The recent inaugural meeting of the Australia India Education and Skills Council marked a significant milestone in international educational collaboration. The new Australia-India education partnership underscores the strengthening ties between India and Australia in the education sector, leading to the signing of a pivotal education partnership.
What is the Australia-India education partnership?
Two of Australia’s most prestigious universities, the University of Wollongong and Deakin University have announced plans to establish branches in India’s Gujarat International Finance-Tec (GIFT) City. This move is part of a broader agreement that involves six Australian universities, including Western Sydney University, the University of Canberra, La Trobe University, Griffith University, James Cook University, and Flinders University, to offer their courses to students in India.
These universities are exploring collaborative ways to launch into new international markets and deliver Australian degrees in India. This innovative approach involves working together to deliver courses overseas, rather than operating as individual entities. The primary aim is to expand education access for Indian students and enhance the presence of Australian universities in the region. This agreement builds on other Australian education deals already in place in India.
What does the Australia-India education partnership aim to achieve?
The decision to establish these campuses is a response to the growing demand for higher education services in India. The Indian Government’s goal is to enrol 50% of young people in post-school education by 2035. The presence of Australian universities in India, particularly in-country campuses offering Australian courses, is expected to support this ambitious goal. Moreover, this expansion presents a significant economic opportunity for Australian universities. It allows them to extend their reach and access a broader student base beyond Australia.
Expanding beyond India: Looking towards Indonesia
Three Australian universities will establish campuses in Indonesia, enhancing international education and strengthening ties between Australia and Indonesia. Western Sydney University, Deakin University, and Central Queensland University are expanding their presence in Indonesia.
Western Sydney University plans to open a branch campus in Surabaya, East Java, focusing on degree programs and short courses with an emphasis on STEM skills. The Surabaya campus is expected to start in late 2023, with the first intake of students planned for September 2024.
Deakin University, in partnership with the UK’s Lancaster University, plans to offer dual programs in Bandung, West Java. This joint venture will provide a unique combination of Australian and British degrees, subject to approval by national regulators. The Bandung campus has strong support from both the Australian and British governments, highlighting the importance of this collaboration.
Central Queensland University has been active in Indonesia since 2019 through a university centre in Jakarta, in partnership with Bakrie University. This collaboration allows Indonesian students to earn Australian degrees. CQUniversity is exploring additional locations in Indonesia to align its teaching and research expertise with local workforce needs.
These initiatives align with Indonesia’s goal to add 57 million skilled workers to its economy by 2030. The expansion of Australian universities into Indonesia is seen as a crucial step in meeting this target and contributing to Indonesia’s growing economy and human capital needs.
What opportunity does the Australia-India education partnership create for education providers?
For education providers, this recent development serves as a compelling call to thoroughly evaluate and explore similar opportunities. The strategic move of Australian universities into India not only signifies a new era in global educational collaboration but also presents a remarkable model for other institutions to consider and potentially emulate.
This proactive approach to international education highlights the paramount importance of fostering cross-border partnerships as a means to effectively respond to the ever-evolving global educational landscape, catering to the diverse needs and emerging trends of students worldwide.
By embracing such collaborative initiatives, educational institutions can position themselves at the forefront of innovation and cultivate a truly global learning environment.
The inaugural Australia India Education and Skills Council gathering and the subsequent education partnership mark a pivotal moment in international education. This development not only strengthens educational ties between Australia and India but also opens new avenues for other education providers to explore similar collaborations.
As the landscape of global education evolves, it is crucial for education providers to stay informed and consider whether similar opportunities exist for them to expand their global footprint.
TikTok is a growing arm of marketing across different industries and sectors. But is it now breaking into the education space to connect with learners in new ways?
If marketers in education want to pull this new lever of engagement, what is the best way to do it, and what opportunities can be found from utilising this exciting engagement tool?
Is TikTok the future of education marketing?
According to recent data from Hootsuite and Sensor Tower, TikTok has over 50 million active users and has been downloaded 3 billion times since its launch, making it one of the most popular social media apps in the world.
In an interview with Digiday, Rob Jewell, chief growth officer at Power marketing agency Power Digital, described how marketers are embracing TikTok. “While TikTok accounts for less than 10% of total spend for our marketing firm, it has more than doubled year over year,” he points out, “Advertisers that have tested TikTok generally see success in driving incremental revenue, and are continuing to double down on the platform,”
Large education institutions are embracing the trend of TikTok as well. Anu Hautalampi, head of social media at the University of Cambridge, spoke to Times Higher Education, saying that, “as our social media platforms are ageing, the users on them are also ageing, and we noticed that we weren’t really reaching the prospective student audiences anymore.” This led to the university embracing the social media app to connect with Gen Z users, saying it was a “no-brainer” of a decision.
Providers can follow in the footsteps of major universities and connect with a wider range of users, most notably young learners aged 18-25.
Decide on your budget and goals before starting
Before starting a TikTok project, think about the specific goals you want to achieve. Do you want to increase enquiries or just raise your profile? Understand why you’re using it in the first place, and if you’re worried about investment risk, create more frequent content that is simple to produce.
If it doesn’t suddenly generate more money, don’t blame the platform. Think about whether your strategy is driving a user towards converting or whether it is there to raise awareness. If it’s the latter, you may have to wait longer before seeing the impact of TikTok, but it can pay dividends in the long run as you raise your profile amongst a younger audience.
Decide on your style of content
TikTok content can focus on building your brand, which is done through Persona content, or you can seek to connect with your audience through a specific niche, known as subculture content.
Persona content is purely about getting your name out there. A good example of this is Duolingo, who successfully increased their market share on TikTok, amassing 7.8m followers through their entertaining content. The key thing missing from their content was any kind of invitation to convert, focusing entirely on producing videos that featured their owl mascot ‘Duo’ in entertaining situations.
