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Case Study: Conceptual Academy

About Conceptual Academy

Conceptual Academy is a website which aids education using a "conceptual" line of textbooks, including Conceptual Physics, Conceptual Chemistry and Conceptual Integrated Science, featuring college and high school editions. The site hosts hundreds of the textbooks’ authors’ video lessons.  Students can study textbooks (reading and listening)  and watch the video lessons.

Why Promet?

An underlying goal of Conceptual Academy is to provide the support an instructor may need to implement the “flipped classroom” model. Within this model, students are introduced to academic content before coming to class so that they are ready to apply this content during class.

Challenge

Conceptual Academy contracted Promet Source to provide Drupal development services to design and build their website from scratch. Promet was chosen because of our experience and expertise in working within the education industry (e.g. Grinnell College and Chicago Public Schools).  Promet’s design and development practices can be easily tailored to fit the needs of educational sites with special attention to security, interaction, flexibility and accessibility. Further, our background in working with complex data integration, Organic Groups and architecture planning proved to be necessary for the project.

Solution

Conceptual Academy approached Promet with an innovative solution to learning for high school and college students! The goal: Prepare students with online textbooks, study guides, quizzes and video lessons before attending class. They wanted to allow instructors to organize their students into online groups, provide custom quizzes and third party references, assign tasks, communicate progress and track performance to prepare their students for class. They needed the web design to be modern and intuitive for college-age students and iPad friendly. Further, the textbooks and supplemental materials needed to be organized, intuitive, modular and interactive.  

Promet Source implemented Drupal 7, an open source CMS to build the new Conceptual Academy site. Drupal was the best tool to meet their needs in terms of security, flexibility, and usability.  Adhering to best practices in project management & software development, Promet Source approached the Conceptual Academy project using Agile Software Development. The project went through structured design and development phases: Sprint 0 planning, design, iterative prototyping, user-role creation, architecture, content development, navigation planning & creation, testing & quality assurance,  site administrator training, and deployment.  Further, Promet Source assisted Conceptual Academy with branding and new logo design. Overall, this strategic approach allowed for rapid delivery; the site was developed and launched within five weeks.

The Conceptual Academy website design and development was deployed by deadline and within budget. Agile methodology assured a true collaboration between Promet and CA - CA’s needs are reflected in its design.   

Implementation

Conceptual Academy was built with the Organic Groups module to create classroom interaction.  Instructors can create and control the groups, essentially creating online classrooms with authenticated students. The new site’s architecture allows students and teachers to easily create and/or access assignments, textbooks (including specific chapters and sections), syllabi, video lessons, quizzes and grades. Instructors can communicate through displayed messages to their group, and each member can create his own profile.  Additionally, Promet gave the site easy management for administrators with integrated Britecove video management, import/export of user information and simplified admin updates.

Promet effectively provided a branded site with the client’s resources as the focus: textbooks written by respected authors.  As a Learning Management System (LMS), the site is truly customizable for the end-user, giving instructors the ability to create their own classes, assignments, quizzes and curriculum. The team took the LMS a step further with the integration of hundreds of video lessons and “talking textbooks”.  Promet Source enabled the site to allow anonymous users to browse through chapters and sections of textbooks, watch videos and even register for quizzes.

Conceptual Academy came to Promet Source after spending a significant amount of money and time with a freelancer who was unable to give them any functionality in 18 months. Within five weeks, Promet was able to deploy a site rolled out in tagged phases without a reference database.  It’s this level of technical execution which gives Promet’s clients advanced web application solutions and saves time and money.