Will Khanacademy kind of model work in Indian environment...

I have been thinking of feasibility of Indian version of Khanacademy. KhanAcademy is a star and is backed by funds. Do you think that a non-intrusive/ slightly-intrusive advertisement as source of revenue be acceptable to Indian student community...assuming that over a duration of say 15 minutes of watching videos, student gets to see an education specific add specific to his/her future education needs...addvertisement duration approx of 10-15 sec...thinking of generating scale...and then tapping in Ubislate...on the go learning...

Here is the demo blog:


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I am not an expert in this field but IMHO, it all depends on types of advertisement and structure of application. Here are some of my view:

1. If it is a text-based ad it will not distract much. So is okay.

2. pre-roll or post-roll ad within the lecture video then it should not be default ad provided by youtube, if distraction is one factor. Instead you could have short sponsored ad specific to the student. Like 'this module is sponsored by IMT,  a leader in management education', etc.

3. Inlay ad and image ad is not suited. It will distract as well clutter the site.

Thanks for the valuable inputs Bhaskar.Text adds are definitely great due to their non-distracting behavior. Sponsoring nature will go well with the plan... I also am of the view that the youtube adds are not targeted to students and will be a cause of distraction...We are planning to use a video player that can be customized as per our needs.

Consider an example of a 12th class Non-medical student. We, after predicting his expected performance in his Board examinations through exams and practice tests he does on the website, can understand and predict his admission chances. Let's say according to us, he is well suited for MVN university (NCR). He also belongs to NCR Delhi. Now, How about a 10 - 15 seconds video add about MVN shown to this student accustomed to his aspirations.

We are wondering if it can be made a Pre-roll add. Will you consider it as intrusive/distracting add. On an average I am thinking of 4 such adds per hour of viewership by that student. That too these adds shall be different...this time say t will be Sharda University...

"Will you consider it as intrusive/distracting add"

Well, for this I suggest you should do heuristic evaluation or user testing. You need to have 3-5 volunteer students (not many) and observe how they react. Experiment like this will be more helpful for your business. It will also test your idea.

 On the other hand, you can experiment on freemium model. Let student watch free basic modules with ad and price some advance modules. An example is http://www.englishcentral.com/ 

Heuristic Testing is a great way of testing but may you enlighten me as to why shall we keep student sample size to such a small value of 3 - 5? I was thinking of doing it in small small groups but many such groups. Any specific reasons...

There is no hard and fast rules. Every product/service  has its own frequency and sample size of testing. But in the web based service, less is more. The focus should be on launching fast and improving what is good and dropping which is not working. There is also a research validation that support this sample size. 

This research was done by Dr. Jacob Nielsen, a User Advocate and principal of the Nielsen Norman Group, who is also behind formulating heuristic evaluation method. In his research, he suggested the best results (cost/benefit) come from testing no more than 5 users. You can read more about this research here: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/number-of-test-users.html

Bhaskar ji, you threw in great insight...thanks for your support.

Any time...I too have struggled with it many times.

Hi Aman,

I like your idea of offering a Khan Academy type platform, and your way of charging for advertisements (enbedded in the video). However, please dont get in to the temptation of offering free because its a long haul and getting funding and managing can be challenging. Khan Academy was running free for several years from their own funds only recently they got support from Bill Gates Foundation and others. So it can be risky if you depend on grants, donations, etc.

Moreover when you offer something free its generally not seen as valuable or the quality gets diluted (or perceived like that). However, since you are using ads as revenue source it might work. The idea of putting education specific advt. makes sense and also good for educational institutes or training cos to advertise to their target audience. However, try to offer some products such as ebooks, premium content, etc at a nominal fee, atleast to cover your costs and make some profits.  Being too dependent on advts can be risky.

Can you please share the link of any beta version or site if you have one ? Thanks

Hi Sridhar,

First of all sorry for such a late reply. Was totally out of touch due to busy schedule.

We welcome your suggestions. As of now we have not developed any beta version for testing. But we are planning to do it very soon. But, we need to understand the market and also build a solid team. We would wish to hear from you on any value adds, if you can suggest.

Once again, thanks for your inputs.

Hi Aman,

No issues, thanks for responding.

I have a few questions to understand your project better

1. Are you going to hire trainers/faculty for different verticals? If thats the case then your costs could be high. However, if you plan to do this by yourself there could be a limitation on scaling up.

2. Offline versions/workshops: Are you planning any offline workshops ? This can be done on a regular basis or occasionally. This can be a good way to enable students or users to meet at a place for a seminar or workshop for a normal cost or free. Also helps in promoting brand offline. Despite the online technology I feel many learners still like the face to face sessions and personal touch, but this mind set is changing now. 

3. Which fields or subjects you plan to cover? From the link I feel its related to science and maths. If there are plans to offer something in Finance, business maths, etc I'd be interested to explore opportunities since I'm in to Finance training.

Hi Sridhar,

We plan to do it by hiring trainers only. 

We wish not to be restricted to any particular domain be it science or finance etc. Only thing we want to ensure is that which ever subject we start from, it should provide comprehensive depth in that subject.

I would wish to talk more on this.

Hi Aman,

Thanks for you response. When you have time can we connect over email or chat?

You can reach me at sridharcw@gmail.com


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