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Interest in adult education is constantly growing, and the market is responding to this demand by introducing more and more EdTech. According to McKinsey, the most desirable feature of an education provider is that education covers enough skills for students to be employed. Therefore, creating a modern educational product that will satisfy customers in a rapidly changing world requires constant changes of materials. Also, note the seamless experience of the product – students feel comfortable interacting with the materials, if they are satisfied with the teachers, and so on.
I am sure that it is not enough to create something “good” for your customers once – you should improve it every day and share your changes with your students. These are the principles that helped Refocus become the best educational product of 2022.
Related: Why Investors Are Focused on EdTech in 2023
Listen to your customers
When your product is appreciated, people may encounter unpredictable difficulties. For example, we initially implemented an inefficient onboarding system – students joined their cohort a little later after purchasing the course. The problem was that they wanted to pay back their investment to change their lives, but they did not get access.
Therefore, it is necessary to carefully monitor the feedback of students:
- Follow product analytics such as completion rate, customer satisfaction (CSAT), retention rate and other KPIs. It’s easy to collect this data, which gives a fairly complete picture of customer experience. If something is wrong with the materials, you will immediately notice a drop in CSAT and completion rate.
- Collect qualitative feedback from students, in particular where they encounter difficulties or what is unclear to them. More detailed reviews can help identify details that need clarification or improvement.
- Pay attention to how students rate the people they interact with. Since staying motivated is the most important factor in retaining students, tracking their satisfaction with mentors, community managers, support professionals, and anyone they interact with on a regular basis is critical. Sometimes it may be necessary to fire a mentor if their students’ grades are consistently poor.
Regular collection of information on this topic ensures continuous improvement of the learning process. Therefore, make customers more satisfied with your product and more willing to share positive opinions with their friends and learn more effectively.
Related: 5 EdTech Trends That Will Change Science Between Now and 2030
Update your program
According to LinkedIn, 55% of adults decide to study something new to improve their career opportunities or even change their profession completely. Therefore, the educational product should provide them with the most relevant skills.
That’s why it’s important to work with professionals outside your company to provide feedback on your product. These can be:
- Hiring managers from companies that are looking for people like your graduates. This outside perspective of people with life experience determines whether a candidate with a particular skill set should be hired and provides valuable insight into the skills and knowledge most in demand in today’s job market.
- Third-party experts to assess the clarity and accuracy of your content. This is crucial to objectively evaluate the product in terms of the skills that are most used in real life and which graduates may be missing. In our experience, it is worth working with a senior person with more than 5 years of experience in the area in which you are educating.
- Industry leaders from around the world. Sharing experiences with someone who is creating something similar but different will help you stay on top of trends and best practices. If the person you are talking to is not your competition, you will both benefit from fruitful conversations.
- Instructors and mentors. Sometimes, especially in larger companies, the instructors involved in the various stages of product development do not communicate with each other; however, such interactions should not be underestimated. For example, we usually work with different people for each course block to find the most knowledgeable in the area. Since they have more than 5 years of experience in the same field, they can give each other valuable material advice.
Related: Will Edtech See a Paradigm Shift in 2023?
Make regular upgrades
Finally, it’s important to regularly make changes to your product based on the feedback you receive. One way to check each other’s work and identify areas for improvement is to organize dedicated meetings to discuss them. Everyone who can make your picture more complete should be invited to these meetings, and no one else can share the same information: for us, it’s the entire product team and the heads of departments related to it – community, support, marketing, etc.
We usually have two types of meetings:
- Every day. They are needed to identify minor problems as soon as they arise. During this meeting, you can look into product analytics to track all changes, compare them with those from the previous day and determine the reasons for them. For example, a sharp decline in satisfaction with homework means that something was unclear. If something like this appears, you should dig deeper and determine the causes. Sometimes these problems can be solved quickly. For example, we didn’t pay enough attention to the function needed for students to do their homework, so they felt confused. In this case, it is enough to attach another guide that describes it in more detail. So we identify the person responsible for it and give them a few days to improve the materials, which they will tell us at the next daily meeting. However, some things require more significant changes and we organize other types of meetings to plan them.
- Monthly. When the small changes you make are not enough to improve the quality of learning, or if the qualitative feedback shows that students are generally dissatisfied with the entire course block, more significant improvements need to be made. A dedicated monthly meeting helps you gather everything you’ve talked about before and create a complete picture. For example, we completely re-filmed several blocks of our course. In one case, it was because students disliked the instructor; in another it was because we included too much information and they got it wrong with all the details, some of which could easily have been changed. Of course, this is an extreme case: sometimes you only need to do one lesson or change your homework, but it still takes time.
Our most popular product, the data analytics course, only launched last spring, but those who sign up now will receive it quite different materials than the first cohort. If you’re using the same strategy, it’s important that your early adopters don’t feel deprived and think they got a worse product than others. For us, the solution is to share updated materials with students of previous cohorts and keep their access to previous ones.
To sum up
In conclusion, ensuring continuous improvement of science and materials is essential to the success of an EdTech product. Revising your course content to address areas of confusion or difficulty and updating your curriculum to reflect the latest industry trends and job market demands will help ensure that your learning materials will be in demand as long as education itself.
And as you can see from the current trend of lifelong learning, this may be the case forever.