Acceleration of EdTech Improves Student Engagement and Accessible Skills Training


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Educational technology (edtech) adoption surged during the pandemic and is sustaining momentum as students continue to turn to flexible hybrid and online learning methods. In fact, not only do classroom models remain flexible, but individuals outside of the classroom also embrace edtech for skills development or to pursue new career opportunities. As online learning accelerates, maintaining engagement through multi-channel capabilities and personalized experiences will be critical for brands to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive edtech landscape. In fact, recent Braze research found that US brands that engage with their users via two channels leads to 3.1x more sessions and 2.2x longer average user lifetime.

Transforming the Virtual Classroom

Online and hybrid learning dramatically increased during the pandemic, leading to an acceleration in new user acquisitions by edtech companies. According to recent data from customer engagement platform Braze, new edtech web user acquisition increased 98.8% from September 2020 to September 2021. Today, edtech remains an important part of education curriculums and skills development. For example, as students prepared for the 2021 school year, edtech saw a 73.2% increase in new user acquisition in one month alone, from July to August 2021.

However, ensuring the effectiveness of at-home learning for students is not as simple as shifting lectures online to Zoom. Edtech brands and learning platforms must be creative to effectively engage students including approaches such as gamification. For example, learning platform Quizlet launched a gamified learning campaign in January 2021 (and still ongoing) that encourages students to start and maintain a study streak of consecutive days learning on the platform. This campaign has helped students remain engaged while balancing remote, hybrid and in-person learning styles amid the pandemic, achieving a 42% conversion rate and driving 4.6 million study sessions using multichannel capabilities.

Learning Beyond the Classroom

However, edtech isn’t just transformative for the classroom. The advancement of hybrid and online learning models enables everyone – not just students – to learn and acquire new skills. Amid the ongoing “Great Resignation” in which historic numbers of workers are leaving their jobs, 57% of U.S. workers want to update their skills. Edtech platforms, such as online course provider edX provides aspirational learners personalized recommendations.

By implementing a new data structure to upsell and improve key triggered campaigns for more personalized learner experiences, edX achieved a 60% year-over-year increase in revenue in the first quarter of 2021 via an abandoned cart recovery campaign. edX was also laser-focused on retaining active and disengaged learners by tracking learning streaks and communicating new app features via push notifications. Leveraging multi-channel capabilities across email, web and mobile, edX increased its course engagement rate by 18% in just 30 days among customers who had disengaged.

Just as many companies have pivoted to permanently allow their employees to work from home and in hybrid settings, remote and hybrid learning for both students and lifelong learners is here to stay. While there is no one-size-fits-all model for learning, edtech brands must aim to reach learners via multiple channels with personalized experiences in order to retain and best support users on their learning journeys through engaging experiences.

Sara Spivey
Sara Spivey is the chief marketing officer at Braze, a comprehensive customer engagement platform that powers relevant and memorable experiences between consumers and the brands they love. Sara has more than 30 years of marketing, strategy, and leadership experience with industry-leading organizations.


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