Meanwhile, for brands that want to take a subculture-led approach to connect with users by focusing on a specific niche, such as course content, speaking to leaders in a space about innovative new products, knowledge, or topics can be a good engagement strategy.
Providers can opt for a mix of these two styles, showing learners both their expertise in their space as well as showing their more entertaining side.
TikTok differs from most other social media platforms, whereby users mostly interact with content on their ‘For You Page’. This means that users are less likely to actively follow pages but wait for the algorithm to work out what it thinks they will likely do and then automatically provide them with the content when they open the app.
This means users can be more wary of inauthentic, spammy or salesly content. The best result a marketer can hope for is for users to stay on their video when it pops up, similar to how they will interact with non-marketing content. Marketers are competing against millions of videos, and users are creating content for entertainment, not marketing, so it’s important to engage with the user genuinely and put them first rather than seek to put salesy content in front of them.
Training.com.au – a TikTok marketing success story
One of Candlefox’s course comparison sites, Training.com.au, managed to fully utilise the potential of TikTok when one of their posts went viral, amassing over 3.1 million views, 500,000 likes and 46,000 shares.
Speaking about the success story, Content Specialist for Training.com.au, Kristen Michealides, explained the planning and process that went into the brand’s TikTok strategy.
“We launched the TikTok campaign to support the business’s audience expansion efforts. It’s been an exciting journey as we’ve continuously experimented with various video formats, concepts and trending sounds,” Kristen said.
After months of planning and working on their TikTok content, Kristen discussed the moment she realised they had gone viral.
“The team’s dedication to the process and the unwavering support from the business as a whole paid off recently, with one video standing out.” She said, “Leveraging a clip from a popular TV show that resonated with a broad audience, our team member Rory Lippell suggested we create a “meme” type video that made a joke about people who are always swearing too much in the office. The video got 3.1 million views, over half a million likes, and more than 50,000 saves.”
TikTok’s algorithm can be hard to understand at times, but Kristen explained how having a good-natured and fun approach to their content was the key to going viral.
“While TikTok’s nature can be unpredictable at times, this video seemed to have resonated with multiple groups of people, including fans of the show, office workers, and anyone who appreciates a good laugh really!” Kristen explained, “We’re excited to continue the TikTok journey and engage more people in our community.”
TikTok can be an excellent engagement tool for education providers and course comparison sites, driving up awareness and potentially leading to increases in revenue.
Sites like Training.com.au demonstrate how taking an innovative approach to marketing and audience engagement can pay off in the long run and show what success looks like in the TikTok viral lottery.
Chatbots are becoming an increasingly viable marketing tool that can offer a human-like interaction for a fraction of the cost.
But can this technology be applied by providers in the education space? Are chatbots a useful tool to drive up lead volume, or are they just a gimmick? In this article, we’ll go through the ins-and-outs of chatbots, and demonstrate how providers could benefit from using this piece of tech.
What are chatbots?
The term ‘chatbot’ refers to a program that’s designed to act like a human, and issue human-like responses to inputs.
Chatbots can appear as a pop up chat box on a site, or can be a more complex conversational tool that’s located elsewhere on a site. Some chatbots use a path system of questions and answers, and have pre-assigned responses, whereas other chatbots can utilise AI technology to create on-the-fly responses to more complex questions.
ChatGPT is the most advanced version of this technology, and uses what’s known as ‘natural language processing’, where a program can be interacted with using normal, conversational language. This is more advanced than typical chatbots, as the program can answer almost any question, and isn’t limited by predetermined answers.
Are chatbots the future of audience engagement?
Chatbots are becoming a valuable tool for companies to rely on in order to drive up audience engagement.
Meta plans to launch an in-depth AI-powered chatbot that aims to create new opportunities for audience engagement on Facebook. The bot will offer users new ways to search through Facebook, find information that’s based on Facebook, and get personalised recommendations. Chatbots will have different ‘personalities’, giving users as close to a human-like interaction as possible.
More widely, technological research firm Gartner predicts that interactions with customer service agents could become a thing of the past, saying that one in ten interactions will be automated by 2026. Representatives from Gartner pointed out that, “Conversational AI can automate all or part of a contact centre customer interaction through both voice and digital channels.”
“While automating a full interaction, also known as call containment or deflection, corresponds to significant cost savings, there is also value in partial containment, such as automating the identification of a customer’s name, policy number and reason for calling. Capturing this information using AI could reduce up to a third of the interaction time that would typically be supported by a human agent,” says Gartner.
Looking beyond a simple chat function, chatbots could be utilised by companies from all industries as an in-depth engagement tool that could take on multiple roles that would otherwise be filled by human employees.
How can education providers use chatbots?
Education providers often use audience engagement strategies to drive leads and improve conversion rates. With this in mind, chatbots can be a useful tool for providers, and can help them stand out in the education space if utilised correctly.
Help Users Navigate Your Site
UX is a vital element of audience engagement, but even the best-laid out sites can be tricky to navigate for certain users. Having a chatbot option on site can quickly direct users to the exact pages or content that they want to access.
For example, a chatbot primed with a prompt such as ‘need help finding your way around?’ can be programmed to direct the user to course pages, help them explore content on the site, or be directed to contact pages if they need more information about a course or provider.
Increase Interactivity and Engagement
Chatbots can also be deployed on course pages, and can be used to answer simple questions a potential learner might have about a course. For example, users could ask questions like ‘is this course fully online’, ‘can I study this course whilst working part-time?’, or ‘what areas does this course cover?’.
Typically on a site, course content is displayed on a page, but having the user be able to access information through a friendly, human-like interface allows them to get quick answers to particular questions. If a learner is looking at many different providers and wants to get the ideal course for them quickly, being able to dispense important information like this in seconds could be the key to unlocking a valuable conversion.
Enable Seamless Course Enquiries
Chatbots can also double as enrolment services personnel, as prompts can be set up to directly collect and pass on details, arrange face-to-face calls and book open days, all within a chat feature on a site.
