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Custom LMS
for Al Jazeera
Customizations, scalability; smooth learners, content, and data migration
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0k
total users
0+
courses
0+
trainers
Up to 0k
concurrent users

The Customer

Al Jazeera Media Institute is the educational project of the Al Jazeera Media Network conglomerate.
Having millions of viewers around the world, Al Jazeera attracted thousands of learners to its platform.

Due to the 2020 pandemic, the number of users increased even more: in May 2020, the number of registered users peaked at 120,000.

Along with that, the evolution of the platform came to the point where the need in advanced custom LMS arised.
Together with Raccoon Gang, Al Jazeera decided to launch the project of transitioning the “legacy” eLearning platform to the new Open edX based learning management system.

Tasks

The implementation of a new eLearning platform is a part of Al Jazeera Media Institute's vision as a leading provider in media training.
The platform reflects the Institute’s accumulated experience since it was founded in 2004, used to train and qualify journalists and media professionals worldwide.
To help Al Jazeera Media Institute make the next big step, the new LMS needed to have the following features:
Ability to sell courses to organizations in a suitable way (white-labeled subdomains, seamless staff enrollment, course access management system, etc.)
Ability to manage content, users, courses, social interactions, etc. in a modern way
Seamless mobile learning experience
eCommerce functionality
Advanced eLearning reporting
Gamification
Customized certification flow
Having Open edX as the basis technology to build a custom LMS and our off-the-shelf packages, we were able to cover almost every requirement for the project, except certification and UX/UI customizations. So, we were fully set to implement the next-gen learning management system for Al JAzeera Media Institute.

Challenges

Migration
Existing learning content had to be adapted for the new platform and mapped according to the Open edX course structure. The transition needed to be invisible to the user, so we needed to replicate the original platform's interface and transfer all the learner progress.
Scaling
The platform had to be highly scalable and ready to serve up to 20,000 consequent users smoothly, keeping uptime above 98%
Security
We needed to make sure that the technical means of security would correspond to the high level of Al Jazeera’s security requirements (which are comparable with ones of state or military organizations).
Cloud
Al Jazeera has its own cloud infrastructure in MS Azure that is managed by its own cloud computing team. It was necessary to make the new LMS cloud setup ready to be integrated with the existing infrastructure.

Solutions

Custom Design

The LMS interface has been customized to match the design of the original platform, including the new custom features. The platform is fully adaptive and looks great on any device.

Migration & saved Progress

We’ve applied a multistep migration process to make it almost invisible to hundreds of thousands of users. We ranked learner groups by activity and migrated their data accordingly. User data is activated after their first login to the new LMS using single sign-on.

Synchronizing a training user’s history takes a few minutes, so we applied an individual transition. This decision allowed us to save each learner’s progress during the migration but not stop the platform.

Scaling & cloud service

We provided hosting for the new LMS while integrating it successfully with the existing services in Al Jazeera’s Azure cloud computing service. The platform achieved high scalability (hundreds of thousands of users, according to test requests).

Multitenant deployment with Azure PAAS services consisted of two stages: first, we created a prototype infrastructure, followed by the deployment process (with updated application code).

We worked productively with the customer’s cloud team to implement our new solution.

Customized Localization 1/3

We’ve adapted the platform’s multi-linguality to the requirements of the Al Jazeera team. We’ve added an automatic display of courses depending on users’ chosen localization. From the English-language localization, the learners see only English-language courses. If they decide on Arabic, courses in both languages are displayed.

We’ve adapted the platform’s multi-linguality to the requirements of the Al Jazeera team. We’ve added an automatic display of courses depending on users’ chosen localization. From the English-language localization, the learners see only English-language courses. If they decide on Arabic, courses in both languages are displayed.

Open edX already had an Arabic localization that was 97% complete. We not only finalized the translation, but also made detailed edits to the text of the entire system in this language, according to customer’s requests.

We also replicated and improved the functionality of the language filter field on the Course Catalog.

