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Category ‘Education’

Secure Digital Assessments with QTI - demo

December 12th, 2013 by

Over the last year we have been working very hard on our new and improved QTI Assessment Delivery Engine; version 3. With the previous versions we were more or less stuck to the QTI rendering and implemented a lot of custom developed code around it to get it working. Many of these features have been rewritten and implemented into the product's core of version 3, of course taking into account the IMS QTI conformance.

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Trifork implements Overstapservice Onderwijs (OSO)

December 4th, 2012 by

Trifork is currently busy implementing the Overstapservice Onderwijs (OSO) Traffic Center, a system that mediates the transfer of student files between schools. The Traffic Center standardizes the exchange of student files between primary- and secondary schools. The OSO project is a continuation of the Electronisch Leerling Dossier (ELD) project. It enables the digital transfer of student related documents between the individual student administration systems (LAS) of schools, regional initiatives and other stakeholders. A major challenge for the Traffic Center is that by law it is not allowed to store the student files, but it is purely facilitating the exchange.

In this blog entry I provide some insights into how the exchange is eventually facilitated and some of the challenges we had with it.

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University of Amsterdam website goes live

September 11th, 2012 by

Congratulations to our client the University of Amsterdam who today launched their new website. With a new look & feel and a complete update of all the existing content it's a showcase of how educational institutions can really provide relevant information to varied target audiences. The site built by us, Orange11, with the use of Hippo CMS now makes it not only easier and simpler for individual departments to update web content, it also enables the University of Amsterdam (UvA) to increasingly engage, inform and empower its students and teachers.

The CMS is not only the foundation for the main UvA website, it also supports around 100 other subsites within the university. These can be sites for different faculties but also for initiatives like Spui 25, which is a project website that is affiliated to the UvA. The total repository contains around 25.000 documents. Each is a different document type and now with this solution in place these documents can be in the shared as not only part of the repository but also in a sub-site specific section. This makes the content model very flexible especially for the numerous content editors.

Furthermore, the content in the repository is not only generated by editors, but also from content from LDAP and SAP. Besides importing content it can now also export content. This large amount of content it is all kept in sync with our advanced Solr based search solution. Solr is also what we have integrated within the site for searching the content. The search database also shows content from other sources like the StudieGids for example.

A blog on the complete search solution will hopefully follow sometime soon...but for now, take a look around the new UvA website for yourself and let us know if you have any questions.

JVM memory management and performance tuning

June 22nd, 2012 by

Performance and scalability are important topics for most enterprise applications that we build. Oftentimes we mostly consider connections to external systems (databases, message brokers, external web services) when we think about performance bottlenecks or performance and scalability optimization. This makes sense, as most enterprise applications spend a lot of their time performing (typically blocking) I/O. However, when you start to dig deeper and use tools like profilers and do thread dump and garbage collection analysis you'll find that the actual code running in the Java VM can be the primary cause of severe performance and/or scalability issues under load.
Memory allocation can play a big role here: although garbage collection performance has increased a lot with every new version of the JVM, applications -- esp. those with large heap sizes -- can still suffer from full GC sweeps that always seem to happen at the worst possible moment and stop the world for several seconds.

To ensure that your application makes the most efficient use of the VM it's running on it's important to understand the interaction between your app and the VM, and also to understand the various tuning options that are available in the JVM that you happen to be using.

Tech Meeting with Azul Systems

During our next tech meeting we will have a speaker from Azul Systems as our guest to deliver a workshop seminar on JVM performance. As you may know, Azul Systems is a company that provides a custom Hotspot compatible JVM called Zing for systems that require very high and predictable performance. However, this workshop will not be a product sales pitch: instead, it will help you to understand the way JVMs perform memory management in general and garbage collection in particular, and how you can inspect the runtime behavior of your VMs in this respect. You'll learn about how to properly measure statistics and avoid common pitfalls, and how to use the results for tuning purposes.
Obviously you'll see how Zing compares to the standard JVMs used by most people in this respect, but even when you are not planning on migrating to a new JVM you'll leave this session with a deeper understanding of Java memory management, how it affects your applications and how you make it work to your advantage.

