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“Sit Down and Start Learning”

Here's How Esme Learning Delivers Faster, Safer Student Onboarding

For years, online learning advocates have trumpeted the benefits of a remote classroom.

What we’ve all learned over the past fifteen months of COVID, though, is that to access those benefits, you first need to solve for the logistics of online education. And that can be challenging—particularly when it comes to getting new students verified, onboarded, and ready to learn.

For executive education providers like Esme Learning, solving the student verification challenge is even more crucial because the graduates of their programs receive valuable course certificates from prestigious colleges and universities. Before putting their names and reputations on the line, these academic institutions must be assured that students in remote locations are who they claim to be.

We spoke recently with Julia Henderson, Esme’s VP of course operations, to learn more about how her company manages to provide those strong assurances to schools like MIT and Oxford while maintaining a delightful onboarding experience that’s virtually frictionless (pun intended).


Making It Easy for Learners to Get Started Quickly

Ms. Henderson describes her search for an identity proofing and onboarding provider as the pursuit of the best possible student experience. “We wanted to reduce friction on the admin tasks students have to do,” she says. “Our ultimate goal is to make it easy for people who are learning to get into their platform, sit down, and start learning quickly.”

That ease-of-use for students, however, must not come at the expense of security, Henderson cautions. “I was impressed by how Daon accomplishes identity verification, including facial recognition and liveness tests. Esme Learning teaches courses in frontier and complex concepts, such as cybersecurity, so it’s important to us to be secure in our practices and that it feels secure for our students.”


Less Admin Work for Course Operators

Though Esme puts the majority of its focus on the student experience, the company is also keenly aware of how the identity proofing and onboarding process affects its course designers and administrators. As such, Esme tasked Daon with creating a snap-in adaptor for the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) standard—a popular protocol in the online learning space—which allows course designers to add biometric identity proofing directly into the learning flow without the need to write code or exit the Learning Management System (LMS) interface.

“Daon stepped up to give us everything to get started,” adds Henderson. “We had a lot of personal attention, and the team was interested in learning about our use case and helping us succeed. Other vendors didn’t offer us the same kind of support.”

With its LTI adapter in place, Esme can now quickly and easily authenticate students directly within the learning flow and ensure those students complete the authentication process before progressing with a course. Daon’s solution then posts the authentication outcome directly into Esme’s LMS, where administrators can monitor whether users have completed the ID verification process and whether or not they were successful.

By eliminating manual processes, Ms. Henderson estimates her team now saves upwards of 10 hours of administrative work per course.

“We were able to deploy quickly, and it will provide huge gains for the people administering the course. In addition to saving us time and making life much easier, it provides the highest quality experience to our customers,” said Henderson.


Learn more about Esme’s path to frictionless student onboarding by reading the full case study, here.


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