For enrolment services employees, setting up a process like this could be as simple as including a prompt that encourages users to send an email to an ES employees address in order to get more information, or book into an open day. More complex bots can do this automatically, allowing you to engage with students at any time of day, and even during periods of office-wide leave periods, such as Christmas and New Years.
Chatbots can be a useful tool for all companies, with especially useful applications for education providers.
For those wanting to embrace Martech trends like this and increase audience engagement, chatbots can form a key part of a wider marketing strategy. With large companies such as Meta opening the lid of the opportunities this technology can bring, education providers and large companies alike may reap the benefits of this exciting form of marketing and UX.
Marketing technology (Martech) is an exciting and innovative approach to generating awareness and lead volume for education providers. By putting tech-led marketing at the forefront of a student engagement strategy, providers can tap into new marketing channels and discover exciting opportunities in the education space.
In this article, we’ll explain more about Martech and its applications in the education sector, and discuss the exciting opportunities it can bring.
What is Martech?
Martech is the utilisation of different technologies and methods to help promote a company or organisation in order to achieve awareness or revenue goals.
This could be using analytics tools, SEO practices or helping companies use different methods of engagement through dedicated tools. Martech puts technology at the heart of any marketing goal and goes beyond traditional methods seen in this field.
Why is Martech relevant for education providers?
Education providers are always looking for new ways to connect with students and enrol learners in their courses. Generating awareness is a central aim for smaller providers as they try to make a name for themselves against larger, more established providers.
Marketing is a key aspect of most education providers’ outreach, but not all providers utilise the opportunities that Martech has to offer. Going beyond simple marketing methods, Martech can be a key tool in allowing providers to reach new audiences and outperform competitors in generating enrolments, awareness and revenue.
But how can education providers practically apply martech in their day-to-day work? Below are some key elements that can be used by martech-focused providers in order to drive up engagement and revenue.
Benefits of implementing SEO best practices
For providers who are keen to reach out to new learners, having a solid search engine optimisation (SEO) plan in place is vital.
Search engine optimisation refers to the process of including certain keywords, as well as using linking strategies and ensuring a website is fully optimised from a technical point of view.
By using tools such as Ahrefs or SEMrush to get up-to-date information about keyword rankings and site information, providers can appear as the top result on Google when users type in a particular keyword.
For education providers offering the same courses as their competitors, implementing a well-thought-out SEO practice and appearing at the top of Google’s search results will allow them to be first in line for any eager students looking to enrol.
SEO can be a core part of a martech strategy or a key cornerstone of how a martech company gets results. By using analytic software and having a deep understanding of how the hierarchy of keywords on Google can be manipulated, any company from any sector can get tangible results and achieve ambitious revenue and awareness goals.
Benefits of utilising analysis tools
For education providers, understanding how users interact with them in a digital space is vital when planning marketing efforts and goals around generating awareness.
Without using analysis tools, such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, Hootsuite and Google Trends, providers have no idea about the journey a user takes to find their courses. This means that providers could be missing out on key engagement opportunities and potentially missing out on thousands of potential learners.
Benefits of partnering with martech companies
For education providers who want to get results but are unsure of their ability to manage ambitious martech strategies in-house, using an external martech company can be the best option.
Martech companies are dedicated to using all of the technological tools available to deliver leads as well as marketing goals for education providers. Often at the forefront of martech innovations, partnering with companies like this can be an ideal solution to any issues with lead volume or course awareness.
Martech brands can use martech-led strategies such as content campaigns, digital marketing methods and social media awareness drives, as well as use analysis tools to effectively find and target different student segments.
Should more education providers pivot to become Martech companies?
There are many benefits associated with becoming a Martech company in any industry, but there are unique opportunities for education providers that should be considered.
Student engagement is central to how education providers find leads and drive revenue. With this in mind, marketing is the most useful tool at providers’ disposal, and should form a key part of their wide engagement strategy.
The benefits of becoming a Martech company are wide-ranging and can help reinvigorate student interaction and create new opportunities for engagement.
Understanding how to use Martech or pivot towards being a Martech company is a smart decision for companies who want to be at the forefront of brand awareness, customer engagement and digital presence. With more marketing channels opening up for businesses and providers, there’s never been a better time to utilise this approach.
Growing into new international markets can be an exciting and rewarding endeavour for education providers. But what are the challenges that come with it, and how can providers properly prepare for an international expansion?
In this article, we’ll go through some of the key considerations for providers and share insight into how Candlefox has successfully broken into new markets worldwide.
Understand the market
Before launching services in a new country or region, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of that area. Although learning and education delivery can share similarities in many different markets, it’s important to know any key differences that would require you to alter strategies that have worked domestically.
Research local job markets and popular sectors
Although almost every country on Earth aims to provide decent learning opportunities across all areas, often, there can be shortfalls in education that lead to skill gaps opening up within an economy.
For example, recent data shows that workers in the British Isles and Oceania are suffering from poor numeracy skills. This opens up the risk of labour shortfalls in sectors that require employees to have an advanced maths skill set.
With this example in mind, education providers could use data like this to find opportunities and obstacles they might face. As an example, providers who offer numeracy courses may have to adapt their domestic strategies to focus more on generating greater student urgency. This is because they are trying to attract local students in a market where they are less motivated to become qualified in maths.
Elsewhere, assessing strengths within an education market can also allow providers to understand how they might fit into a region’s landscape. If a market is already highly receptive to subjects you offer, but you still face competition from many local providers, you may need to spend more time assessing how you can stand out in a crowded field.
Market your brand to reflect local needs
Education can be an incredible problem-solver for both nations as a whole and for individual learners. It can be used as a tool to improve job opportunities, deliver more fulfilling work, and increase pay packets.
