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Market of online education predicted to surge in 2016


04-11-2016 05:12 BJT

China’s online education sector continues to grow rapidly. The industry recently came into the spotlight again because of a post on social media, where one teacher boasted about earning nearly 20,000 yuan per hour, to deliver a physics course online. The sky high salary shows the popularity and demand of the market. And the reaction of other users to the post also gives us an insight what society believes a teacher should earn. But what's behind the explosion in internet tuition? And what's the difference behind online teaching and the traditional way classroom method?

A computer, a headset and a microphone is all Chen Song needs to switch his role online.

When he is offline. he works as a theatre actor based in Shanghai. He performs with other great artists from different countries around the globe. This is how it feels to take part in his class.
Nicknamed "sheepwindow", Chen joined the live online course platform three years ago. He has since become one of the MOST popular teachers on the platform.

"I think it is a cool thing to do because it not only gives me the chance to share my unique experience of how to use English and understand the language, but also lets me get to know more interesting people from different fields," Chen said.

Chen said the number of participants in his open class varies from a hundred to a thousand, depending on the schedule. It also depends on feedback from former students, which will impact on the choices made by other students.

Many of his students took part in the class by mobile phone. With a simple click, students will be able to interact with the teacher.

Mobile phones are becoming the main factor for the growth of internet users in China. In 2015, the number of users of mobile devices surpassed computer users for the first time in the field of online education. This progress is likely to make e-learning more diversified.

Wang Guan is a maths teacher, but an unconventional one. He accepts requests from an app on his phone.Currently he’s teaching 12 students.

"I used to teach in an offline training institution. I enjoyed more freedom and more time when I changed to an online position. I even have a teaching assistant who conducts better communication between me and the parents, so that I could focus more on my work. More importantly, the main difference after becoming a teacher online, I have to know how to brand myself. To attract more students by teaching in a more creative way," Wang said.

"I like Mr. Wang’s tutoring. He always explains maths in a fun way, making it more interesting for me," Sixth grade student Du Haichuan said.

The online tutoring company Chen works has grown with great speed since January 2015. After just one year's development, this internet-based educational company has set up 12 branches across China with about 10-thousand teachers.

Liu Changke is one of the founders of this internet-based company. He has over 20 years' experience working in an offline educational institution.

"The major difference with our internet-based company lies in technology and a tailor-made-service. To give you a vivid example, we used to have a student who’s poor at maths and at a rebellious age. We found him a maths teacher with a similar interest to him. Later his parents saw the progress he made on the subject," Liu Changke, founder of Changingedu.com, said.

China’s online education market is expected to surge to nearly 200 billion yuan in 2016, with more than 100 million online users. But unlike other online businesses, experts say online education needs more devoted patience and time. The diversity of each student is the main factor for this growing market.

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