Case Studies


Client: Hotchalk, Inc

Project Sponsor: Nicholas Smith

A leading provider of higher education services & solutions partners with universities to provide turnkey relationships that put degree programs online.

Hotchalk's solution incorporates all phases of the education life cycle to deliver industryleading student retention and graduation rates. Hotchalk operates the largest global network of free education content on the Internet through the Hotchalk Education Network. The company believes all people should have access to education, and is on a mission to make meaningful education outcomes available to everyone, everywhere.

Challenge: Create a fully integrated technology suite to support Hotchalk's online learning services.

Hotchalk's services address a wide variety of institutional users. Students and faculty at the University partners needed a robust learning platform from which to interact with educational content and assessment tools. At the same time, instructional designers and HotChalk staff needed a content management tool to facilitate authoring and management of learning assets and their delivery to the learning platform.

Hotchalk also needed to give University leadership a real time view of students' learning analytics. The pressure to maintain ontime graduation rates with degree programs lasting only one to two years meant that for the University to effectively meet accreditation requirements, the entire university staff needed real time student & teacher data, presented in an efficient format, to respond successfully at scale.

Solution: Edify developed a tool called Hotchalk Ember Data Analytics.

Hotchalk and Edify worked together to create Hotchalk Ember, a threepart application suite tailored to the unique challenges of the business.

Hotchalk Ember LMS is a learning management system solution based on the popular opensource Canvas LMS project. Ember LMS features include improved discussion boards, course sectioning and assessment functionality, and a number of SIS and authentication integrations with University partner systems.

Hotchalk Ember CMS is a content management solution based on Common Library, Edify's opensource LCMS (Learning Content Management System.) Ember CMS provides a space in which instructional designers can put together entire university-level courses, with content versioning support, based on material authored within the system or imported through any of its content migration tools.

Hotchalk Ember Data Analytics is a webbased data visualization and reporting application that provides Hotchalk and University staff with a better understanding of student and instructor performance. Information is provided via an online reporting UI, periodic email notifications and raw data exports. Edify delivered every milestone of the software from inception, R&D, pilot, to production.

Technology-wise, the Hotchalk Ember suite employs a variety of cuttingedge technologies on the server side as well as on the user interface. The LMS component is a Ruby on Rails 3 server application with a fully opensource stack, paired with a HTML5 / CSS / Javascript front-end that communicates with the back-end through a RESTful Web API. The CMS and Data Analytics tools are built on Java/Groovy opensourcebackend servers driven by Javascript Web UIs constructed on the Ember framework.

Result: Data mining helped Hotchalk optimize their E-Learning tools.

To Hotchalk success equals the sum of people and services, supported by technology. The Ember suite's rapidly growing user base already numbers in the thousands, as new University partners continue to come on board. With the information provided by the learning analytics tools delivered, University administrators and educators can now make rapid real-time decisions about individual student success. Hotchalk partners receive a 4.2 out of 5.0 student rating, 92% adjunct faculty retention, and 52% of applicants enroll in an online program. These numbers are obtained by performing data mining using the Data Analytics tool, and represent a sample of some

Why Edify?

Our decades of experience in enterprise software development creates an effective but flexible team that utilized existing processes and infrastructure for minimum cost and maximum efficiency.

Our team has been central in the development of a variety of educational, learning, and content management systems and was able to bring that experience to bear in the Hotchalk success story. Hotchalk relies upon our pragmatic computer science practice with a comprehension of the education and knowledge marketplace. While we provide strategic solutions that encompass our customers' organizational culture, business needs and lifecycle development processes.

Nicholas Smith

/Hotchalk, Inc

"Edify provides excellent and experienced development resources that complete projects within budget, within the time provided, with little or no drama and with high quality. They have deep development knowledge and a good design ethic amongst the developers."

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