In the spring of 2015, our doula training business when from being an email correspondence course to an online course with the release of our 1.0 version of the “Doula Course” plugin. Now as the business has grown and future potential opportunities have been developed around childbirth education and doula training, so have the needs of our organization to make dramatic improvements to the nature of the code infrastructure that supports our plans for future opportunities.
Because of the “small” scale nature of our fledgling start-up organization, financial resources have been non-existent to solicit outside participation in the development of code. Mostly a labor of love, plans to improve the code for New Beginnings Doula Training has been a one-man effort.
Several attempts had been made at building a more robust plugin that would allow for multiple programs of training, all housed within the same website interface. Also efforts have been expended to create a network of childbirth education services connecting the training with a library.
The Road Ahead
The technical plan for New Beginnings Childbirth Services could be broken up into several phases of work. These phases may be categorized as follows: 1) Immediate Actions, 2) Doula Course Upgrades, and 3) The Education Network. Each phase is an ambitious leap forward over the previous one.
These are actions that will help to improve the accessibility of our training to a broader audience. For example, accepting multiple payment methods, or fully automating the registration and cancellation processes, improving assignment submission functionality, etc.
Payment Upgrades for “Doula Course” Plugin
Detach plugin from PayPal’s IPN functionality in favor a more modern solution found in the PayPal Checkout product offering.
Add Stripe payment processing as primary form of payment by bank card. Both PayPal and Stripe payments should be process in the same manner by the system’s back end.
Login Upgrade for “Doula Course” Plugin
Create a custom login experience for use across company properties for access to secured areas of the site. Detach from the default WordPress login functionality while still using as much of the core functionality. Create options to integrate login functionality as short code solution when or where needed. Should work independently of any page or service.
Doula Course Upgrades
The next major phase of work be to bring the “doula course” plugin up to the level of a fully functional LMS, with the flexibility of a commercial option, decoupling it from the specifics of our Birth Doula training program. This will allow us to implement multiple course of study into the software. Improved trainer controls will help with the management of student loads and create more seamless, automated experience, eliminated the “busy work” aspects of managing a large student load.
The Educational Network
The final phase of development for the overall business objectives of New Beginnings Childbirth Services is to create a network of plugins that allow users access to educational materials at multiple levels across several different platforms. From accessing content in a library format to enrollment in a certificate program, the genius of the educational network rests on top of the genius of the WordPress Network. Users are consolidated into one location, Educational materials will also be central located.
Tools and services will be available across the network of website as needed for the specific solution. For example, all educational resources will be housed within the library system, but will be made accessible for use in a specific course of study within the Certificates LMS. Unique engagement experiences can be crafted for individual users via the People CRM. System wide features such as payment processing for different available services on a specific website will be managed at a network level across all plugins and website.