We also created an additional field “Full Name (in Arabic)” in the Account settings page and Registration form. It allows automatic generation of a full Arabic name in a custom certificate. The field is optional.

Media experts Spotlight 1/2

The Al Jazeera Institute is associated with outstanding specialists in the field of media training. This eLearning platform is proud to bring together a group of distinguished Al Jazeera “stars” to support learners for future success.

Therefore, it is essential to display the trainer’s photo and name under each course and a link to his full profile. Users can easily find courses from their favorite media expert.

We reproduced this element in the new LMS and upgraded its flow (on the Main page, Course catalog and on each Course landing page)

The Al Jazeera Institute is associated with outstanding specialists in the field of media training. This eLearning platform is proud to bring together a group of distinguished Al Jazeera “stars” to support learners for future success.

Therefore, it is essential to display the trainer’s photo and name under each course and a link to his full profile. Users can easily find courses from their favorite media expert.

We reproduced this element in the new LMS and upgraded its flow (on the Main page, Course catalog and on each Course landing page)

We’ve implemented the “Instructor” course filter and technical solutions to display all courses from a selected instructor on its Instructor Bio page.

Introductory lessons & Saved courses feature 1/2

“Introductory lessons” from experts are also a powerful incentive to register for a course. The element is placed on the course landing page, along with other building blocks. Each block is optional: if one is empty on the admin panel, it is automatically hidden.

“Introductory lessons” from experts are also a powerful incentive to register for a course. The element is placed on the course landing page, along with other building blocks. Each block is optional: if one is empty on the admin panel, it is automatically hidden.

Users are able to add courses to “Saved” section which is displayed on the learner’s Dashboard

eCommerce Setup

We’ve integrated the eCommerce feature with Al Jazeera’s custom CyberSource gateway.

Custom Certification 1/3

The custom LMS gives the ability to create different certificate layouts for each course.

One can upload certificate templates and placeholder items: a partner logo and QR code. We also added the ability to set up bilingual or monolingual versions and an optional paid certificate indicator (with the signature of the institute director).

We’ve developed The custom LMS gives the ability to create different certificate layouts for each course.

One can upload certificate templates and placeholder items: a partner logo and QR code. We also added the ability to set up bilingual or monolingual versions and an optional paid certificate indicator (with the signature of the institute director).

Course managers are able to choose a certificate template for a given course, upload partner logo if necessary, and upload a QR code. Bilingual certificates and backend functionality for them to be available are also implemented.

Customer can create any HTML certificate layout and upload it in the Admin panel. The new template will be available immediately in LMS Studio.

GDPR functionality

We’ve implemented the GDPR compliance functionality according to Al Jazeera’s standards.

RG gamification tool

The platform is designed to make education and training entertaining and engaging. We’ve set up our RG Gamification tool for the LMS:

Flexible baging rules
Points and statuses
Leaderboards
Informative gamification dashboard
Informative gamification dashboard
Gamification dashboard and leaderboard has been aligned with the general platfrom’s style
RG Analytics tool

Our RG Analytics module added actionable and real-time reports to the LMS. It’s a powerful tool for improving online courses based on learners’ activities analysis and course completion success levels, including ability to connect with a particular learner group (by progress level, by lesson they are stuck in, by assessments they have issues with, etc.)

Corporate package

The corporate package is also one of the off-the-shelf tools developed by Raccoon Gang. It allows the creation of branches of the platform on additional specialized white-labeled subdomains.

Al Jazeera can use subdomains to collaborate with other corporations, giving them access to their chosen package of courses, which enables b2b sales of the learning materials.

Results

The new custom LMS successfully helps to implement Al Jazeera's mission: to work on developing every learner’s media skills to pave the way for their ambitions.
Do you consider building a custom LMS?
With us, you get a team of eLearning experts, experienced custom LMS developers, and gain a lot of benefits of using powerful open source LMS technology
custom lms is easy with us!
Do you consider building a custom LMS?
With us, you get a team of eLearning experts, experienced custom LMS developers, and gain a lot of benefits of using powerful open source LMS technology
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