Client Intro

The Ontario Online Learning Consortium / Consortium ontarien pour l’apprentissage en ligne (OOLC/COAEL), is a member organization comprised of all publicly-assisted colleges and universities in Ontario. Established in 2014, the OOLC/COAEL is a collaborative centre of excellence in online and technology-enabled learning. The consortium contributes to the evolution of teaching and learning by anticipating and responding to new and emerging technologies, leveraging existing strengths in Ontario’s postsecondary system, as well as supporting the offering of state-of-the-art courses that are recognized for credit across multiple institutions.

The Challenge

The consortium’s 45 member institutions required a new web presence and secure management portal in order to support course development and delivery, as well as consolidate shared services that tools designed to support both students and faculty at Ontario’s publicly-assisted colleges and universities. Ultimately, a single point of access to institutional offerings, web-based e-learning supports, research activities, open curriculum materials, and more, was needed in order to provide an integrated user experience that would effectively enrich online learning for both students and faculty. Due to the prevalence of mobile browsing among the key target audience,  the final solution required strong support for mobile browsing. Popular mobile browsing functionality, such as swipe navigation and touch-screen scrolling, would have to be incorporated into the portal’s design.

Post-secondary students required a fully bilingual portal to act as a single point of access to complete, timely and accurate information on online course offerings across the province of Ontario. Similarly, institution administrations required editing and authoring tools specific to supporting marketing and promotional efforts aimed at helping students discover online courses and transfer credit opportunities. Integration with social networking platforms was required in support of creating a dedicated online space for the sharing of ideas across faculty-student and peer-to-peer interactions.

The Solution

  • Custom Portal Development: A fully customized approach supports the portal’s diverse user groups and multi-faceted system functionality. Three activity hubs: the Course Hub (developed to support the needs of students), the Knowledge Hub (developed to support the needs of faculties and institutions) and the Support Hub (a collaboration of tools, services and technology to support all user groups), were developed and seamlessly integrated to serve as the Portal’s core.
  • Implementation of Roles-Based Security Model: Ensures granularity at the institutional level by tying each user account to an appropriate security role. Security roles are then used to define which areas of the Portal are accessible to the user as well as the corresponding logic and functionality.
  • Custom Data Exchange API: Supports real-time course and program search functionality by retrieving course and institution data from ONCAT and then populating it within the eCampus Ontario Portal on demand and in real-time.
  • WCAG 2.0 Level AA Compliant Responsive Design: Focuses on mobile browsing behaviors, such as swiping and minimal scrolling, designed to provide intuitive use for the end-user.
  • Custom Content Management System (CMS): Supports editing of institution-specific information, regular site maintenance and the updating of Portal web pages in both official languages.
  • User-Friendly Data Repository and Library Engine: Built off the custom Data Exchange API with a number of modern features and advanced search functionality to allow end-users to intuitively search for, and retrieve, only the most relevant results.
  • Integration Support and System Flexibility: The platform fully supports integration with third-party e-learning tools, such as LMS systems as well as being built to scale for future expansion.

Supporting Technologies

  • C#
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2014
  • JQuery
  • AngularJS
  • HTML5 and CSS

A selection of pre-developed proprietary engines as well as the latest programming frameworks, were used to facilitate our custom approach to development. Supporting technologies include:

  • Wired Authentication Engine: A proprietary engine based on the Microsoft ASP.NET membership and authentication engine. The engine is a customized provider developed by Wired Solutions to extend the base functionality of .NET in order to facilitate common requirements such as application permission definitions, the logging of user actions for audit purposes, 2 or 3 factor authentication, social media authentication options, remote or single sign-on (SSO) authentication, and more.
  • Wired Multilingual Engine: A proprietary engine that efficiently allows authenticated users to set their language preference through their profile, while in instances of unauthenticated users, the engine detects language preferences through browser settings, and then serves the application’s content and data in the proper language.
  • Wired Content Management: A proprietary inline edit system that allows content editing in-place through a ‘what you see is what you get’ (WYSIWYG) fashion. This system includes a rich HTML editor that allows users with sufficient permission the ability to format content easily.