CoLearn's AI homework app reaches 4M children in Indonesia
With a mission to equip Indonesia’s younger generation with lessons and skills that will help them compete at a global level, a team of experienced teachers founded CoLearn in 2018. CoLearn focuses on teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects that have helped millions of students across Indonesia. What started as physical learning and teaching experience, changed drastically when the pandemic spread across the country.
Learning during a pandemic
Like many other industries, the education sector was affected by the pandemic. With physical learning ceasing temporarily, CoLearn had to figure out a way to enable students to continue working through the curriculum.
In August 2020, CoLearn launched an interactive learning app developed to support middle and high school students through online classes and an AI-powered homework help app. Students can get instant answers to their questions through the app and through live classes, where they have access to some of the best teachers in Indonesia.
“The pandemic is not a deterrent factor for the students to learn. Our focus remains that we want Indonesian students to be globally competent and competitive, and we aim to deliver, even if it means going fully digital,” said Swanand Pagnis, CTO at CoLearn. He added, “Students can easily download our app on Google Play and Apple App store to experience the new way of learning.”
But having said that, CoLearn has had its fair share of challenges when switching to digital.
“As we can only interact with students online, we need to ensure their end-to-end digital experience is excellent. We prioritize the engagement of existing students and continuously try to attract new students to our programs. Beyond creating content, we're constantly thinking of ways to optimize our student's online journey, and to do so, we must experiment,” said Pagnis.
When looking at A/B testing solutions in the market, Pagnis found that many focus on applications rather than servers. As a learning platform, CoLearn needs to be innovative, without impacting or interrupting students undertaking classes.
“Operating in a developing country, some students don’t have access to a stable internet connection, which is what is required to update apps constantly. We needed server-side testing to prevent the students from missing out on the latest features or products we release. This way, we can continuously improve through experimentation without sacrificing the student learning experience,” said Pagnis.
Experimenting with flying colors
CoLearn’s first experimentation journey started when it wanted to add and launch physics as a new subject. But instead of launching it all at once, Pagnis and his team wanted to roll it out in stages to make it easier for the team to manage and plan new content along the way.
The launch of the new subject was a milestone for CoLearn, and a year later, they have more than 4.5 million students learning mathematics, physics and chemistry on their platform.
CoLearn has been using Optimizely’s Full Stack since the beginning of its first successful A/B testing and product launch.
“Optimizely’s Full Stack allows me and my team to continuously test, learn and produce a better learning experience on CoLearn. The testing implementation was frictionless, and it was easy for us to hit the ground running. With the continuous support we receive from the Optimizely team, we can rapidly move from ideation to launch within 15-30 days - that’s how quickly we can progress now,” said Pagnis.
With the pandemic seeming far from over, CoLearn is seeing at least 1 million students a week using their platform. Rolling out the right features and creating engaging content is a priority to keep students focused and engaged.
Pagnis said, “CoLearn is always on the lookout for ways to improve our platform for students, and since we’re able to run unlimited experiments with Optimizely Full Stack, the sky is the limit. The interface is so intuitive and easy to use, which enables us to test at the velocity we expect and continue to deliver value to the business with each experiment, without negatively impacting website or app performance.”
It’s a win-win for CoLearn and especially the students.
More content for the students
Being able to test and launch new products regularly and confidently has certainly enabled Pagnis and his team to become more productive. As for now, they are busy cooking up new content to prepare students for one of the biggest college entrance tests in Indonesia.
“We’re currently developing videos and activities that’ll help the students prepare before their big test, and we hope to launch this by the end of 2021. There are many other projects that we are also working on and are excited to announce soon. Experimentation will play an integral role in launching the various programs and products in the roadmap,” said Pagnis.
CoLearn’s openness to experimentation has allowed them to adapt instead of fearing the shift from the physical classroom to digital due to the pandemic. What’s more, experimentation has enabled CoLearn to become more productive, flexible and move with velocity. With students still being confined to their homes and unable to attend schools, CoLearn is committed to enabling them to continue working through the curriculum and keep up with the learning pace of the globe.