When launching in a new market, it’s good to understand how the local population views education and its ability to improve citizens’ everyday lives. For example, as inflation and the cost of living hits employees’ spending power, citizens in the UK have increasingly looked to education as a way to improve their chances of a lucrative promotion or career move.
Exploring this example demonstrates that, despite already being a highly educated nation, British citizens are willing to invest more in education to help them navigate turbulent economic periods, making them more receptive to taking on educational opportunities long term.
Looking at typical trends of a market’s learner base can also allow you to market yourself effectively as a problem solver for the citizens of a particular country.
For example, some markets may have little faith in local education institutions or may not be able to afford local higher education paths and may be more receptive to budget-friendly short courses. Meanwhile, other markets may already feature highly educated learners that are seeking out in-depth, long-term courses, comfortable in the knowledge that it’ll open up job opportunities for them that will more than repay the investment they’ve made.
Based on in-depth research, you can apply tried and tested marketing strategies, such as creating personas to refer to when establishing a marketing strategy or coming up with a sales plan that is highly localised to your target market.
The variable nature of different education markets means that knowing how to properly market yourself and connect with local learners is a valuable asset and one that can allow you to break into a new market and have an immediate impact.
Leverage your reputation
When launching in a new market abroad, it can be good to understand how education providers within your current country are perceived internationally. Providers that come from a country with a strong reputation for excellence in education can leverage this when entering new markets.
When looking at the
Of course, providers cannot solely rely on the reputation of education quality within their country. However, when entering a new country to compete with local providers, coming from a highly respected market can allow you to stand out from the crowd.
Recently, Deakin University in Australia put this theory into practice by launching the first foreign tertiary education institution in India by establishing a campus in the southern Asian country. Australia is a highly popular destination for Indian students, in part thanks to its strong reputation as an education hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
By leveraging this reputation to enter into a new market and compete with local providers, Deakin University demonstrated to other providers the exciting potential for success foreign providers can have in non-domestic markets.
Candlefox – an international success story
Since beginning as a course comparison site in Australia in 2011, Candlefox has launched multiple sites in New Zealand, the UK, and most recently, the Republic of Ireland.
By establishing partnerships with well-known educational institutions in each respective market, Candlefox has helped connect thousands of international learners with in-demand courses.
Following a tried-and-tested formula, Candlefox has been able to replicate the success first seen in Australia in nearby regions like New Zealand whilst also embarking on markets further afield in Europe.
By establishing a presence in two of the biggest education markets in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as getting a foothold in the UK, one of the most significant educational markets in Europe, Candlefox has reaped the benefits of a globally-focused strategy. Best of all, by expanding into the EU via the Republic of Ireland, Candlefox sites can now be used by over 700 million EU learners who wish to access Irish courses.
Course comparison sites such as Candlefox demonstrate the power of an internationally-focused mindset, and are an excellent template for education providers who wish to expand their brand beyond their shores and connect with learners around the world.
Expanding into a new international market can be a great way to attract new learners and find new opportunities to connect with users. Universities and education providers can access millions of new learners through a well-thought-out expansion strategy.
Looking to other providers and course comparison sites that have broken into new markets successfully is a great way to begin your expansion strategy. By leveraging the reputation of learning in your country or your reputation as a course provider, you can significantly increase the number of learners and students who want to begin their education journey with you.
Numeracy skills are used throughout a learner’s life and career, but is the modern workforce equipped with the knowledge they need in this area?
In this article, we go through some of the key challenges Oceania and the British Isles face in terms of maths education and examine how EdTech could play a role in preparing young people with the skills they need to succeed in a maths-focused career.
Workforces suffering from poor maths skills
Skills in maths are becoming a weak point for Australian, New Zealand, British and Irish workforces. All four countries rank outside the top 20% of OECD countries for maths performance and understanding of numeracy in a test of 15-year-olds. Poland and Belgium in Europe, Canada in North America and South Korea and Japan in Asia, were amongst the best performing countries.
As a result of poor numeracy skills, the UK government recently declared that an anti-maths mindset was damaging the UK economy and announced plans to make studying maths compulsory up until the age of 18.
Meanwhile, a report from the productivity commission found that Australians are falling behind when it comes to maths and English skills, which is having a knock-on effect of a decrease in employment rates for VET and university graduates, leading government ministers to set out foundational learning as a top priority for the new Labor government.
An OECD report found that countries with higher numeracy skills had higher average wages for workers. This demonstrates that if countries don’t ensure young people can utilise strong numeracy skills in the workforce, they could be doing serious damage to their economies long-term.
How can edtech and online learning help?
Utilising edtech can be a great way to encourage learners to improve their maths skill set and have the confidence to apply numeracy in their careers.
Maths can be difficult for visual learners or learners that are more creative than purely logical. With this in mind, edtech has the chance to make maths come alive through interactive and engaging games, videos and experiences.
Moreover, allowing learners to practise skills in a digital space creates a learning environment that everyone can access equally, with multiple students accessing personalised and dedicated learning at the same time.
Reduce “Maths Anxiety”
Many learners can find maths an intimidating subject. Using Australia as an example, studies have found that up to 17 per cent of people in the country experience regular anxiety around maths, reporting feelings of worry, confusion and stress when presented with maths problems in a learning environment or in the outside world.
Edtech can help to solve this issue in a number of ways. Online learning allows users to work from the comfort of their own homes and work at their own pace. Often, being surrounded by others can add additional pressure, and learners can feel embarrassed by their level of knowledge. Online learning can give users the privacy and time they need to tackle questions in a comfortable environment, reducing the risk of “mathxiety”.
Which Edtech companies are leading the way in maths learning?
Edtech companies have been at the forefront of numerical tuition, with innovative platforms seeing huge boosts in investment and revenue.
Spanish startup Innovamat recently announced funding of $21 million as they seek to revolutionise maths education in schools across the world. Using a mix of traditional learning methods, as well as virtual maths games, they aim to make maths more accessible and help students apply it in real-world scenarios. Furthermore, the edtech company uses bespoke tracking software to ensure that teachers can get a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of their students and alter learning plans accordingly.
