About Responsive Learning
Responsive Learning is an online company that provides administrators and school faculty with the training and resources they need to meet compliance requirements, provide continuing education opportunities, and stay trained and updated with new teaching techniques — all on a fully online platform. They have a library of over 200 interactive video courses, primarily taught by widely known authorities in education, which school districts can access via a yearly subscription or on a course-by-course basis.
August is typically a busy month for Responsive Learning with a high demand for school faculty continuing education, but August 2020 was much busier than most. Responsive Learning needed help from a custom software development company to prepare their outdated, underpowered systems to meet the explosion of demand for online education during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the help of Steele Consulting, their servers were able to handle 10 times the amount of traffic with no increase in support tickets.
Responsive Learning’s systems were created over a decade ago and were extremely outdated. During the approach to the fall semester, Responsive Learning expected to face high levels of usage due to the immediate demand for online education, so their system needed to be ready to handle the influx in demand.
Steele Consulting upgraded every aspect of Responsive Learning’s systems, from their hardware to their internal processes. They updated and standardized the user interface, streamlined the data retrieval process, and automated the migration between systems.
During August, Responsive Learning’s peak usage month, users reported higher satisfaction and smoother results when navigating the more consistent, refined online interface. Educators accessing Responsive Learning’s online courses were able to do so with little-to-no technical obstacles, even though the servers were supporting up to 10 times more traffic than Responsive Learning had ever experienced.
Historically, August is a heavy month for Responsive Learning. School districts often assign three to nine hours of professional education for all their returning teachers before the fall semester begins, many of which are a mix of online and in-person courses. In 2020, however, online training has been the only available platform. That’s where Steele Consulting’s custom software development services saved the day: Responsive Learning needed help delivering its training content to users reliably during a massive influx of online traffic. After the shift of COVID-19, up to 2,000 teachers and administrators could have been taking online courses at the same time. With Responsive Learning’s unenhanced core system, it was becoming more and more expensive to increase their capacity so they could meet the demand for the fall semester.
Not only that, but the initial pieces of this system were designed over a decade ago. To keep up with technological advances, they added many third-party components. This meant hundreds of extra hours in training and research, as well as a jumbling of user interfaces. Each time a system change or enhancement was made, the code changes had to be tediously, manually copied to a test environment. Manually migrating data often results in something being missed or misapplied, which adds even more hours or complicates the production migration process. Because of the huge range of aging technologies involved, the test environment did not match the production environment.
Advancements and testing were not good in this outdated, unscalable system.
“I knew that there were all of these little steps along the way that …were being accomplished. I was able to report to our partners and customers how things were moving along…it was fantastic.”– Tommy Tinajero
Steele Consulting upgraded Responsive Learning’s outdated systems, automated migrations, and updated their UI.
“[Steele has] been very integral in what we do. Just the training and supplemental growth that [Steele] has been giving to our internal team has been amazing.”– Tommy Tinajero
Steele’s first order of business for Responsive Learning was to update all their systems and add-ons to the same versions, in addition to converting all their user interfaces to the latest version of Angular UI. They made quality-of-life improvements to Responsive Learning’s user interface by streamlining the data retrieval process. For changes that needed to be made to the upgraded system, Steele automated the migration process so Responsive Learning didn’t need to manually transfer code, thereby reducing the potential for error. Changes can now be made in mere hours—not days.
Tommy Tinajero, Vice President of Responsive Learning, praised the transparency of Steele Consulting’s upgrade process. “I knew that there were all of these little steps along the way that …were being accomplished,” he said. “I was able to report to our partners and customers how things were moving along…it was fantastic.”
The results were noticeable immediately. Even during peak levels of usage, the system performed like a champ and the educators experienced no speed issues on the front end. Developers reported much higher satisfaction with their daily work due to the nature of the automated migration process.
Tommy said a common hurdle with businesses is outsourcing projects to other companies. He elaborated that sometimes it’s difficult to know how important a company’s project is to a consultant. However, Tommy emphatically stated that this is not so with Steele Consulting. “[Steele has] been very integral in what we do,” Tinajero said. “Just the training and supplemental growth that [Steele] has been giving to our internal team has been amazing.”
Connect with Steele Consulting today to find out how we can help you streamline your business processes and scale your company for immeasurable growth.