Modern Services for the Modern Classroom
CCESL’s platform is based around serving access to the Moodle Learning System, the open source web-based curriculum and grading platform maintained by the Moodle Project. Moodle is a service installed on a Linux server, hosted by Microsoft Azure. Azure provides backup and security and networking technologies, allowing flexibility and scalability.
Additionally, CCESL uses Big Blue Button, hosted on an additional Linux Server, as a hosted video conference/virtual meeting space to create, maintain and record all student experiences. All student facing services are HTML, with the rich media experiences, as well as the digital classroom, all leaveraging the latest in HTML5 support.
Authentication and Student record keeping is backed by the power of Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory, which allows an SSO (Single Sign On) experience across all CCESL Services; for both students and staff. Moodle, BigBlueButton, WooCommerce (the Online Store Frontend) via WordPress, staff Office365; all connect back to a single cohesive directory.
Speaking of WooCommerce, CCESL ultimately decided that requiring all payments to be processed through Amazon Pay would provide a level of security and data privacy that we would have difficulty maintaining ourselves, as well as making payment processing extremely simple and fast for any student with any existing Amazon account.
CCESL primary webservices are built on the WordPress framework, provided by InMotion Hosting, to leverage the power of CPanel support flexibility as well as being extremely cost effective.
The last segment of CCESL’s platform is the domain names themselves, hosted by Google Domains, and the DNS fabric that ties it all together is provide via Microsoft Azure. Web Services are secured using a mixture of Comodo SSL certificates with certificates provided via the Let’s Encrypt project (another open source offering). The SSLLabs.com rating for Moodle (at learn.crossculturalesl.com) is a solid ‘A’ as of October 2019.
The balance of open source, small business and enterprise class services allow a fully realized educational platform to serve staff and students effectively, safely and reliably while maintaining costs at a level that enable a very approachable per-hour rate to our students, and still allowing us to take care of our staff with competitive compensation.
Daniel Sasse, Chief Technology Officer
October 2, 2019