Elsewhere, Norwegian startup House of Math raised over $4 million to go further with their maths platform that uses gamification as a core part of learning. This form of learning can have a big impact, as gamification can drive up learner urgency and engagement, and it has been used by some of the biggest edtech companies in the world to bring in many new learners.
Meanwhile, online maths school Breakthrough Maths, based in Ireland, has made waves in the Republic after finding success during the COVID-19 pandemic. With plans to expand to the UK, Breakthrough Maths takes a digital-first approach to maths tuition, utilising the flexibility of online learning to teach maths amongst small groups that are encouraged to collaborate on solving equations and sums.
Finally, on a governmental level, edtech and online learning is playing a greater role in helping children to access maths tuition in the UK, with the British government announcing free online numeracy lessons for students in small islands such as Guernsey. As a result, online learning can help to deliver high-quality maths tuition, even in areas that previously may have struggled to provide a solid education in numeracy.
The edtech sector is brimming with innovative and exciting companies that are aiming to change our approach to maths tuition forever, instilling a new generation of learners with an eagerness and excitement towards numerical learning.
Education providers specialising in maths can feel emboldened to lead the charge in improving the numeracy skills of Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and countries around the world through innovative educational technology and online learning.
Gamification in learning could be the next big trend that education providers can utilise. This style of learning could be a vital tool in increasing learner engagement and completion rates of training and inspire learners to seek development opportunities proactively.
But how does gamified learning work, and how is it being used to promote positive learning outcomes in the edtech sector?
What is gamification in teaching and learning?
Gamification is an approach to learning that adds an element of competition or reward to the learning process. This could be in the form of offering points or rewards for right answers, adding in a scoring system, or setting up learning in a way that has a level system similar to the ones seen in video games.
Shifting the focus from styles of learning that place a strong emphasis on listening or watching a teacher for extended periods is another key approach of a gamified learning experience. Instead, more importance is placed on learner-led experiences that focus on short bursts of learning followed by engaging tests.
The main goal of gamified learning is to engage the learner, with the aim being that the learner will retain more information than if they interacted with a more traditional form of teaching.
Examples of gamification in learning
Learners can currently access high-quality, gamified learning through a wide range of apps and websites. Whether it’s learning a new language or getting to grips with coding, there are many different ways to access this innovative style of learning.
Hack the Box
Hack the Box is a platform that allows users to learn about cybersecurity and ethical hacking in a gamified environment. With hundreds of ‘hacking labs’ users can interact with, the idea is for learners to gain an understanding of cybersecurity in a fully gamified space.
Speaking to Tech Crunch, the CEO and founder of Hack the Box, Haris Pylarinos, said, “Our mission is to create and connect cyber-ready humans and organisations through highly engaging hacking experiences that cultivate out-of-the-box thinking.”
This approach to learning has garnered success, with the platform currently hosting 1.7 million users. Hack the Box uses a subscription model that can allow individuals to access the platform or packages that L&D professionals can use to train entire teams within a company.
Skill sets in tech often lend themselves to a gamification model. For example, those working in cyber security, coding or working as an IT technician are often solving issues and using their learning in a practical way, not dissimilar to how a game will set a challenging goal and then encourage the player to get to the bottom of it. Hack the Box takes this idea to the next level by setting up scenarios of varying difficulty that encourage learners to use their theoretical skills in a practical environment.
With the UK, US and Australia seeing large shortfalls in tech-related talent, the success of learning platforms like Hack the Box demonstrates the power gamified learning can have in driving learners to upskill in tech. Other industries that are struggling to upskill their staff to fill in shortages could be encouraged to use this style of learning as well.
The language learning app Duolingo has been a huge success story, with 4.2 million users at the end of 2022, and has established itself as a household name in gamified learning.
Duolingo uses a level system that encourages learners to get to grips with their chosen second language through interactive guessing games and chatbot conversations. This model allows users to learn and test as they go, and users can choose specific topics to learn more about.
The app encourages daily use, rewarding users for completing ‘streaks’ of multiple consecutive days of learning. Designed to be a fun learning activity rather than a chore, Duolingo blurs the line between game and learning experience.
Becoming the world’s most downloaded language app in 2022, Duolingo proves that gamified learning is becoming the preferred method of foreign language learning. Education providers, especially those within the second language space, could also benefit from the excitement and high levels of engagement Duolingo has received from embracing a gamified learning method.
Set up in 2012, Kahoot has made waves as one of the most popular choices for user-generated quizzes and is used by over 9 million teachers annually. Using a simple format where users can set up personalised, interactive quizzes that can be accessed virtually, the platform has proved to be a useful engagement tool for teachers to use with learners.
The core idea at the heart of Kahoot is to create a fun and engaging learning experience. By giving users a chance to create interesting quiz content that focuses on any area they choose, it can be used to help learners engage with subjects in new ways.
The platform is another example of how eager students are to access quiz-based learning and how it can be used as an effective tool to boost engagement.
What lessons can providers learn from these examples?
Each of these examples demonstrates the power that gamification can have in learning. With millions of people using these gamification platforms, it’s clear that this style of learning is appealing to students.
For providers who are keen to boost engagement and enrolment, gamification could prove to be a useful tool. Engaging with students in this way can help them apply and test their knowledge in a practical way, all whilst working in a virtual environment.
For online providers that are looking to increase the interactivity of their courses, a gamification model could be a great way to get learners to interact with course material in a fun and engaging way. During periods of low student urgency, gamification could be a powerful tool to tempt learners into engaging with and enrolling on courses.
Gamification is an innovative and exciting approach to learning that providers could use to increase enrolments and improve engagement levels.
