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De Voil Consulting's work with The Chalkface Project

Educational publishing house The Chalkface Project gave De Voil Consulting a key role in the transformation of their business using Internet technology.

"When they brought us in, Chalkface were already a leader in paper-based publishing for secondary schools," said Nick de Voil, Director of De Voil Consulting. "But they had the vision to see that the Web could make that business obsolete, and the energy to do something about it".

The result was The Paperless School, an ambitious project to replace the whole homework cycle in schools with a web-based alternative. The system was conceived and designed by Ian Grove-Stephensen, CEO of The Chalkface Project. He asked De Voil Consulting to come up with an architecture for the system which would take account of emerging e-learning standards such as SCORM and IMS.

This led to a period of intensive requirements analysis and prototyping, and subsequently De Voil Consulting were contracted to build the web application.

The Chalkface Project are now selling a number of profitable e-titles based entirely on The Paperless School. The innovative project has firmly established the company as a UK leader in e-learning.

"De Voil Consulting brought us technical knowhow in SQL, J2EE and XML, and expertise in developing large software applications. We're delighted to have got such a good system at such a reasonable price," said Ian Grove-Stephensen. "More importantly, they were flexible when it came to changing the requirements, and I was able to develop and refine ideas with Nick as we went along."

"This was the most exciting project we've done in our 15 years of business" said Nick de Voil. "It was a big challenge and we responded to it in a big way. It gives me quite a buzz to know that there are thousands of schoolkids out there using our software, and that we've contributed to the development of how education happens in this country."
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