Online learning has grown multi-fold in last 5 years but not all companies involved in the space have been able to help people realize their economic potential through focused learning interventions at scale.
To see what path ‘Potential.com‘ is taking to contribute to this social edtech sector, we reached out to Alla Maria, Head of Business Development.
What would be an elevator pitch for someone who does not know about your product yet?
We provide practical and innovative online learning solutions for the general public and for businesses – helping them do their jobs better.
What is your company’s core value proposition? What problem are you solving and for whom?
Potential.com is a Social EdTech Business that aims to provide affordable, practical and relevant educational content. Our aim is to help people get better job prospects, startup or expand their businesses, or do better in their day to day job and career.
What parts of the globe are you currently seeing traction from? What parts of the world are you planning to expand or market in the near future? What kind of partners are you looking for?
Our focus has been on emerging markets since that is where we have seen the most need for our services and the biggest traction. India and Indonesia are big focus markets for us in the near future. The partners we work with generally help us promote our content to organizations or to end users.
Walk us through your micro learning model.
Given today’s short attention spans and increased internet connectivity accessible through mobile phones we have designed the learning experience to be in line with those dynamics. For that reason, we use video based, micro learning courses, where each module is a couple of minutes long and the courses are all less than 30 minutes in duration. We have also experimented with our content and methodology getting deployed on unconventional learning systems – like Whatsapp especially when we are working with illiterate or underprivileged communities that wouldn’t be comfortable in logging into a website.
How do you plan to check on the user satisfaction?
To be able to determine how well each course is doing, we track progress of the individuals through the course to ensure that we have less than 30% of dropouts. We also provide a learner feedback at the end of the course. On the other hand, we also measure other aspects such as improvement in learning before starting the course and after completion, generation of learning plans and other components within the courses.
Where do you see your company in 12 or 18 months from now? (e.g. product milestones, team size, potential growth/revenue targets).
Our focus is on continuing to enhance our learning platform and content so that we provide our learners the most efficient and effective learning resources that help them improve their personal and economic potential.
What are your views about the growth of Education Technology and E-Learning industry globally?
The education sector is going through a major transformation at this stage since the traditional standardized school and university system is not in line with the changing job market requirements. As more and more learners come to realize that the 16 years of schooling is not guaranteeing them a good job, they would start to shift to learning platforms that can shorten their route to securing a good job. On the other hand, the e-learning industry has been in the past trying to make a broken system operate more efficiently and thus didn’t produce the expected outcomes. A new thinking needs to emerge that focuses on tangible learning outcomes that learners could apply quickly – and through the innovations in smart devices, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and connectivity – the next generation of learning solutions will emerge.
Who would you call your competitors? And how are you different?
When we started providing Massive Online Open Courseware (MOOCs) in 2009 there were a handful of global providers doing the same. Now there are thousands of sites that provide online learning – the majority of which will close down in the coming years despite millions of investments behind them. Very few online learning platforms have been able to provide a sustainable business model where they are really solving a big need. The biggest need that we are working on is creating better business opportunities for billions around the world – by helping individuals startup or expand their business or find and grow their career opportunities. One of the organisations that is doing this very well at the moment is Udacity. Allowing people to realize their economic potential through focused learning interventions at scale is what we focus on and since that’s a very tough proposition, very few companies are able to do that and go beyond just providing another online learning course.