Customer: VIPKID, Beijing, China
VIPKID is an online platform that connects Chinese students aged 5 through 12 with English teachers in the U.S. and Canada. Since 2013, more than 600,000 students have enrolled in VIPKID’s one-on- one streaming courses, which give students the unique opportunity to learn from and interact with an expert teacher.
Challenge: Teacher training at scale
To serve more students while continuing to provide top-quality one-on- one instruction, VIPKID needs to attract, support, and retain outstanding English teachers – the company currently contracts about 6,000 teachers, and is adding more than 1,000 new teachers per month. In 2016, they turned to Coursera for Business to provide additional and relevant opportunities to their teacher network.
Coursera for Business Solution
Initially, VIPKID sponsored 500 teachers to take two Arizona State University TESOL Certificate Specializations on Coursera. The Specializations include over 140 hours of content offered in a time-flexible, goal-oriented format – a perfect fit for VIPKID teachers, many of whom are teaching remotely in order to have more control over their schedules. The company sponsorship allowed teachers to earn a high-value professional certification, usually priced at $700-$1600, at no personal cost.
The 500 TESOL registration slots filled up within 48 hours of VIPKID’s announcing the opportunity to teachers. Feedback from teachers participating in the courses has been overwhelmingly positive; one learner shared this reflection on her experience:
“I have done online courses before, and they are often dry and unrealistic, obviously playing second fiddle to the institution’s ‘real’ courses. I didn’t expect much from this course – I’m very happy to admit that I was wrong! This course from Arizona State University was fun, interesting, thought-provoking, and practical. The videos were well-done, and the personal stories made the lessons fun and memorable – I loved reading about other teachers’ thoughts and perspectives.” – Shelly Tembly,Illinois
In a survey across teachers participating in the program, 92% of respondents said the learning experience helped them be more effective in their teaching role at VIPKID platform. Ninety-five percent indicated they would recommend this program to fellow teachers. One course learner shared her feedback:
“I love how what is being taught is applied in their own teaching as well as the use of
video, engagement and simplifying the workload! This has been one of my favorite courses! It is so nice to be currently working so that you can apply what you are learning!” – Nancy Taylor, Utah
Operating in a competitive online English teaching field, VIPKID has distinguished itself as an industry leader and one of the most attractive companies for online English teachers to partner with. As part of this, VIPKID is now working with Coursera to deepen the partnership and offer additional learning opportunities to their large community of teachers.
“Partnering with Coursera is a powerful way to demonstrate investment in our teacher network as we grow,” says Cindy Mi, VIPKID’s Founder and CEO. “The Coursera for Business platform makes it easy to track engagement with courses, which can be challenging with a distributed network of participants. And most importantly, providing great learning opportunities for teachers allows us to ensure that we are bringing the best quality teaching to our students in China.”
Customer: VIPKID, Beijing, China