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Kwiksta causes a stir in online education

Kwiksta is an online education platform that aims to empower teachers to share their knowledge and earn money, while giving students the opportunity to learn from a global community of educators.

The product is the brainchild of the Paddock brothers who created GetSmarter.

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The acronym “kwik” stands for “know what I know”. A kwik is made up of multiple modules, and modules are in turn made up of multiple learning resources. Modules are completed by the students in a linear order, as set by the teacher.

Courses, or “Kwiks” are broken out into two types: content only or interactive, depending on whether the Kwik is supported by a teacher or not.

In interactive kwiks, students gain direct access to their teachers via a messaging facility and pay a daily or weekly fee to compensate for the teacher’s time. For content-only kwiks, students simply pay a once-off fee and have 30 days to complete their work.

Every kwik is supported by a team of administrators called “Kwik Stars” who pro-actively assist both teachers and students in using the platform. Says Sam Paddock: “We believe that one of the most important principles behind effective learning, both online and offline, is that someone takes a real interest in the students’ progress. This is largely absent in existing online education solutions. To this end, we have a team of Kwik Stars available day and night who pro-actively support both students and teachers through the learning process. It’s like having your own personal cheerleader.”

As described above, teachers who opt to teach interactive kwiks, are compensated for their time and the extra attention via a daily or weekly amount that the teacher sets. It will be interesting to see what kinds of prices teachers will actually be able to get away with considering some currencies are weaker than others and teaching has historically been a low paying job. That said, those who have benefitted from a great education often can’t place a value on that experience in retrospect.

On the philosophical side: As performance models become common practice in businesses like finance and advertising, the Kwiksta service would become far more compelling if the platform offered a ‘no-grades no-pay’ policy. Often parents want the peace of mind in knowing that the education they’re paying for will produce the required results — it’s how the best offline schools have remained full in the past.

I gave the platform a test run this week by submitting my own Memeburn article as a Kwik and found the ‘module’ easy to upload. There are a few options with regards to the kinds of content that can be uploaded. The highlights for me were the audio assisted materials and the quizzes that could be created. The format of the quiz and questioning systems also make it fairly easy for a teacher to grade their student’s submissions.

Kwiksta is open to hearing out white label proposals, and the speculator in me would love to see services like the Obami education social network and tutor company Penguin Tutoring teaming up with Kwiksta to provide more comprehensive online teaching solutions. What we could potentially see in these kinds of collaborations is a mobile, socially enhanced format of teaching that could surpass the classroom and provide an effective modern solution to the education sector.

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