testfairy for teaching. it works!

How a Brazilian university uses TestFairy to teach its students real-life skills in mobile app development
"TestFairy brings an added value to the original course program, by enhancing the practical aspects of learning about UX and usability"- Gabriel Gerber Hornink, Professor at UNIFAL

overview

MEET Gabriel 

Gabriel teaches in the Federal University of Alfenas, the public university of the Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Initially majoring in Biological Sciences, he now deals with educational technology and training teachers for using IT in teaching. Through his work, he gained a lot of working experience with computer science, developing software for biological research. Several years ago, Gabriel started teaching computer science students at the university, first focusing on development for web and later on mobile software development.

ABOUT TESTFAIRY

TestFairy enables teams to find, report and solve complex problems with their mobile apps, all from one dashboard. First, it provides an easy to use app-distribution for iOS and Android apps. In addition, TestFairy provides an SDK that collects valuable information such as videos showing user behavior, app logs and crash reports. This information is collected and presented in an organized way, in a single, easy-to-use dashboard. With TestFairy’s videos, logs and vast array of device metrics, teams are able to quickly reproduce and understand problems, allowing for accurate and timely bug fixes.

the CHALLENGE

During their first year of their studies, his students don’t really learn how to evaluate usability or have any discipline or understanding of this topic
Gabriel teaches a course called “Usability for Mobile”, which deals with how to research a mobile app’s usability. Gabriel explains that during their first year of their studies, his students don’t really learn how to evaluate usability or have any discipline or understanding of this topic. Professors may talk about it a little bit, but not very often. This remains in an academic level, and does not practical information or methods of research, or hands-on experience for the students themselves.

To learn more about this process and evaluate it with both qualitative and quantitative researches, Gabriel works with the students on creating various research methods, to learn how to deal with different types of data: cognitive user behavior tests, process charts, heat maps, etc. Due to the volume of potential data that was to be collected during the quantitative research, they were looking online for a software that can help them carry out this research.

along came testfairy

Gabriel uses TestFairy as an educational tool in two scenarios of use:
  1. For teaching Mobile Usability for Android - Gabriel uses the TestFairy platform to show students recordings of app usage, and discuss what data may be collected and how it can be used to understand problems in the app.
  2. For students working on their final project - TestFairy proves a valuable tool for fine-tuning the students’ apps and conducting research on its usability.

testfairy's benefits

TestFairy’s most valuable features for this educational purpose are:
  1. Video recording of the screen - Seeing a flow of events that shows exactly what a user has done with the app. In addition, a video view of the screen gives the students an additional resource for re-evaluating the effectiveness of their design and layout.
  2. App metrics: The various types of data collected regarding the hardware, such as memory use and network use - having a comprehensive overview of the data allows students to better understand what went wrong when an app crashed. Furthermore, by using TestFairy the students learn about all the various types of data that can be collected from an app and how to work with, and understand, each of them.
Gabriel claims that TestFairy is a helpful tool for the students’ learning experience, and believes it has a very positive effect on their understanding of UX and usability. Since the formal school program focuses mostly on qualitative and quantitative research, he feels that TestFairy brings an added value to the original program, by enhancing the practical aspects of learning about UX and usability. This real life experience will be a valuable asset in the students’ future, when approaching real-life app production and testing.

To sum it up:

"I will definitely recommend other universities to use TestFairy, as it is a tool that can be used by students to collect and assess both qualitative and quantitative data. This hands-on experience of evaluation is not something that is often done in educational institutions."- Gabriel Gerber Hornink, Professor at UNIFAL
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