Moving past the “flaws” of a fixed path
“A service like this wasn’t available when I was in school, but I wish it was,” Calesero said. “It’s so much easier, simpler, and the lessons allow you to learn the way we do everything now: when it’s convenient for you. It allows anyone to fit class into their schedule.”
Essentially, students choose the course they wish to take and watch a series of video lessons (sometimes numbering more 100) that generally last about 5-10 minutes. Upon completing the video, students take an accompanying multiple choice quiz which gives them immediate feedback on how well they understood the concepts they just learned.
“I love the short videos that are super entertaining and never tiring,” said Study.com user Paula Brown. “I was able to skip buying an overpriced textbook…[and] I’ve passed four CLEP exams so far and earned 12 credits…in less than three months!”
“Our bite-sized videos are designed to more or less stand alone,” Bayliss explained. “The videos are not required to be viewed in order so that students can design their own learning path. One of the flaws of traditional education is that students are prescribed to a fixed path, but this way they can go at their own pace and account for any prior knowledge they have or what they most want to turn their attention towards.”
For many courses, though, students also have the option of taking a larger quiz tying the themes of multiple lessons together.
However, students are not left completely to their own devices. Boasting an “Ask The Instructors” feature on each course, students can submit questions that an instructor will respond to within a day or two at most.
“Our instructors love the opportunity to interact with their students and give them thoughtful and thorough answers,” Bayliss said. “We really believe in our model, and I see it as being a path to the future. Moving forward, we would like to create even more opportunities for students to interact with other students and instructors to make our model an even more complete experience.”
Looking to the future
“We want to become the ultimate study resource,” said Bayliss. “That means providing lessons to teach students everything they would want to learn. So, more specialized courses and test prep courses will be developed. And we want to expand the age range of students we serve.”
This means that for adults, Study.com will work to bolster their offering of teacher certification exam preparation, as well as work with companies to offer professional development and corporate learning courses. For kids kids, this means expanding middle school offerings and making videos for elementary school students.
Many teachers are also starting to use for the wide array of lessons on Study.com in the physical classroom, the company noted. They can show students the videos to supplant the main lesson plan and introduce the day’s concept to students, or can use them to flip their classroom by assigning the videos and accompanying quizzes as homework, allowing the teacher to track the progress and understanding of their students via the quiz scores.
(Next Page: could Study.com ever really eliminate the need for community colleges?)