The Center for the Collaborative Classroom improves the school experience of children around the globe by providing teachers with an engaging curriculum and ongoing professional learning that support the academic as well as the social and emotional development of students.
Founded in 1980, the organization has pioneered the integration of social and academic development into a curriculum and has made significant contributions to research on social and emotional learning.
Collaborative Classroom comes with a digital assessment application designed to simplify the analysis of student data and provide real-time feedback to teachers. However, its previous, SQL-based digital assessment engine was too slow to use. On the back end, the application’s classic SQL database spread across 45 different tables, causing lags of up to 20 seconds or more.
“The teacher would be trying to record an answer, but, by then, the child was already on to the next step,” explains Tim Millen, chief technology officer, Collaborative Classroom.
As a result, most teachers reverted to paper-and-pencil assessments that saved time during the assessment but made analysis a tedious, manual process. With this valuable information being committed to paper, Collaborative Classroom was also missing out on important insights it could use to shape and improve its curriculum.
The organization knew it needed to find a way to accelerate its assessment engine so teachers could spend less time on assessments and more time with students. Millen began looking for a microservices-based technology that could provide up-to-the-moment responsiveness.
Millen quickly narrowed his search to jBASE from Zumasys.
“Of course, Mongo is one of the biggest NoSQL databases, but we needed a three dimensional database,” he added. “Of all the MultiValue databases, I began to really focus on jBASE because it is native to the operating system, so it is very lightweight. Plus, Zumasys is really layering on a lot of new technology, which is very exciting for us.”
Zumasys’ software services team worked closely with Millen and his team to understand their objectives and build a solution from the ground up that could meet the organization’s unique requirements—including compliance with stringent federal data privacy regulations such as FERPA, CIPA, and COPPA that relate to children and students.
On jBASE, the assessment database now runs 20x faster than it did in a traditional SQL environment.
Migrating to jBASE also allowed Collaborative Classroom to create a mobile, user-friendly interface for delivering assessments in real-time.
Educators are now able to seamlessly move throughout the classroom from student to student, recording observations as they go. As Collaborative Classroom prepares for the 2019-2020 school year, Millen is excited to see how the application performs in the classroom.