Beetroot Academy has built an education platform that works in cycles. They have thousands of students from all over the world and hundreds of teachers that teach pre-defined courses. Interestingly, the challenges of an education team/platform are very similar to the challenges of an engineering team, as we will try to reflect below:
As the platform grew, Beetroot Academy experienced two main challenges:
Student-level challenge: Not all people are created equal. Some have more experience than others, some can move fast, and some need to spend more time to really get it right. It is nearly impossible to build a customized plan for thousands of students, and the result is that the students don’t get the optimal program for them. A similar situation can be found in engineering teams, where there are junior and senior developers with different levels of skills and knowledge and they need to optimize their process in order to make this work.
Product level challenge: Data is gold, but only if you can get it organized and actionable. With hundreds of teachers and dozens of education programs and courses, it is very difficult to understand what works and what requires improvement. Heck, it's like managing dozens of products simultaneously. Beetroot Academy needed a way to collect and analyze this feedback in a structured and continuous way in order to improve its products and content.
Beetroot Academy chose to use GoRetro, which would enable them to facilitate retrospective meetings on both the teacher-student level and the course level. GoRetro creates a safe, judgment-free environment for students to provide their feedback as part of the education program, as well as a centralized place for teachers and students to provide feedback about the programs and courses.
The first challenge for Beetroot Academy was to improve the course quality and tailor it to each specific group of students as it happens. They use GoRetro to run a retrospective meeting in the middle of each course, in this retrospective students are provided with a safe and judgment-free environment where they can share their feedback anonymously, without fearing how the teacher may perceive them or how it will impact the rest of the program from a personal point of view.
“After one or two months, depending on the person and the teacher... They have their own retrospective where they review all parts of the learning process,” Bohdan Yarmoshuk, Beetroot Academy
GoRetro's flexibility and customization allow each teacher and group to facilitate their retrospective meetings in the best way possible for them. They are not locked onto a single process and can maximize the value they get from these meetings.
“Of course, it's different for every group because they all have their own kind of ecosystem. GoRetro is really useful for us because it's really flexible, and every group has the opportunity to improve some aspects immediately,” Bohdan Yarmoshuk, Beetroot Academy
Another aspect that helps Beetroot Academy get people to participate and contribute to the success of the programs is the ability to anonymously provide feedback. As Beetroot Academy mentioned more than once, it is a key feature for them.
“Anonymity can really create a safe environment for the students. We get feedback that otherwise would be very hard to collect, as people by nature are afraid to be seen as the bad guys,”Bohdan Yarmoshuk, Beetroot Academy
At the end of the program, Beetroot Academy runs another retrospective meeting, to collect more feedback from the students, and let the teachers join and provide their own feedback.
Another source of valuable information is collecting and analyzing the entire mid-program retrospectives data and treating it as product feedback data.
“At the end of the course we also collect all these retrospectives and review them as a product team. We then use this data to improve and perfect existing and new courses,” Bohdan Yarmoshuk, Beetroot Academy
With GoRetro, Beetroot Academy was able to create a feedback cycle that led to continuous improvement. Courses are adjusted in real-time, the quality and relevancy of the content went up, and students' satisfaction increased accordingly.
“Our surveys show an increase of 26% in student satisfaction since we started using GoRetro to allow students to provide real-time feedback and improve the courses they take,” Bohdan Yarmoshuk, Beetroot Academy
On the education program aspect, Beetroot Academy is able to work on what matters most - collecting feedback and getting structured data with which they can focus their resources on improving the courses and content.
“Thanks to GoRetro, the alignment, and prioritization in our team became much higher. Data is king. It’s objective, it's real, and it’s continuous, so it saves us a lot of time when improving and developing our courses,” Bohdan Yarmoshuk, Beetroot Academy
Lastly, as Beetroot Academy CEO Dmytro Olaresko mentioned, GoRetro is used for educational purposes as well. It helps the students to acquire knowledge on how to run retrospectives and how to use such tools, so that when they finish their course, they can leverage this knowledge as well.
“We believe it’s important to integrate tools that are used by companies every day and also integrate processes that they can use in their workplace,” Dmytro Olaresko, Beetroot Academy CEO.
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