Project Objective: To build an interactive, visually engaging eLearning experience and make it accessible to a large and growing market of prospective students nationwide.
Project Background: Advantedge Education, Inc. is a woman-owned business in Albany, New York that designs and develops online continuing education courses for people in a variety of professions that relate to health and wellness, including nurses, doctors, social workers, teachers, and counselors. Although they had a solid history of creating first-class continuing-education courseware, they needed the technology to effectively and securely deliver their courseware to their clients.
So Lesley Cashman-Peck and her business partner, Ann Purchase, interviewed web consulting companies. They chose Troy Web.
“We had the most confidence in them for the transfer of sensitive and personal information. We needed a marketing website, but we also needed secure mechanics behind the scenes,” says Cashman-Peck.
The Challenge: Specifically, Advantedge Education needed a web solution that would allow students to:
Enroll on their own
Pay for courses with a credit card
Take the course at their own pace
Receive their grade immediately
Complete an evaluation
Receive a certificate of completion
Perhaps most importantly, Advantedge Education needed a way to securely transfer student records to the New York State Department of Education. When Troy Web began working on a solution, they discovered that the state’s system for transmitting data wasn’t as secure as it should be. And that changed everything.
“The guys at Troy Web realized early on that the state’s way of transmitting data was not the best way to do it. They were adamant that they would not set up a system that sent insecure data,” Purchase says. “So we got on the phone with the Department of Education and explained why we wouldn’t transmit information over their system.”
The state understood and agreed. In fact, it changed its process and required that all of its education providers make their systems more secure, as well. It resulted in a nine-month delay in getting Advantedge Education’s product to market, but Purchase said it was “well worth it.”
“The bottom line is that the old way of transmitting sensitive information wasn’t secure, and we influenced the entire system with the help of Troy Web,” Cashman says. “This was a problem the state didn’t even know they had. Troy Web was a partner that not only delivered but also overcame the challenges we faced.”
In the meantime, Troy Web was hard at work, using SCORM Cloud to design, build and test the web application. SCORM stands for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model.” It’s a set of guidelines for e-learning software that helps programmers create programs that will work well with other e-learning software. Essentially, it serves as a reference that developers can use to make sure everyone’s e-learning software can work together. SCORM allows businesses to easily integrate educational software into their Learning Management System (LMS), and today it’s an industry standard for e-learning software. SCORM Cloud is a software that allows developers to test, distribute, and track their e-learning software, and to make sure it’s SCORM conformant. Troy Web’s commitment to industry standards like SCORM helped ensure that, three years after its creation, Advantedge Education’s e-learning software is still running smoothly.
Business Impact: From May 2014 to December 2014, Advantedge Education saw a 189% growth in sales. From 2015 to 2016, the company experienced a 60% sales growth. In terms of web traffic for 2014-2015, Advantedge Education grew traffic 230%, and from 2015 to 2016 it grew another 151%. In 2017, traffic was up another 22%.
“Troy Web is knowledgeable and detailed, and they built us a very reliable system that has helped bring our company to the next level,” Cashman-Peck says.
The company currently offers five web-based courses, including infection control and barrier precautions, as well as child-abuse identification and reporting, both of which are required for New York State healthcare licensure. A sixth course is currently in development, and Purchase says they will continue to grow their catalog.
The next iteration of the website is already underway and will include a responsive design facelift that will make the site easier to use on mobile devices, improved user functionality and a more robust, integrated e-commerce system, as well as improved search engine optimization to boost organic web traffic.
Jon Briccetti, CEO of Troy Web Consulting, says the Troy Web team was committed to Advantedge Education’s success from Day One.
“We believe in this product and we believe in their business,” Briccetti says. “We made sure that Lesley and Ann were assigned the right team because developer/client relationships are important. We showed Advantedge Education that we provide value, and they see us as a trusted advisor they can turn to again and again.”
Learn more about Advantedge Education.