So, when you're interested, make sure to sign up for the meeting! It takes place on Thursday 5th July at our office in Amsterdam and will start at 4 PM. Attending is free and we'll make sure that there's pizza and beer to accompany the workshop.

Digital assessments with the QTI delivery engine

May 23rd, 2012 by

For many of our customers in the Education domain we have spent a lot of time looking and exploring the impact of technology; in this particularly case especially with regards to digital assessments. Developing good digital assessment techniques is very important in order to measure and examine what students are actually learning.

We are proud and excited to share with you a short presentation on Digital assessments using the QTI delivery engine. This presentation will give you some insight on the capabilities of our Assessment Delivery Engine with use of the latest QTI standards. QTI is an Open Standard determined by the IMS Global organization and provides a solid basis to support interoperability for delivering assessments.

Just click here and you can experience an assessment for yourself. Our demo is a fun quiz all about The Netherlands using different questions types based on the QTI spec, some more advanced than others. The assessment engine will deliver these questions through any browser type, making it possible to assess on virtually any platform.

If you are not familiar with digital assessments with the use of the QTI delivery engine, here is a what we can offer:

  • Multi-platform assessments
  • Use in any existing Web Application
  • Customization and extension
  • High performance and scalable environments
  • Security and a robust solution

To discuss possibilities on how to tailor to your specific requirements and for more information just drop us a note. For now good luck with your assessment!

May 2012 newsletter

May 15th, 2012 by

At Orange11 there has been a lot going on in April, and in May there is even more in store, this blog covers a few of the highlights.

Welcome onboard

Firstly, we would like to welcome Jeroen Speekenbrink.Jeroen Jeroen started this week as Director Delivery Operations. Jeroen has been active in the software industry for well over 15 years and joins us from Inter Access. Jeroen will be responsible for running our entire delivery operation and will be a key strategic level contact for our customers. Welcome to the team Jeroen.

Hello Tracy

tracy introletter

Although it may sound like it, this is not another new team member, but Orange11's successful new I-Pad app; Learn to write with Tracy. This iPad app has been developed to help children to learn to write letters & numbers.

Since its launch it hit the top 5 Educational apps in the Dutch apple store. It's available for download in English & Dutch, try it out for yourself.

If you want to read more about the application check out our blog or visit our website for the case study.

Tick Tock Amsterdam here we come

In just a few weeks it's time for GOTO Amsterdam. We are very excited as we finalize the program. The Berurs van Berlage is going to rock with a host of top speakers and companies we have joining. If you have not signed up already, don't miss out on a chance to mingle with the top tier of the software development industry. Blog readers that sign up now can get a further 25% discount. Remember when registering use the  discount code: orange11vip.

Training session at Berlin Buzzwords

bbuzzwords_logo_social_witheardate(1).pngI guess most of you have already got your tickets for Berlin Buzzwords THE event on scalable search, data-analysis in the cloud and NoSQL-databases. On request we will offer training opportunities the two days following the event (6th & 7th June). Register now for the Lucene & Solr training in a location very close to Urania in Berlin.

For all Berlin Buzzwords delegates we offer a EUR 300 discount so for more information & registration check out our website now. Discount code berlinbuzzwordsvip.

Up & Coming Rotterdam

A group of developers from Rotterdam (one of whom works for Orange11) have started up 010DEV; a social techy evening for those who live or work in Rotterdam (or not!). They have their first official social-tech event in May. They have some cool speakers too namely Trisha Gee presenting Disruptor and Peter Hilton who is going to set off in search of the perfect programmer. In between the sessions there ample opportunity to socialize and to taste some of Locus Publicus' excellent beer. If you wanna go register here.

