CLIENT INDUSTRY: Online Courses
CLIENT REQUEST: Create a complex online platform that will deliver video online courses to students across the world
GOAL: Provide a convenient opportunity to students across the world to learn about Buddha’s teachings on an online platform
DharmaSun is a Buddhist monastery from Nepal who is teaching Buddhist philosophy to tens of thousands of students around the world.
Prior to our involvement, they needed an e-learning platform similar to Coursera that helps students from around the world get established in the Buddhist philosophy through video courses, teacher reviews, and peer coaching and discussions.
Our process & implementation
For this project, we had to take into account a lot of features that would result in a complex online video courses platform.
First of all, we had to ensure a highly optimized video content delivery, as well as make sure it would work well even in locations with a poor internet connection. Prior to the development process, we had to decide what custom video player we were going to integrate into the platform. It had to meet some requirements such as the ability to stream content from Amazon S3, an acceptable license price, and for it to be developer-friendly. The JWPlayer has successfully met all of these prerequisites.
Next, we have worked on implementing the front-end design while creating the needed features in the back-end and accommodating all the content types: Talks, Sadhanas & Rituals, Seminars, and others.
We have also created customized access to courses and course progress with teacher reviews. For this, we have used a highly customized version of LearnDash in tandem with MemberPress and achieved the custom workflows required by the client. Also, we have made it possible for the platform to deliver free, as well as paid videos.
Another important feature was to integrate the platform with a discussion forum for the students. In order to achieve this, we have integrated BBPress with the existing Learning Management System workflow, giving it a Coursera-like feeling of learning and collaboration.
One other important functionality was a donation system integration. Donations are indispensable in volunteer-based initiatives like DharmaSun. We have implemented options for single as well as recurring donations. Moreover, we have created a donation system where a student can donate for the scholarship of another student.
Lastly, we had to import all the data from the previous custom system about the students, their course progress and the forums.
After the deployment, we secured the website using a Web Application Firewall. We made sure that the links of the videos couldn’t be easily embedded on other websites.
The DharmaSun platform is up and running flawlessly since 2016 and is used by students across the world, this being proof that it continues to achieve its goal — to make Buddha’s teachings available for everyone at the distance of some clicks.view website