British Council scaled up the offerings

Updated: May 12



Challenge:

Increase clients’ IELTS speaking readiness with online sessions.

Solution:

Use ClassIn and SchooIn to connect clients with professional interlocutors from around the world.

Result:

Speak Up rapidly scales up their offerings with ClassIn and SchooIn’s help.

Without proper coaching, the speaking portion of the IELTS exam can be daunting for prospective test takers. To assuage these fears and to address the need for reliable oral English coaching, the British Council’s East Asia assessment solutions team created a new IELTS product, Speak Up. This program connects interlocutors from around the world with clients who wish to improve their speaking proficiency in order to perform better on the IELTS exam. To accomplish this feat, Speak Up needed a stable, secure, and scalable platform. After other options proved insufficient for their particular needs, they found that ClassIn and SchooIn could provide the teaching platform, administrative tools, and backend support needed to launch a successful product.


A typical coaching session with Speak Up includes identifying a client’s desired target band, taking a mock test, reflecting on performance, giving feedback, and holding a brief Q and A. These sessions are designed to be short – a tight 30 minutes. So, there is no time to deal with technical snafus or navigate cumbersome systems. To make sure that everything runs smoothly, Speak Up’s interlocutors and students need a stable platform and a user-friendly interface that allows their brief coaching sessions to be as effective and efficient as possible. On the administrative side, Speak Up also needs a portal where clients can book and pay for their coaching sessions without too much hassle. Since ClassIn and SchooIn are able to satisfy each of these requirements, Speak Up can focus on offering the best product possible for their clients.

Jonathan Cruise, who piloted the program and helped design the format for Speak Up’s sessions, said that they ultimately decided to go with ClassIn and SchooIn for a number of reasons: “security, costs, and the capacity that you have to handle the volumes.”


While Speak Up, ClassIn, and SchooIn are working well together now, there were some initial obstacles that needed to be overcome. Since Speak Up only offers one-on-one coaching sessions, it was challenging to organize such a large number of individual sessions. It was tedious work that wasted too much of their administrators’ time, so they asked the technical teams at ClassIn and SchooIn for help. They got to work quickly. With some adjustments to the system, they were able to make it “very easy for us to upload the time slots for our interlocutors …and manage our clients and manage the arrangement of class,” according to Lina, an administrator at Speak Up. This work helped to make “the management of the back office very easy and [save them] a lot of work.


Now that everything is up and running, IELTS Speak Up is able to offer a new and exciting service to East Asian students and professionals seeking to improve their IELTS speaking scores. With ClassIn and SchooIn supplying the platform and backend support, Speak Up is able to focus on what’s important: helping their clients achieve the scores they need to pursue their dreams.