Modern States Educations’s Case Study

NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute
IBL was a game-changer for me. Working with the team was easier than working with any engineering team I’ve ever had to deal with. We hit all of our deadlines on time and they were more than eager to help out with things not directly in our agreement. I would recommend them to anyone.”
Adam Tetelman, Platform Manager at NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute
Sales and Revenue Generation via Massive Audiences.
Explore the monetization models for deploying online institutes with IBL Education and Open edX.
Audience of 600k+ Developers
Instructor-Led and Self-Paced Courses
Specialized GPU Labs and Certifications
NVIDIA has risen since 1999 as a superpower in the field of visual computing with their invention of the GPU (graphics processing unit).

Today, GPUs are a physical necessity for machine learning — a rapidly growing subset of artificial intelligence and computer science. NVIDIA has led the way as the largest manufacturer of GPUs, with breakthroughs in parallel processing, making supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible.
The Challenge.
The backbone of NVIDIA is building the hardware that allows for deep learning to exist, and NVIDIA was in the market for a learning ecosystem for their Deep Learning Institute (DLI) to spread deep learning training.

The DLI aims to educate its over 600k developers, data scientists and researchers with an accessible learning ecosystem under its full control. In addition to their educational motives, NVIDIA wanted to produce a marketable learning platform that would encourage investment into their hardware.
The Solution.
NVIDIA partnered with IBL Education to deploy a deeply-integrated, distributed and built-to-scale Open edX ecosystem for their DLI in order to train developers and data scientists in deep learning.

Open edX is the open source learning platform created by MIT and Harvard, and is scalable, well-tested and fully featured in terms of its web application, iOS and Android platforms, and learning analytics.
The Results.
NVIDIA’s ecosystem was launched in March 2018 at the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in California where two courses were offered: Fundamentals of Deep Learning for Computer Vision, and Fundamentals of Accelerated Computing with CUDA C/C++.

Since the launch, NVIDIA now offers tens of courses and is on its way to reaching the first 100K students by the end of this year. In addition, they’ve offered in-person sessions with thousands of students.
The NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute’s mission is to educate deep learning engineers at scale, and most importantly, to certify them. Learners who take part in the courses offered in the DLI are issued certifications and microcredentials. These badges and certificates allow learners to demonstrate their knowledge of specific skills and competencies gained in deep learning.

By partnering with IBL Education and creating a personalized Open edX ecosystem, they now own their platform and are in full control of their content. Open edX platforms are tried and true, with over 55M learners and integrated education at scale. In terms of cost, it is negligible in comparison to a standard learning platform.
Another noteworthy concern for any large-scale online learning ecosystem is the requirement of concurrent users — NVIDIA’s ecosystem requiring thousands, which was only made possible due to the Open edX architecture it is fundamentally built on. Moving forward, NVIDIA will be able to modify their learning ecosystem to adjust their learning strategies because their ecosystem is completely under their control.
Modern States Education Alliance
“I’ve worked with IBL over the last several years, and they’ve brought creativity, integrity and technological expertise. They come in on time, on budget, with the highest quality imaginable. I recommend them very, very highly.”
David Vise, Executive Director of Modern States Education Alliance
The Freshman Year for Free Program.
Explore the wide variety of courses created by Modern States for the Freshman Year for Free program — the College Board’s full CLEP 33-course catalog, approved and marketed by them!
Full College Board Course Catalogue
40+ Core College Subjects
Featured in Bloomberg, WSJ, etc.
Meet Modern States.
Modern States Education Alliance is dedicated to making the process of obtaining a college degree more affordable for anyone.

Founded by Steve Klinsky, the Modern States philanthropic “Freshman Year for Free” program’smission is to provide 1M learners with full access to all of the College Board’s CLEP catalog.
The Challenge.
Due to the high number of students expected to enroll, Modern States needed an online learning ecosystem that was able to support such a large student body. After formally launching in the summer of 2017, there have been nearly 100k enrollments.

Hosting the sheer amount of users is made possible by the utilization of the Open edX learning ecosystem and the architecture it was fundamentally built on.
The Solution.
To make this reality come to life, Modern States Education Alliance partnered with and IBL Education to create the online ecosystem supporting their initiative.

The Freshman Year for Free program, which has a full catalog of free online courses, offers high-quality classes taught by exceptional instructors in over 40 core freshman subjects. These classes prepare students for the Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams.
The Results.
The Freshman Year for Free program has attracted over 100,000 learners.

The initiative has been featured across media outlets, including Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Examiner, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Wired, City Journal, and RealClear Policy.

As part of their philanthropic efforts, Modern States is also paying the test fees for the first 10k users who complete the online courses. This endeavor has been noted with success, as 77% of CLEP test-takers, paid for by Modern States, have passed their exams.
If you consider the pricing model for a license on a standard learning platform, the nearly 100,000 enrollments that Modern States has accrued could have been incredibly costly — considering that 10k users costs just over $100k per year.

With ~100k users, Modern States would potentially be looking at a cost in the millions under a standard license. However, by partnering with IBL Education and creating a personalized Open edX ecosystem, they now own their platform and are in full control of their content.

Open edX platforms are tried and true, with over 26M learners and integrated education at scale. In terms of cost, it is negligible in comparison to a standard learning platform (less than 10%).