April, 20th 2021 • 3 min read
In 2019, shortly before the outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Science magazine published the results of a study conducted by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The article, with the unambiguous title “The MOOC pivot,” focused on courses offered by platforms such as EdX and Coursera, strongly questioning their longterm effectiveness. As a IT training services company, we have also recognized this problem. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are great as an introduction to more advanced topics, but not as stand-alone solutions. And that’ s where nothing works better than a live classes. But how to transfer the advantages of stationary education into the digital reality? What problems does Zoom or Microsoft Teams not solve?
Thanks to the fact that we are in the IT training services business and we had the opportunity to conduct dozens of interviews with our stationary and Zoom-based courses graduates, we have identified the following issues:
1) Many expert courses require professional software (eg. IDE, Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD). Beginners don't the hardware and software to participate in a course and instead of teachning - instructors often solves students PCs problems. More advanced students don't have time to configure the course environment by their own. They or their company paid for a course and everything has to work.
2) During stationary classes, the instructor is able to pick up on the fact that one of the students is having a problem, during live and online courses students are feeling ashamed to share in public when they have a problem (eg. by raising their virtual hand), so instructors struggle to supervise and help students.
3) Existing solutions focus on the teleconferencing features rather than the content itself. They work well for lectures, but not for more practical, online classes based on desktop software.
4) No tools to support expert individual instructors and entire learning process in real-time, software-based online courses.
5) The high cost of maintaining the stationary IT training infrastructure, regardless of the number of courses being run.
6) For privacy reasons students don't want to share anything from their private computers during online classes.
After writing down all these issues, we proceeded to analyze the solutions available on the market. And… as a result of several weeks of searching, we had a list of nearly 500 tools for remote work with nothing that would suit our needs. The closest we get were DaaS solutions, however they only solves two problems from the list, ware overcomplicated and could discourage non-technical instructors. That’s why we decided to build something on our own and that’s how Teamsharq was born. Ok, so now we take a closer look on what is our response to all issues mentioned earlier.
1) Teamsharq provides remote workspaces in the cloud. It is up to the instructor to decide what performance and software are required for each course. All what students need is an updated web browser and a stable internet connection.
2) With Teamsharq, the Instructor can easily view each student's workspace and is therefore able to see right away if someone is struggling.
3) Our solution focuses on a desktop view rather than teleconferencing features. Each student has access to their own Workspace, which allows to actively participate in classes rather than passively listen to a lecture. All students are able to collaborate within their workspaces, just like in Google Docs.
4) As an Instructor, you can easily manage your courses by adding details, syllabus, materials or class calendar. You can also sell your offer through our Marketplace or make it private for your students only.
5) Instructors decide for themselves when to pay for course workspaces, thus not being charged extra if the course does not take place or if the number of participants is lower than anticipated.
6) All workspaces are isolated from student’s PC. You don't have to worry about your privacy or sharing the wrong application window.
All of the above factors allow us to assume with a high degree of probability that a solution that guarantees not only the appropriate hardware specification, but also focused on teamwork and available from a web browser will become the future of software-based education. We believe also that thanks to our Course Management System and Marketplace features, we are the only platform of its kind to support the entire instructor-lead, real-time training process.
Written by Dominik Olszewski ( Linkedin)Back to Blog