Learning lessons from some of the biggest providers of gamified learning is a great way to get inspired and think about the different ways in which you as a provider can adapt your course content to suit a gamified model. If you’re looking to reinvigorate your content, gamification could be the way to level up and drive your courses further.
Universities, schools and education providers have growing concerns about the effects of the free AI software ChatGPT. Students now have the ability to generate detailed essays on any topic that can beat industry-standard plagiarism software, and many education providers are worried that this could undermine the value of degrees, qualifications and other certifications.
In this article, we examine the risks and opportunities ChatGPT has for education providers and look at what the future holds for AI and the elearning industry.
Launched in November 2022, ChatGPT is a product created by OpenAI, a research laboratory set up by wealthy investors, including Elon Musk.
According to OpenAI, their mission is to “ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity”. ChatGPT can be used for free by anyone after they’ve set up an account and is a text generation software that responds to prompts.
As a demonstration, we input the prompt “write a list of US presidents of the 20th century”. An accurate list was written for us in just 20 seconds. As a more complicated prompt, we gave ChatGPT the prompt “write a 2000-word essay on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact he had on the US civil rights movement”. After just one minute, an accurate, lengthy and well-written essay was produced.
With those examples in mind, it’s clear that ChatGPT is a hugely powerful tool that could have large ramifications for educational institutions that rely on essay submissions as an assessment tool.
What issues is ChatGPT causing for education providers?
ChatGPT has been causing concern in schools, universities and among education providers at large. Shortly after its release, schools in Western Australia, and a third of British Russell Group universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, banned students from using the software.
A lecturer from Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, spoke to The Guardian about her concerns that over one-fifth of assessments were found to have used ChatGPT, demonstrating the immediate impact that the AI tool is having on education providers.
Meanwhile, the ability to submit essays as a form of assessment was revoked at University College London after it was feared that students could submit AI generated work that would get around plagiarism detection software.
As AI gets smarter, education providers at all levels have legitimate concerns that tried-and-tested forms of assessment, such as essays, could be completely undermined. Valuable marking time could also be taken up by looking for indications of AI involvement rather than purely focusing on the quality of the work.
Does ChatGPT open up any opportunities for education providers?
Although ChatGPT brings up some challenges for education providers, it could also open up some exciting opportunities. We listed AI’s role in education as one of our education technology and learning trends to look out for in 2023, and for good reason. For teachers and students alike, there are lots of practical applications that can be used to boost engagement and improve learning outcomes.
Universities in South Australia have already accepted that ChatGPT could offer benefits to learning and should be embraced, citing it as a useful tool to improve literacy and help learners that have been held back by their struggles with English writing. As AI becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, other benefits and applications for ChatGPT could be considered by universities and education providers.
Helping students to understand writing styles and tone of voice
Users can instruct ChatGPT to rewrite any passage of text in a certain tone of voice. This could emulate an author’s signature writing style, invoke the speaking style of a famous politician or even write a passage written in the phonetic style of a distinctive accent.
Although these applications can be seen as a little silly, asking ChatGPT to rewrite pieces of text in different tones of voice can be an effective way to demonstrate to students how they can adjust their writing style to different audiences.
For younger students that struggle to write in standard English, ChatGPT can transform their writing and help them to easily spot the elements of their writing they need to change in order to write in a professional and academic manner.
Helping students for present and explain concepts
Not every discipline or field of education requires strong English language and writing skills, but despite that fact, many learning environments require students to present and explain concepts using exemplary language and advanced English skills.
Although ChatGPT should only be reinterpreting information that students have researched and collected themselves, using ChatGPT to turn detailed notes into an easy-to-understand speech or explainer removes the unfair bias the educational system can have towards those that have an advanced understanding of English and writing.
A source of easy-to-comprehend information
ChatGPT can be used as a research tool, much in the same way as Google. Although it’s always worth double-checking the information it gives you, it can be relied upon to explain complicated concepts in simple terms.
Similar to how an author of a textbook would use multiple sources to write a clear and understandable paragraph, ChatGPT can pull in many sources from the Internet and rewrite them in a succinct manner, allowing users to get fast answers to complicated questions.
For teachers and tutors, this interactive style of questions and answers isn’t that dissimilar to the learning style of a seminar. Students can be encouraged to get access to interactive learning environments around the clock and be inquisitive through software like ChatGPT and get more compelling answers than they would through directory-style browsers such as Google.
What does the future hold for ChatGPT and education providers?
Universities and education providers are already becoming wise to the risks ChatGPT poses to academic integrity, and they’re taking steps to mitigate these risks speedily.
Plagiarism detection software company Turnitin, used by tens of thousands of universities and schools around the world, announced a ChatGPT detection tool, which would allow education providers to accurately test whether or not a student had used the software to generate an essay.
Despite these attempts to get ahead of ChatGPT, many universities may still find themselves one step behind. OpenAI has already announced that ChatGPT’s successor, GPT 4, is now available for paid OpenAI users. Reportedly 100 times more powerful than its predecessor, education providers may feel defeated in their efforts to catch up with AI software.
However, rather than posing more problems for the education sector, GPT 4 aims to be a help, not a hindrance, to those who are keen to improve access to learning. OpenAI has introduced exciting applications in language translation, visual impairment tools, and now provides more considered and reasoned answers to questions.
This upgrade is aimed at producing a better, more responsible piece of software than the previous iteration. In other words, AI is here to create more opportunities for learning, not get in the way of them.
AI and learning’s relationship has had a rapid evolution, and there are likely to be more twists and turns to come.
Keeping up with the latest developments may be nail-biting for education providers, but ultimately should provide them with many exciting ideas and opportunities to advance learning and open up new channels for engagement, improving educational outcomes in the process.
How Can Education Providers Maintain Student Urgency To Learn During Quiet Periods?
During quieter periods of the year, it can be easy to take your foot off the gas and miss opportunities to engage with potential learners.
