enables digital assessments of the future for many organisations. Built with the latest technologies, the platform is an ultra scalable solution for any serious assessment organisation. The low-stakes requirements of IBE creates the challenge to support many type of devices, something the Assessment Delivery Engine is very capable of with a complete HTML5 based implementation.

The Assessment Delivery Engine is completely based on IMS QTI, the worldwide standard for digital assessments. Thru the support of this standard Trifork is interoperable with many external assessment systems, like the authoring system of Cito’s Questify Builder.

With an agile project approach, Trifork has delivered the right functionality on time for the project. This has enabled the successful delivery of the Mindsteps e-learning portal, providing a solid basis for the future plans of Bildungsraum Nordwestschweiz.

“Trifork has proven to be a worthy partner for us on both the technological and the digital assessment domain. In a short timespan they were capable of delivering a very advanced digital assessment system which enables us to meet our current and future needs”

Major reason for selecting Trifork as partner has been their QTI Assessment Delivery Engine product in combination with their extensive knowledge of large-scale digital assessment systems. We were especially impressed of their work done for the Dutch Board of Exams where they have implemented one of the most advanced digital assessment engines in an environment suited for 30.000 concurrent assessments.

Urs Moser

Head of IBE

QTI Assessment Delivery Engine

Trifork’s assessment delivery engine is a state-of-the-art player capable of delivering and automatically scoring QTI assessments. This engine delivers the latest version of IMS QTI assessments to any HTML capable device.

Trifork is a trusted QTI implementation partner for many customers within the Educational domain, including integration of the engine within existing assessment environments. With the use of client-lock-down technology, this engine is now also capable of securely delivering the examinations. This combined with the interoperability between several authors and assessment environments prove it to be a very powerful tool.

The QTI Assessment Delivery Engine makes it possible to publish, deliver and score assessments for practising, assessing and examining within any assessment environment

Trifork has proven to be a worthy partner for us on both the technological and the digital assessment domain. In a short timespan, they were capable of delivering a very advanced digital assessment system which enables us to meet our current and future needs.

Urs Moser

Head of IBE

Business Development Manager

Bert Boerland