OnCourse Systems for Education is an award-winning edtech company based in New Jersey. It provides cloud-based learning tools that support student management, instruction, staff performance, and learning management.
“We have about a million different modules,” says Chris Contini, CEO of OnCourse. “We’ve developed everything from lesson planning tools, curriculum tools, gradebook tools to a full-blown student information system.”
Adding powerful interactive assessment in record time.
Despite the rich variety of tools that OnCourse had developed in-house, one crucial component was missing from its learning system – assessment.
“We knew that interactive assessment was going to be a critical tool in our platform,” says Chris. “As we scoped the project, it was clear that our biggest challenge would be tackling Technology Enhanced Items [TEIs]. We knew there was going to be so much functionality behind even supporting basic multiple choice or true/false question types.”
“When we figured out how many developers it would take and how much time, and then the hidden costs like maintaining code, fixing bugs, and constantly trying to innovate, we knew we weren’t going to be able to do it.” With an aggressive timeline for going to market, Chris and the team were resigned to the fact that assessment would not be included in their initial offering.
"We knew that Learnosity would save us well over a year’s work for multiple developers and provide significantly more functionality than our proposed system."
Technology that plugs in and powers up.
Thankfully, OnCourse found Learnosity’s ready-made, AWS-supported assessment solution.
“We knew that what Learnosity was going to do for us was well over a year’s work for multiple developers and would provide significantly more functionality than our proposed system. It would also save the additional work of maintaining and continuously having to upgrade a system built in-house. But everything comes down to budget. Because we were going to market with a product that didn’t yet have a revenue stream, we didn’t know whether we could afford it. When we did a cost analysis on build versus buy, we were very pleased to see that Learnosity made it a no-brainer for us to move forward.”
"When we did a cost analysis on build versus buy, we were very pleased to see that Learnosity made it a no-brainer for us to move forward."
More functionality and rock-solid performance at scale.
With the headline requirements of budget, technical proficiency, and speed to market all satisfied, OnCourse could employ Learnosity to seamlessly deliver hundreds of thousands of assessments to its users without stressing about other considerations such as scale.
An early stress-test of the integration came from a client with some 25,000 students. “We were confident that the systems would scale as expected, but of course we held our breath a little as the tests started rolling,” said Contini.
Any worries were soon put to rest as interim testing was successfully completed across the district.
“We were all impressed by the performance of the Learnosity/ OnCourse integration. Our early-adopter districts were also thrilled to finally have the tech-enhanced, data-rich environment they’d been searching for inside their OnCourse ecosystem.”
Easy access to Learnosity’s support team also helped ensure this integration went as smoothly as possible.
“From the beginning we were able to work closely with Learnosity’s implementation support team, many of whom are highly skilled engineers themselves. But even though we did our due diligence to make sure we’d have top-of-the-line support, we ended up not having to use it much because of the intuitiveness of the API.”