Moving classrooms from the physical world to the virtual world can be a large undertaking for educational institutions or training groups within corporations. Beyond the associated travel cost savings , the move to virtual classrooms change the economics of the classroom and opens up new opportunities because of one of their often overlooked features: recordings.
The traditional model of the physical classroom works as follows: a number of students limited by space constraints attend a classroom at a very specific moment in time. The moment the class concludes, only notes taken by the students, hand-outs and memories are left. The physical classroom creates scarcity in space (who can attend) as well as in time (when can they attend). That scarcity is used to establish a fairly high price that needs to off-set the cost of running that one single session.
When moving to a virtual classroom world, obviously the space constraints disappear to a great extent. So too do the real estate costs associated with he physical classroom. The first question organizations face when moving their education program online is “How much should we charge?”. We have worked with many of our Adobe Connect customers and overwhelmingly, their answer is: “the same as the physical classroom price so as not to convey a lesser value for this online program”. So with the same amount of revenue and the costs linked to space constraints removed, these online programs become immediately very profitable.
Virtual classrooms not only eliminate space constraints, but they can remove time constraints too. Suddenly every class can be recorded and turned easily into a digital asset that can be watched at any time. When in the physical classroom, nothing is left from the class, in the digital world a full recording of the class exists. This recording can be used to provide extra value to the students who attended the class; but it can also be used to give a second economic life to the lecture by marketing it to people who could not attend the class because they were not in the right time zone, or not interested by the topic at the time or could not afford it. What’s more, the marginal cost of playing back the recording is negligible. As a result, any amount of money that a viewer is willing to pay for watching the recording will be pure profit for the organization.
This very simple fact opens up limitless opportunities.
It then become possible to monetize the recordings in geography, demographics that could not afford to attend the live virtual classroom. For example, for US education institutions it can become a way to target emerging markets like China or India. For corporation, it can become a way to create multi-tier pricing for their training programs in order to maximize revenue across a diverse audience.
For these differentiated pricing strategies to be successful, the product also needs to be differentiated. It means that the live session needs to provide a level of interaction that will far exceed that of the recording. Lectures with one monotonous speaker voicing over slides will not cut it anymore.
Another side benefit of meeting recordings is that they bring down the cost of learning content creation. Typical on-demand e-learning content created with tools like Adobe Captivate requires 30-40 hours of work for 1 hour of content. With virtual classroom, that ratio is 1 to 1: a one hour lecture recorded is a one hour piece of on demand content.
- Adobe Connect provides unsurpassed ability to create powerful virtual classroom recordings that can be edited, anonymized, and converted to mp4 format.
- Adobe Connect also provides unsurpassed abilities to create a rich and engaging classroom experience that will help differentiate the live experience from the recording.
- Adobe Experience Manager provides great capabilities to store all the recording and distribute them in a Youtube like fashion inside or outside the organization.
The combination of AEM and Adobe Connect can help organization redefine the end-user experience they are providing to their learners.