The technical backbone of the New Beginnings Doula Training platform is the “Doula Course” plugin developed in-house in 2015-16. This plugin is built on top of the WordPress platform and utilizes WordPress’s core functionality to manage our unique approach to online education. Distinct from many other learning management systems (LMS) online, New Beginnings Doula Training assesses student comprehension based off of written responses. In essence, students are submitting posts, our trainers have an opportunity to provide comments on these submissions, and then the instructors mark the post status of the submitted work as “complete” or “incomplete.” In addition to content management of submitted assignments, the plugin also manages course curriculum, student accounts, and payments. It strives to use as much of WordPress’s core functionality and interfaces as far as possible making use of Custom Post Types, post and user meta data, and other core WordPress functionality.
The original 1.0 version of the “doula course” plugin suffers from inexperience on several fronts. Much of the company’s business logic is hard-baked into the code. For example, the layout of assignments is mapped in an extensive multi-dimensional array as a part of the “assignment” class. This sort of inexperience in code limits the flexibility of the current code to be expandable or modified for future company needs.