Another QTI success story

Building further on our expertise of the QTI assessment delivery engine, we have implemented this engine for yet another customer; ThiemeMeulenhoff. The Oefenmodule is part of a new portal where Educational content is connected to an assessment engine that has the ability to conduct tests. This new module has been developed based on ThiemeMeulenhoff's existing DigiTrainer. Orange11 optimized the code and introduced new question types and introduced a feedback system that could prompt the use of tips or help. In a dashboard environment teachers can track progress, performance and results for individuals & groups of students. If you are interested in finding out more or a demo, then please contact us.

MongoDB User Group comes to Amsterdam
mongodb logoOrange11 are proud to initiate together with 10gen the MongoDB User Group to the Netherlands. The first session will be hosted at our monthly tech meeting. We will welcome to this session a MongoDB specialist from 10gen. A tentative date for the meet up is Thursday 7th June. We're just mapping out logistics but sign up and we will send more information within the next week or so. Sign up for free and come and enjoy the usual pizza & beer too.

Caching for fun and profit

If you missed our last tech meeting the presentation is ready for download. It gives an overview of where & why caching matters in enterprise application architectures and then focuses on some practical applications and gotchas in Enterprise Java apps, like Hibernate's 2nd level cache and Spring 3.1's new caching abstraction. Here's the presentation.

Thanks for reading as always.

Learn to write with Tracy

April 26th, 2012 by

I am very proud to announce Orange11's first iPad application: Learn to write with Tracy (dutch: Leren Schrijven met Tracy) which has just been released world wide in both Dutch and English. I personally developed this app from scratch with the help of my colleague Dennis de Graaf for the graphical design work. I thought this would be a great opportunity to tell you a little bit what the app is all about and a sneak behind the scenes as to how it was made.
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IMS QTI - the standard in digital examinations

February 27th, 2012 by

IMS Question & Test Interoperability (QTI) is a standard for the exchange of questions. This standard is currently used by many educational systems like N@tschool, Blackboard, Learn eXact, Moodle, Teletop, ILIAS, Studieweb and Fronter. It is also being used by examination applications like Respondus, QuestionMark Perception, Testvision and WinToets.

For many working in digital examinations, the QTI standard may not be a new phenomenon, it's been around for a while. The interesting part is how it can be used.  Trifork is currently implementing a QTI assessment delivery engine that is opening new possibilities in digital examinations, assessments, publishing & many more areas. In our tech meeting this coming Thursday, we will tell you more about the standard and technology and how we have implemented it. The session will also include a detailed case study & demo of the assessment delivery system of the Computer Examination System for our customer CvE (College voor Examens). Furthermore, in the Netherlands, Kennisnet also supports this standard whereby as Trifork we are also actively participating and contributing to this work group.

We're really excited about the QTI possibilities and have:

  1. a personalised demo of our QTI Player
  2. a screencast of how we are using the QTI player in action
  3. or alternatively for more information please get in touch via our website.

Digi-Trainer genomineerd voor prestigieuze NOT Innovatieprijs

January 11th, 2011 by

Unieke examentrainer bereidt VMBO-leerlingen voor op digitaal examen

De nieuwe online examentrainer Digi-Trainer van ThiemeMeulenhoff is genomineerd voor de NOT Innovatieprijs 2011. Deze prestigieuze prijs wordt eens in de twee jaar door de Stichting NOT uitgereikt aan innovatieve  leermiddelen die het leer- en onderwijsproces zichtbaar verbeteren. Digi-Trainer doet dit door de slagingskansen van vmbo-leerlingen te verhogen door hen individueel voor te bereiden op het nieuwe, verplichte digitale examen.

Digi-Trainer is door een vakjury uit 54 inzendingen gekozen als een van de zes producten of diensten die zowel vernieuwend als praktisch zijn binnen het onderwijs. De jury heeft daarbij vooral gelet op de toepasbaarheid van de gepresenteerde vernieuwingen.  De NOT Innovatieprijs wordt dinsdag 25 januari 2011 uitgereikt in de Jaarbeurs in Utrecht.

