onCourse for web designers

onCourse has the most flexible and sophisticated templating system of any Student Management System on the market. This means that you have complete control of the output. If you have a customer wanting an online enrolment system, instead of trying to write it yourself or adapt a generic widget shopping basket system into the specific needs of course enrolments, let onCourse do the work for you.

What you get for “free”

onCourse gives you lots of functionality so you don’t have to create it from scratch. For example:

  • A shopping basket for courses
  • Powerful Lucene based searching including proximity (distance from suburb), time of day, day of week, tutor name, full course description and more. Our search algorithm includes word stemming (searching for “painted” when the user types in “painting”) and thesaurus matching (searching for “art” when the user types “painting”).
  • course list and detail views
  • tutor list and detail views
  • sites (training venues)
  • Google maps integration
  • AddThis integration (facebook, twitter, google plus one, email a friend)
  • Student and tutor portals
  • A basic CSS implementation of all the core features
  • much more…


We use SCSS (similar to SASS or LESS) for powerful CSS templating, meaning that you can embed comments into your CSS, use variables, mixins and much more. This means that with only a few lines of CSS you can have a website built and deployed. For example, the entire custom CSS for this site is about 400 lines.

We also use compass and blueprint which are basic layout frameworks to save you lots of time. Cross-browser compatibility with little effort, rounded corners, liquid layouts, and more.


Most of the html generated by onCourse is customisable through templates you can upload to our staging server. We have documented the html you can edit here.

A staging server

We provide a staging server with caching disabled for all your design work. This means that ou don’t need to set up your own test environment. We’ve done that for you. Once you are ready a single push will synchronise all your design from staging to the live site.

Rich text

We provide a markup language (based on Textile with our own extensions). This makes it easy for your client to edit content, and also the embed dynamic elements from the database. So you can embed a course description into another page as easily as {course name:“ABC”} or display a hierarchical menu of subjects with just {tags}.

The ish team include CSS and javascript experts, so if you’d prefer to just focus on design, we can take over from there. Or we can give you the tools to complete the whole job from beginning to end. Contact us to ask any questions at all.