Explore Learning: Enhancing Student Experiences with Custom Video and Screen Sharing Technology
Explore Learning is a UK-based private tutoring company providing Maths and English tuition to 4-16-year-old students. They use a combination of advanced assessment tools and expert tutoring to help children achieve 19 months of progress per year, driving better learning outcomes for students with a range of needs.¹
Before 2020, Explore Learning had been offering in-person tuition to students in centres based around the UK. When the pandemic hit, Explore Learning had to quickly rethink its business strategy by moving its teaching online. They needed to find a way to digitise their services without compromising on teaching quality standards.
Explore Learning started by delivering e-learning classes via Microsoft Teams, and quickly realised that this could not be a long-term solution. Resource costs increased significantly as tutors struggled to keep lessons within the allotted times, and bandwidth issues meant some students were not receiving the level of support they needed.
Explore Learning chose to partner with Talk Think Do to develop a video and screen sharing system that would enable them to deliver high-quality online learning. This would be the third project Talk Think Do had done for Explore Learning, having already developed a custom adaptive assessment tool and test authoring platform.
Suggested reading: Read our previous Explore Learning case study, ‘Boosting Student Engagement with an Adaptive Assessment Platform’, to discover how Talk Think Do rapidly digitised and transformed Explore Learning’s adaptive assessment system.
Explore Learning’s custom video and screen sharing solution needed to be tailored to meet a few unique requirements. It had to:
- Cope with high levels of demand: Explore Learning has an average of 3000 students intensively using their e-learning platform every evening. This equates to approximately 1000-2000 requests per second during peak times, putting intense stress on the online system. Explore Learning’s new video technology needed to be able to support this by scaling up and down as required.
- Deliver high-quality video: Keeping students engaged is essential to improving learning outcomes. The screen sharing tool needed to create a sense of the classroom environment and provide children with highly interactive resources.
- Enable complex screen sharing: Explore Learning uses adaptive assessment logic, meaning that individual students follow different learning pathways. The screen sharing tool therefore needed to let tutors easily view and interact with each student’s screen, providing pupils with a strong sense of support and connection.
Talk Think Do and Explore Learning undertook a series of initial conversations and discovery activities to understand the scope, cost and potential directions of this e-learning system.
Explore Learning decided to proceed with a video and screen sharing solution based in OpenTok, a Live Video API created by Vonage. This was well-suited to the project because it:
- Was highly customisable and could be tailored to Explore Learning’s needs.
- Had extensive security features that would enable the safe storage of sensitive learning data.
- Was accessible on a range of devices and networks.
Talk Think Do integrated and customised the Vonage API according to an iterative, agile process over the course of eight months. It was adapted to ensure that the cloud-native video software would automatically adjust according to the network bandwidth — so that if the internet connection of a student suddenly dropped, they could keep learning uninterrupted.
One of the biggest challenges in the project was enabling complex screen sharing modes, in which tutors could interact with student screens and students could reach out when they needed support. This was especially important during the pandemic, when classroom engagement was low and children needed an exciting online learning experience.
Talk Think Do built a custom web screen sharing technology and communication system that shared data between the Learnosity assessment platform and Vonage video technology in real-time.
Kubernetes was used to ensure the platform scaled in line with demand, particularly during the busy after-school period.
The system was rolled out according to agile delivery pipelines, and was soon being used by all of Explore Learning’s students and teachers.
Explore Learning’s video and screen sharing system allowed them to continue providing a high standard of service throughout the pandemic. Their business underwent an organic digital transformation, and approximately a third of their customer base is now made up of online-only students.
In addition to this core business benefit, Explore Learning also gained a number of technical benefits:
- Greater scalability: The video and screen sharing technology can easily be updated in line with Explore Learning’s evolving services. The code, implemented in agile sprint cycles, can be added or removed in sections.
- Increased flexibility: With Talk Think Do continuing to deliver bespoke application support, Explore Learning has more flexibility to focus on their day-to-day operations.
- A higher level of security: Talk Think Do followed security and development best practices at every stage of the project to ensure that Explore Learning’s data is protected from the code up.
This e-learning solution is designed to serve Explore Learning well into the future. With all of their data now held on a single, secure platform, they will be able to integrate AI and ML if and when they choose. As the EdTech industry continues to rapidly evolve, this gives Explore Learning a significant advantage over its competitors.
Explore Learning has positioned itself as a leader in the sector, and is equipped to adapt to changing market dynamics while delivering streamlined learning experiences.
Talk Think Do and Explore Learning received the UK Business Tech Transformation Through Technology award (2021) for Compass at Home.
The judges recognised the transformational effect that technology had on Explore Learning’s business and services.
They also acknowledged the technical expertise and innovative design that went into the screen sharing technology, noting its accessible, secure and technically ambitious architecture.
Meanwhile, Amandeep Sanghera, the Business Development Lead at Explore Learning, said:
‘Talk Think Do were brilliant to work with [...] The platform development was done at such speed that we were able to keep our sights really high, and it felt like it was never too much that we were asking’.²
Since Explore Learning’s video and screen sharing solution was developed, Talk Think Do has also earned the status of Vonage Connect Integration Partner. Learn more on our technology partners page.
If you want to learn more about how Talk Think Do can help your business, book a consultation with one of our experts today.
More Success Stories
Explore Learning: Enhancing Student Experiences with Custom Video and Screen Sharing Technology Explore Learning is a UK-based private tutoring company providing Maths and English tuition to 4-16-year-old students. They use a combination of advanced assessment tools and expert tutoring to help children achieve 19 months of progress per year, driving better learning outcomes for students…
Explore Learning: Facilitating Digital Transformation with an Assessment Authoring Platform Explore Learning is a private tutoring provider, delivering online and in-person lessons for 4-14 year olds.¹ They help students flourish through accessible education and support, and taught over 43,000 students in 2022 alone. The Beginning Explore Learning approached Talk Think Do in 2019 with the…
Explore Learning: Developing a Custom Assessment Engine and Platform for Optimised Learning Outcomes
Explore Learning: Developing a Custom Assessment Engine and Platform for Optimised Learning Outcomes Explore Learning is a private tutoring provider that supports students aged 4-16 from around the UK. Originally a fully in-person business, they now offer a mix of both in-person and online learning. Suggested reading: Learn more about how Talk Think Do enabled…