When it feels like urgency to study is dwindling, tweaking your messaging and finding different ways to prime students to take on new opportunities to learn can be an effective solution. In this article, we’ll go through some key ways you can boost student urgency, even during the quietest parts of the year.
When are ‘quiet’ parts of the year?
Traditional higher education delivery roughly follows significant events in the year, with terms being built around holidays and national celebrations, such as Christmas.
As in-person learning needs to respect teachers’ annual leave and public holidays, this can mean that students often cannot get full access to education around the festive period.
Education providers can feel that it’s not worth ramping up marketing and outreach efforts in this period, as students may be uninterested or simply too busy to enrol on courses.
However, showing that you can support students’ higher education-related needs throughout the year through online teaching can be valuable. Providers can still maintain student desire to study throughout the year through any period, provided they have a laptop, computer, and internet access.
For young people and learners who are used to distance education, there no longer has to be a quiet period when it comes to improving professional and academic performance.
Many learners have become used to learning on their own time, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and previous lockdowns, with the impact of COVID-19 meaning that a traditional education system or learning strategies that’s based strictly on a set calendar could be an outdated approach for many students.
With this in mind, trying out new engagement strategies year-round may yield more results than expected.
Target your most valuable users
It can be easy to keep your messaging the same through quieter periods, and it can feel wasteful to use valuable time on new marketing or outreach campaigns when you’re unsure of the returns they’ll offer.
However, simple tweaks can revitalise your outreach and put you on the radar of students. One of the best ways to do this is by choosing the most valuable learners to you and focusing on driving interest up from learners who are more likely to convert or are converting in course areas that are the most valuable for you.
During quieter periods, spending time trying to get learners to take on courses in low-converting areas will be even harder. Pick your battles and focus on easy and valuable wins. If you notice a conversion dropoff in certain periods, target the learners in subject areas or courses that typically drop off the least. Those who are keen to find out further information about the learning process and online learning courses you provide will offer the most rewards during leaner conversion periods.
Using YOY data to work out which users are the most valuable during quiet periods can be a good way to choose who you want to target. If you know that you’re pushed for time ahead of any periods of extended leave around Christmas, or other quieter parts of the year, have a strategy that focuses your time on where it can generate the most value. This can be more effective than casting a wide net and trying to target all of your users.
It’s also a good idea to think about what style of marketing initiatives to use to target these kinds of users with. Sales enablement content that’s focused on bottom-of-the-funnel users is great to use when targeting likely-to-convert users. Pull resources away from top-level search content, as this is best suited for targeting low-converting users who will have less time during busy personal periods, such as Christmas, to learn more about you.
Prime learners for busier times in the year
Quiet parts of the year can sometimes be followed by busier times in the year, when providers and education institutions may see above-average engagement levels from learners. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to be one step ahead and prime learners during the quieter period.
For example, providers will often target users in January, as learners may be looking to take new steps to build knowledge that will help them excel in their current role or open up new job opportunities.
Helping them understand the learning resources they can access and the e-learning opportunities that will help them achieve available professional development goals ahead of time may energise learners to access learning platforms, even during quieter periods.
Using January as an example, providers may find more success by starting their new years messaging before the new year actually begins. During the festive period, providers will often struggle to find a hook or a key reason as to why students should start learning in that period. Telling users that they can set themselves up for the new year by enrolling on courses that begin in January is an exciting and engaging message.
During January, your competitors are likely to be sending potential learners the same messages, making it difficult to stand out during a busy marketing period. By getting one step ahead and marketing courses that begin in January during the festive period, you’ll be at the forefront of learners’ minds come the new year.
This method also works for any other periods of quiet that are followed quickly by higher-than-normal conversions.
Highlight to users the benefits of enrolling or studying during quiet periods
Often, trying to get students to convert during a quiet period can feel like a hard sell, but it’s worth bearing in mind that there are some benefits to starting a course during quiet periods.
With the Christmas period as an example, providers can demonstrate to users why December can be a great time to begin a course. Online courses are a great way to fill in a month that can often feel quite empty up until Christmas day itself.
Starting face-to-face courses can be more difficult over this period, but distance learning can provide a great learning opportunity and learning experience for students over the festive period. Some might find that with a good internet connection and some spare time, studying in December is actually the best learning experience for them.
Furthermore, Christmas is a time when employees tend to take the most annual leave, meaning that there’s lots of time to study or take on a part-time course. For those who don’t have to travel far to see family, the festive period can be the perfect time to learn new skills and get a head start on the new year.
Taking part in online education in a quiet space and using online education and digital learning tools can be ideal for some students over the festive period.
Additionally, learners who are spending the festive periods alone may find that remote learning can be a positive way to boost well-being and improve mental health during a period when social interactions may be few and far between. This is especially true for any remote education that involves larger groups of students who may need to work together in a virtual learning environment.
This kind of messaging is also appealing to users who are more likely to convert or who place high levels of value on learning and upskilling and are keen to take online classes and set up positive learning outcomes for the new year.
For those who are always on the lookout for new courses and online resources, messaging around the opportunities presented by the festive period could be the piece of outreach that helps you to stand out effectively against other competitors.
Quiet periods can be a challenging time, and it can be difficult to come up with an engagement strategy that cuts through.
By using the tips we’ve suggested, you can find opportunities and get through to bottom of the funnel users who are likely to convert. Tweaking your strategy can ensure that even the quiet parts of the year are never totally silent.
Could a Subscription Model be The Future of Learning?
Subscription learning is an exciting approach to learning that education providers can introduce to learners as a way to boost urgency to learn, student engagement, and establish a pattern of lifelong learning.
In this article, we’ll go through some of the benefits of subscription learning and weigh up whether this learning style could be the future of higher education.
What is subscription learning?
Subscription learning is a style of education delivery where students will pay a monthly or yearly fee to get access to a wide range of courses and educational content.
