Case Study: NCN Learning Portal

Sharon Muniz
December 7, 2022
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Case Study: NCN Learning Portal

NCN builds a learning portal for local firm to deliver courses for clients.

While NCN takes on many exciting and ambitious projects for clients in a variety of industries, our team takes a special type of pride in developing learning portals for educational and training institutions. One of our most exciting projects in recent history was the creation of a learning management system (LMS) for a client. Based on the client’s specifications, this portal needed to be easily customized for seamless launching across multiple clients. 

In addition, NCN’s team would need to develop both administrator-facing and user-facing interfaces. Finally, the client specified that the product developed would need to be a cost-effective option that could be maintained by the client with very little coding, licensing, or support required.

NCN’s team rose to the challenge by providing them with a clear plan of action outlining project objectives, required features, and timelines for a new learning portal based on the client’s requirements. We were able to create a custom interface for our client using the popular Moodle Learning Platform course management system (CMS). 

Our experience with developing learning portals for a variety of clients ultimately put us in the right position to build a platform that was personalized, capable of manifesting in multiple formats, able to be used on multiple devices, and full of interactive and engaging elements for enhancing the student experience. 

Explore the process with us!

Establishing Expectations

NCN got to work at creating an outline for all tasks needed to develop a learning management system platform that could be easily maintained by the client administrators. Under this particular agreement, the client would provide the production environment. The following tasks were itemized by the number of anticipated hours needed for completion:

  • Project Management
  • Technical administration and Moodle setup.
  • Requirement gathering.
  • Create designs and styles.
  • Set up server for Moodle installation.
  • Install Moodle.
  • Configure Moodle with styles.
  • Branding/customizing Moodle.
  • Set up Moodle administrative settings.
  • Set up Moodle payment gateway.
  • Set up Moodle user management.
  • Set up Moodle ecommerce.
  • Set up email configurations.
  • Set up archival/re-import historical learning data.
  • Training.
  • Testing.
  • Documentation.
  • Set up categories/tags.
  • Set up courses.
  • Set up questions.
  • Setup certificates and answers.

These tasks were then integrated into a project schedule that was presented to leadership at the first development meeting. During the meeting, our team was able to go into detail regarding deliverables, project schedules, and testing processes. Next, it was time to move forward at a rapid pace!

Getting to Work on System Features

Once a scope of work had been established, it was time for our team of dedicated developers to get to work on building all of the features specified by our client. Prior to starting specific tasks, our team created a clear-cut list of every feature that was to be included in the final draft. A portal with these features would be presented prior to final testing. Our neat, easy-to-reference list looked like this:

  • Embedded Introductory and Orientation Video Modules: This consists of a public access video that can be played within the application.
  • Video: Videos can be sourced from YouTube, Vimeo, or other accessible links that are easy for the client to use when updating content.
  • Administration: Our developers set up three-tier admin permissions covering Administrator, Internal, and External rights.
  • Dynamic Password Retrieval: This built-in system allows users to retrieve passwords via email within the client’s ecosystem.
  • Security: Our team integrated the latest security standards and practices during development. Compromised accounts were set up to trigger notification emails for system administrators.
  • Event-triggered User Notification Emails: Users within the system are enrolled to receive emails when new courses are available.
  • Customized Tracking and Reporting.
  • Built-in Customer Feedback Feature.
  • Custom Branding.
  • Custom Domain.
  • Course Interactivity: Moodle-provided activity modules allow administrators and training teams to create interactive courses that can be uploaded in the Moodle system.
  • Account Registration: Verifies that account information is dynamic.
  • Content Management.
  • Course Catalog: Used for uploading editable courses on the admin side.
  • Notifications for Password Reminders.
  • E-commerce Integrations: Allows students to pay using PayPal or Stripe.
  • Certificates.
  • Program Evaluation Form.
  • Archival and Repeat Importation of Historical Learning Data: Utilizing Moodle’s archive features, our developers created a feature allowing instructors to import classes more than once.
  • Ability to Enroll Clients in the LMS.
  • Authoring Tool: Built-in authentication available through Moodle was tailored for the client’s needs.
  • Guarantee of Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCROM) Compliance.

Included within the estimate for the creation of a custom learning portal was full-scale testing. NCN is proud to be one of the leading development firms when it comes to in-house quality control testing. In addition to employing a development team, we also have a large testing department consisting of QC engineers. 

We offer a multiphase testing process that places websites, applications, and portals “under stress” prior to launch in order to detect any bugs, errors, or low-performance areas. We were happy to hand off a fully functional learning portal that passed the strictest of testing environments before it was launched on the client’s Moodle environment.

In the end, NCN reached the lofty goal that was placed before us. We were able to present the client with a dynamic training portal that would not be intimidating for the company’s in-house team to maintain. This portal featured all of the functions and interfaces necessary to create a dynamic experience for both instructors and learners. 

The administrative features allowed users to customize their experiences within the system without the need for extensive technical knowledge. Are you looking for a web development services company capable of building an educational portal? NCN’s team can create a custom scope of work based on the unique needs of your organization. We work with schools, corporate trainers, professional coaches, and more! 

Contact us today to book a free informative consultation to discuss what’s possible!


About the Author

Sharon Muniz

Sharon Muniz established her software development consulting firm in Reston, VA after 15 years of working in the software industry. NCN Technology helps clients implement best practices and software to drive their business to success. Ms. Muniz is skilled at strategic planning, business process management, technology evaluation, project and agile software development methodologies.

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