Oefenen in een echte digitale examenomgeving

Digi-Trainer is ontwikkeld door ThiemeMeulenhoff, in samenwerking met het Cito en de makers van de bekende Examenbundel. Leerlingen trainen in hun eigen tempo op een gestructureerde manier individueel hun kennis en vaardigheden. Dit gebeurt in een omgeving die lijkt op het echte digitale examen, zodat leerlingen vertrouwd raken met de omgeving. Leerlingen zijn hierdoor direct in staat om van start te gaan met de examens, zonder aan de examenomgeving te hoeven wennen.

Docenten kunnen binnen de training desgewenst ondersteuning bieden. Ze hebben inzage in de voortgang van iedere leerling en kunnen tijdig bijsturen. Dit kan klassikaal of individueel. Digi-Trainer is beschikbaar voor het digitale vmbo- b en k examen Nederlands, Engels, biologie, wiskunde, economie en NaSk1.

NOT Innovatieprijs

De NOT-Innovatieprijs is in 2007 in het leven geroepen door Stichting NOT om onderwijsinnovaties te stimuleren en een bredere bekendheid te geven. Daarnaast geeft deze prijs waardering voor het innovatieve werk. Onder alle inzendingen heeft een vakjury drie deelnemers genomineerd per categorie; de categorie ‘ Leermiddelen en methodes’ en de categorie ‘Innovatieve toepassing van facilitaire producten, inrichting of diensten ten behoeve van het onderwijs’. De publieksjury, bestaande uit de voorzitters van de SBL, de PO, VO en MBO Raad, kiest per categorie één winnaar op basis van originaliteit en innovatie.

De NOT Innovatieprijs wordt uitgereikt tijdens de opening van de komende Nederlandse Onderwijstentoonstelling (NOT) op dinsdag 25 januari 2011 om 9.30 uur in de Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. Tijdens de NOT (van 25 t/m 29 januari 2011 van 9.30 tot 17 uur) wordt Digi-Trainer gepresenteerd in de Innovatiestand van de NOT en – uiteraard – op de stand van ThiemeMeulenhoff.

Meer informatie over Digi-Trainer vindt u op Meer informatie over de NOT en de NOT Innovatieprijs vindt u op



Noot voor de redactie:

Meer informatie over Digi-Trainer kunt u inwinnen bij:

Manon ter Wee

Communicatieadviseur ThiemeMeulenhoff

Telefoon: 06 53 83 38 30

Smallepad 30
3811 MG Amersfoort

Meer informatie over de NOT en de NOT Innovatieprijs kunt u inwinnen bij:

Lisanne Grootenboer
VNU Exhibitions Europe

T +31 (030) 29 528 35

Over ThiemeMeulenhoff
ThiemeMeulenhoff is een educatieve uitgeverij en verzorgt lesmateriaal voor het primair onderwijs, het voortgezet onderwijs, beroepsonderwijs & volwasseneneducatie en hoger onderwijs. ThiemeMeulenhoff biedt voor veel vakken in het onderwijs lesmateriaal en werkt bij de ontwikkeling van nieuwe methodes nauw samen met specialisten en de onderwijsmarkt. Zo is ThiemeMeulenhoff in staat de laatste ontwikkelingen in het onderwijs te volgen en innoverende materialen te introduceren, passend bij het onderwijs van nu. Meer informatie:

QTI 2.1 in Nederland - hoe verder?

October 29th, 2010 by

Vrijdag 22 oktober organiseerde SURF Foundation een bijeenkomst over de stand van zaken met betrekking tot IMS QTI 2.1 in Nederland. Namens JTeam heb ik in een presentatie uiteengezet hoe naar ons idee de toepassing van deze prachtige onderwijsstandaard vlot kan worden getrokken.

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