A British company aiming to improve online engagement in higher education has just raised more than $1.5 million in funding and is eyeing the United States market.
BlikBook started in 2010, but is now gaining popularity in England and Ireland. This summer, the platform is being used in courses at a third of universities in the two countries. The company recently announced that it will move its headquarters to Dublin, though an office will remain in London, where the company was launched.
“This is a nice first test for us in geographic expansion,” said Cheyne Tan, BlikBook’s managing director. “We’re really driving out trials in the U.S. now. We’ve been selectively, and quietly, doing tests there. It’s definitely a market that understands this type of thing.”
That “type of thing” is student and instructor engagement online. BlikBook is a social platform that allows students and educators to connect online through a specific question. For example, if a student had a particular query about a subject, he may normally just send a Facebook message to his friend who sits next to him in class.
With BlikBook, the student can post the question online and anyone logged in for that course can help provide an answer.
Those responses can be shared through social media, and a student is able to sign up to receive a notification every time a new answer is posted to the question. As the platform expands to places like the United States, Tan said, answers can come from knowledgeable sources all over the world.
“It’s connecting different pockets of academic knowledge,” he said. “If I wanted to ask a question at London Business School, I could get an answer at Harvard or UCLA.”
See Page 2 for what else BlikBook can do.