Attending good schools with good teachers is essential for the educational growth of the Nigerian child. But learning can be more fun when they are studying and learning from their peers. Studies show that students learn more through peer learning than through teaching alone.
Indeed, peer learning gives students the opportunity to open up while discussing ideas with “equals” and to question their ideas. It also helps them develop personal relationships and encourages healthy competition. Finally, it helps students to become more aware of their own ways of thinking and to assess their own knowledge.
This is essentially what foreigner, a Nigerian education technology startup is seeking to achieve. Founded by Jeremiah Godwin (CEO) and Timmy Salami (COO / CFO), and launched in August 2021 (Beta), the edtech startup started out as an Instagram page that mainly helped international students with their studies.
But during the 2020 pandemic, the number of Nigerian students in need of educational technology services has increased. They also found that other than a platform like Ulesson which primarily caters to K-2 students, A-level and college students did not have access to a single platform that could solve their educational problems.
“So what we’re doing is offering A-level and university students a single site (Stranerd.com) for all of their academic needs, from quick homework help, study materials, past issues and, more importantly, a community of students as where they can get that sense of belonging, ”said CEO Jerry Godwin.
How Strnerd Works
Stranerd is a platform that encourages peer learning. The founders believe that every student who has something to offer is a nerd and is welcome to join the platform. To deliver its services very efficiently, the startup has three major functionalities.
the Ask a question Functionality is the most important feature of the platform as it allows students to ask academic questions and receive brilliant answers from their peers. Here, a student asks a question, attaches a “reward” to that question, and whoever provides the best answer gets the reward, usually in the form of a coin.
Stranerd always recognizes the need for real tutors on a platform like this, so the Meet a tutor This feature allows students to meet expert tutors who can help them with more detailed instructions, especially for homework. Tutors are screened through an assessment of their educational and general qualifications and have a check mark to indicate their status.
“We changed the ‘Meet a Nerd’ feature to ‘Meet a Tutor’ after our first beta testing stage, because we realized that there was actually a duplication of function. Nerds can answer fellow students’ questions in the Ask a Question section while Tutors can provide more in-depth help.
Timmy Salamy, COO of Stranerd
The last major feature is the Coin system which is essentially a currency and reward system on the spot. Just like real money, the coin mechanism facilitates every action performed on the platform. Currently, users can only earn coins by answering questions or purchasing coins. The founders intend to include more options as they upgrade with more features.
“The way the parts system works is that every action you take on the site is linked to it. Students use coins to ask questions while students who answer these questions earn coins; the rooms will also be used to book sessions with tutors, access study tools and materials they need, etc. The CEO told Technext.
There are two types of parts on the platform; gold coins used to reserve guardians and bronze coins used to ask questions. The startup says the two pieces are tied to the two main functions available on the platform at the moment. It indicates that the parts will be deployed to access other features as they are introduced.
The rewards will eventually come in cash, but this has not been implemented at this early stage so that students do not primarily focus on monetary value while neglecting the real value the product is intended to give them.
The platform also operates a ranking system that shows a user’s growth and impact since joining the system. There are 5 levels / ranks: Rookie, Comrade, Scholar, Wizard and Einstein.
“In each row there are achievement badges, sequence badges as well as count badges for different tasks that you perform to inform other students of your level of progress on the site. It’s something like the 2go star progress, ”Jeremiah said.
Pricing and revenue generation
Stranerd generates income in several ways. First, there is an 8-8-4 quota system whereby the startup earns a share of what tutors earn. A student pays a minimum amount of 20 bronze coins to ask a question. The payout is split into 8-8-4 with 16 coins going to the two best answers (judged by the claimant) while 4 coins go to start.
The startup also plans to introduce subscription plans with the aim of making the platform more affordable and encouraging long-term use by students.
“There will be different packages, but that hasn’t been fully defined yet. Primarily, our income will come from class membership. A subscription costs 10,000 to 15,000 N per month and we also take our share of that, ”said Jeremiah.
Additionally, the startup plans to allow tutors to sell study materials like background questions and study sets to students.
“Tutors can create their own study material, and other students who want to access it do so at a cost. It’s like creating a “key point” or summary of a general course and lending it to other students. We are also getting a reduction in that, ”said the CEO.
Overall, Stranerd provides a fun and enjoyable way for students to learn by interacting with their peers. It also gives them the opportunity to earn money and in a way teach them to be financially responsible by spending their coins on the things they need.
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