Terminalfour drives change to make academic exams smarter
The Dublin-based edtech has developed a tool called Better Examinations to allow colleges to bring their exam formats into the digital age
A Dublin-based edtech firm is aiming to change centuries of tradition and make academic exams smarter. Terminalfour has developed a tool called Better Examinations to allow third-level colleges to bring their exam formats into the digital age.
“Exams have been the same for the last 200 years. You go in for a couple of hours, write a lot and your hand hurts. There has been a huge move towards doing exams online, either remotely or in a hall typing,” Piero Tintori, chief executive at Terminalfour, told the Business Post.
“We’ve built a whole platform to allow universities and organisations like the Law Society to provide a much better experience. The students use their laptops like they normally would and that has been a new market for us since Covid.”
Terminalfour provides a tech platform for universities to manage digital experiences for current and prospective students. The business was founded by Tintori in 1997 and works with 240 universities across 11 countries.
“With the modern student, their first engagement isn’t with an open day or a college fair. It’s engaging with the university digitally. We’ve built a platform to help universities engage in a more successful way with those students,” Tintori said.
“Now, it’s not just about managing content but using digital marketing techniques to reach more students.”
The original focus of the business was web development and content management, during the wild west of the early days of the web. It was through that experience and assistance from Enterprise Ireland that Tintori redirected efforts towards the third-level sector in particular.
“We were working in web content management originally and found it incredibly competitive in Ireland. As we grew internationally, we found it wasn’t as competitive outside of Ireland, so the experience we had in Ireland helped us,” he said.
“I went on the leadership for growth programme with Enterprise Ireland in 2013 and during that we realised that going deep into universities and colleges was a space we could do really well.”
Tintori said the agency had played a critical role in enabling his business to realise its potential.
“We’ve had a fantastic experience with Enterprise Ireland. They provided us R&D grants but the leadership for growth course totally transformed the company. Then we did a programme called innovation for growth, where we realised that a lot of our new growth would come from work we weren’t doing yet,” he said.
“They have been very helpful on the ground in the markets we work in. Whether it’s Australia, New Zealand, the UK or wherever, we can call somebody and it saves us weeks of work.”
Tintori is bullish on the company’s growth prospects, and expects to significantly grow staff in the near future.
“The goal is to have more things to sell into universities. We’re building up our sales team in the US as well. We’re at 90 people now, we’ll be at 100 very soon and I expect to be at 120 within three years.”
This Making it Work article is produced in partnership with Enterprise Ireland.