Always Learning

Developer: EDMC
Level of Effort: Advanced
Developer Resources: 2 Full Time Web Developers
Delivery Medium: Web Application
API Platforms Used: LearningStudio APIs

The Challenge

Providing a streamlined user experience for students is something that every school strives for. To this end, ensuring that relevant information is presented to the student at the specific point when it is needed results can result in not only more efficient student experience but also can dramatically reduce support needs for an organization. When leveraging a SaaS based learning management system this can be challenge given that the platform has been engineered to support the broadest set of user population. In what ways then and how can an institution customize their student experience to best meet the unique needs of their student population? Course stylesheet enhancements along with leveraging university wide portal system are some ways but likely don’t create a fully engaging experience for students. Why not take the best parts from multiple systems (the learning management system, student information system, social networks, etc.) and create a truly unique student experience. All of this is of course made possible through the use of…...wait for it……..APIs!!!!


The Solution

Our partners at EDMC faced this challenge and were able to iteratively build an application that met their exact needs. The goal of the undertaking was to address one simple need - present the most pertinent information to student in one simple interface without requiring multiple clicks to hunt for and find the information. For example things like course grade to date, completion status of course assignments, upcoming due dates as well as course activity can all be items that require a multitude of clicks for the student to make their way to find within a given course. Now all of these items (along with many more) are surfaced up to the main landing page for students allowing them to easily digest the most useful information. Want to the know the best part? Not only can students now easily review important course information but can take action to launch directly into that item within a given course. Have threaded discussion requiring posts by today? Students can simply click the assignment link within the My Classes area to launch directly to that threaded discussion. Super cool!


How’d They Do It? 

This solution uses a wide sampling of the LearningStudio API set to generate this aggregated view for use in streamlining the workflow of students. A summary of the “how” including the APIs used is described below:

  1. User APIs - Leveraging the user API set to pull back user context for given student for display within the portal application (first name, last name, etc.).

  2. Course List APIs - The course list APIs are leveraged in combination with leveraging the API start/end date filtering capabilities in order to pull back an active list of courses the student is currently enrolled in.

  3. Course Grade APIs - The course grade APIs are consumed as the foundation for displaying real time grade to date information, counts of assignments graded, etc.

  4. Deep Linking APIs - The deep linking APIs are provide the mechanism for allowing student to click the course title within the Course of the Future application to launch directly into the given course section or can click their grade to date score to launch into the corresponding course gradebook, course assignment, course dropbox, etc.

  5. What’s Happening API - Provides a Facebook-like feed of activity that is occurring across the user’s enrolled courses in order to provide a snapshot that can be presented within the What’s Happening feed.

  6. Upcoming Events API - Allows for retrieving course assignment due dates across courses so that a student can be presented with a list of current and upcoming items for easy reference.

Screenshots and Details

Landing page that students are presented with which contains all of the relavent information at that point in time as well as the ability to launch directly to the given item within the associated course.

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