Experts predict that this approach to course delivery could grow in popularity and follow a model similar to subscription services such as Netflix and Spotify as a financially sustainable way to get access to educational content at any time.
Recent research from PwC found that Australians spend an average of $55 per month on entertainment subscriptions, demonstrating that most consumers are already comfortable with using a subscription model.
If you’re an education provider, you might be wondering whether it’s worth investing in this style of education delivery, or if you already use it, you might be keen to find out more about how to grow your subscriber base.
What are the core benefits of subscription learning
Subscription learning can be a powerful tool for education providers and offer additional opportunities to increase student enrolments and improve learner engagement. This style of learning delivery can also offer benefits to education providers in other ways as well.
Allows providers to give learners access to the latest content
When education providers are seeking to connect with learners and show them their latest educational content, it can be hard to know how and when to target new users. Sometimes, the times when new courses become available or providers update current courses don’t coincide with periods when learners are keen to enrol on a new course.
Subscription learning helps to fix this issue. This is down to the fact that providers can make learners aware of upcoming or improved courses whilst a learner is taking part in a course. Alternatively, if providers know that a course will be added to their library in the next few months, they can suggest that as a course a learner can take on once they’ve finished their current course.
The key here is that providers can have a subscription base that they can target with new course content, confident in the knowledge that these learners have a vested interest in finding new and interesting content from you as a provider.
Instead of retargeting former learners with new course content months after they’ve completed their course with you, you can suggest to current users you know will still be keen to take on new courses as part of their subscription.
Allows learners to plan learning that aligns with their career and financial goals
For learners who can see a clear path ahead of them regarding career progression and career-related financial goals, subscription learning can be an ideal choice for them. Education can be a key tool in boosting wages, and this is a key factor for learners considering taking on courses during the current cost of living crisis.
One of the key benefits of offering a subscription learning model is that you can demonstrate to users how they can take on certain courses in an order that matches their career goals. If a learner has already subscribed to you, it’s simpler to predict what kind of courses they’d like to access over the period of a year or more.
One way to predict how a subscriber will behave is by getting them to complete a survey before they start the subscription that asks them what level they are at currently in their career and what level they’d like to reach.
Once you have that knowledge, you can set up a learning schedule or provide them with course suggestions over a period of 6-12 months, ensuring that they’re aware that you have their long-term goals in mind whilst also giving you the ability to predict enrolment rates to courses reliably.
Improves student urgency to learn
Research conducted by Candlefox found that post-pandemic, student urgency to learn was at an all-time low, meaning that learners may need more encouragement to take on new courses. You can increase student urgency to learn by demonstrating the positive outcomes of course completions, outlined through testimonials and other key selling points, and show students how they can spread out their learning over a subscription period.
Instead of trying to convince new learners that now is the time to choose a new course, you can suggest to subscribers a series of courses that could be completed over an extended period.
Additionally, you can suggest relevant courses that can be taken within their subscription period once they’ve already completed a course with you. Giving them unlimited access to new content could inspire them to take new approaches to upskilling and e-learning and see the opportunities for professional development.
The key way this can increase the urgency to learn is that it makes the process of taking on a course more natural and gives the learner time to think about which courses they’d like to do next whilst studying within a subscription model. As the user will have already been considering how they can get the most worth possible out of their subscription, they’ll already be open to hearing about and enrolling in new courses you have available.
Encourages microlearning and gamifies learning
Taking on learners in a subscription model means that you can set learning goals and ‘gamify’ their learning process. In the same way that you would set learning goals, adding a level of gamification can boost engagement and improve learning urgency to access an online course.
In practice, this could take the form of interactive tracking tools, which the learner could use to see how much progress they’ve made or how close they are to achieving the learning goals they’ve set out. This also couples well with encouraging students to take part in micro-learning, whereby they take on engaging short courses designed to boost skills in a specific area. This is a fast-growing area of learning, and subscription learning complements this model well.
Gamification can be a powerful tool for providers to use. Teachers who introduced gamified learning found that creating voluntary learning ‘quests’ for students saw an increase in engaged learning of 300%. Gamified learning experiences like this show the potential that this learning style could have for education providers looking to boost student engagement and interest in their online education courses, which could dramatically improve customer retention rates and lead volume.
Are there any downsides to this learning model?
As with all learning delivery options, there can be some downsides as well as upsides. Although there are many positives to subscription learning, providers may run into some common issues down the line.
Significant commitment from learners needed
One of the main obstacles of this model is that it requires learners to give a significant amount of time and money over an extended period. Accessing online learning content with a monthly subscription fee might be ideal for some learners, but it’s important to bear in mind that there will always be learners who don’t want to commit to learning over a long period.
Less freedom to explore different courses
If your course library is very large, you may not run into this problem, but for smaller providers, learners may feel restricted in the range of courses they can explore. If you’re a large provider who can give learners access to a high volume of courses or you can offer comprehensive coverage of courses in a particular area, this may not be an issue, but this issue could arise for smaller providers looking to use this model.
Is it the future of learning?
Overall, subscription learning is an exciting and interesting course delivery style that could benefit education providers. Much like the success of entertainment subscription services, it could be time for the education sector to use a payment model that’s more in line with the spending habits of everyday consumers.
It could be a solid revenue stream for the right kind of provider, but it may be ambitious for all providers to expect this to be the main business model they rely on. However, it’s worth noting that for smaller providers, convincing learners to commit to you long-term if you have a limited course library could be difficult. Providers would have to ensure that they’re demonstrating value for subscribers as much as possible in order to fully maximise the benefits of using this model.
A subscription model is one of many styles of education delivery that could help to boost student engagement and generate a higher volume of enrolments.
Thinking about unique ways to connect with learners and deliver high-quality courses can be a vital tool for providers who want to establish themselves as leaders in their space and outpace their competitors. If you feel that you want to boost enrolments, offering services like subscription learning could be the key to unlocking greater success down the line.