“Examville is the only complete online marketplace for K-post-secondary education, including continuing education,” the company said via email. “Examville provides online classes and materials from teachers and publishers. It also provides a complete tutoring platform where students can seek out tutors, allowing teachers to build an online tutoring business.”
The new marketplace features include virtual classrooms where “teachers” and students can interact in live classes that tackle specific subjects or test preparation, as well as find or offer tutoring services, exchange notes and study guides, and purchase full-length practice tests.
I put “teacher” in quotes because classes can be taught by anyone interested in teaching them. Any Internet user can create, offer, and make money on a class for other users, regardless of credentials or expertise. For example, a GRE math review class is offered for $34 for one live session and is taught by an individual registered as “examville_tutor,” but the tutor’s profile does not include any information about test scores, credentials, education history, etc.
Grockit, on the other hand, offers free live courses taught by qualified tutors (for test prep courses, for example, tutors list their own test scores). Udemy is an online learning platform that allows anyone to create and offer “courses” of their choosing, but this is the basic premise of the site—any user can go on Udemy.com to teach online. Udemy is not offered as an exclusive study/test prep site but rather as a sort of social learning site that also offers full-length semester-long recorded lectures from top schools around the country.
According to the company, its revenues are based on subscriptions, purchases of online materials, and advertising. It also takes a 30% commission on classes offered by users (so Examville takes a $10 cut of every $30 class offered on its website). While the company has not disclosed how much it has raised, it has named Rediff.com as its lead investor.
The website also offers a number of free resources and services, including practice questions for specific tests like the GRE, GMAT, SAT, and LSAT. Subscribers can access several full-length tests depending on which subscription level they have.
Other online learning sites like StudyBlue offer free study services, such as note sharing, the ability to make and share flashcards, and connection with classmates. Examville takes a different approach by offering more comprehensive tutoring materials and online courses. Of course, Grockit always seems to trump other online learning startups as it offers studying and tutorial services, most of which is free. It’s hard to compete with free.
Image source: examville.com