Part II – VI Product and Service Model of Online Primary and Secondary Education
I. Products and service models of online primary and secondary education
With particular audience, online primary and secondary education is more complicated than higher education and vocational education in terms of business type. Obviously, it is complex to classify its product and service model, which is also the key to understanding the model of online education business.
According to currently collected data, corporate business model can be divided into thirteen categories, mainly including teaching management platform, intelligent parents-schools intercommunication hardware, transaction platform, technical provider, course/course ware, online assessment/question bank, online teaching (one-to-one), online teaching (class lesson), online answering, educational games, community website and comprehensive business (including all types of business).
II. Distribution of products and services of online primary and secondary education
It can be seen that products and services of online primary and secondary education are densely distributed. According to the above chart, conclusions can be drawn as follows upon analysis.
- Declining recorded broadcast course, but indispensable
Course/courseware accounts for about 19%. In reality, course content-based projects include what relevant to courses, as well as online teaching (class lessons), online one-to-one teaching and educational games. They all have a great development potential in the future market.
It can be judged from the above chart that recorded broadcast is now still one of the main forms of online primary and secondary education, mainly because there are too many enterprises engaged in recording and developing such courses. But from the perspective of the current trend, the proportion of recorded broadcast courses is sharply declining, which is linked with the significant increase in the share of live teaching.
Recorded broadcast course still plays a big part as live teaching requires students to get online within the prescribed period. Recorded broadcast course shall not be teaching video, but shall become more interesting and interactive so as to ensure its vitality.
- Notably rising proportion of online live teaching
Online one-to-one teaching and online live teaching occupy a bigger share in online primary and secondary education within a short period of time. They are particularly dynamic to users, as this barrier-free online interactive teaching can fundamentally break the defect of interaction to primary and secondary students that especially need to be tutored by teachers. It is impossible for recorded living materials to become interactive, so online live teaching and recorded teaching well supplement each other.
- Online interactive mentoring becoming the hotspot of the fight for capital
Searching answers form photo recognition APPs represented by Xueba100, Afanti, XiaoYuansouti, Zybang, Xuexibao and so on, has been quickly accepted by students and accumulated tens of millions of users. But its free model will inevitably develop towards the charged interactive answering, and with the presence of Aifudao, Aikaola and others in this field, online interactive answering applications mainly operating on mobile terminals will become the hotspot of the fight for capital and industry.
- Very high elimination rate of teachers finding platform (tutor O2O)
It can be seen from the chart that C2C transaction platform (teachers finding) occupies a very high share, e.g. Genshuixue, Qingtajiao, 365 Day Good Teachers and others. Even though it developed like bulgy foam in 2015, its future development is not optimistic. It is made mainly to “reach a deal” without a close connection with online teaching. So it is designed to “attract students” for tutorship companies.
Some money will be paid for using such platforms to recruit students and this money is just paid by students as the tuition. Such platforms, similar to “charging intermediary agent”, are very easily to be eliminated because of the features of lower frequency and poorer adhesiveness of users of education industry. For example, the well-known “Teacher coming” has gone bankrupt. There will be 99% of such transaction platforms to fail in the future sedimentation of the market.
- Question bank/online assessment products becoming standard configuration
The question bank becomes a hotspot of online education only after the advent of question bank products represented by Yuantiku(www.Yuantiku.com) and Tiziwang (www.tizi.com closed down), together with a lot of fake products. For example, enormous imitators appear after the release of Yuantiku, such as Zhuantiku, Yatiku and other homogeneous products.
In fact, many companies, mainly publishment-oriented ones, have been engaged in the question bank for more than ten years before Internet-oriented companies did so. For example, Zhihong is the earliest company in this market. Even though it has spent more than one hundred million Yuan over the past decade, it is not so popular because its main customer group has been schools.
It is of great difficulty for single question bank products to survive in the field of primary and secondary schools as with a simple exam-oriented function, it has a difficulty in improving experience by bringing overturning learning effect to users. At present, the question bank product is a passing scene, except that a few companies survive in the market, including Xuekewang, Jyeoo, Mofangge and others. That means most of single question bank products cannot keep a foothold as a single product mix cannot meet complex demands of online primary and secondary education.
- Great growth potential of educational games
Nowadays, most of online education projects are conducted circling current exam-oriented education and are too boring to arouse students’ interests and promote their cognition. Advanced technology shall bring in better learning experience but shall not be the accomplice of exam-oriented education. Educational games shall serve to increase students’ interest in learning, and an increasing number of companies get engaged in this field. The Educational Games Committee of CAET was established in August 2015, suggesting the attention is paid by the academia to educational games. Such greatly potential projects are worth being paid attention to.
To sum up, online primary and secondary education industry is obviously characterized by “blind following” and its hotspot changes with those in the industry, leading to the appearance and then death of a lot of projects. That is in line with the features of China’s Internet industry.
- Part II – VII Analysis on the Demands of Online Primary and Secondary Education Industry
This is a series of articles from Blue Book of China’s Online Education Industry, authored by our partner China Online Education Research Institute (COERI). Each post is a chapter from the blue book.