In the post-pandemic era, will the OMO model become the mainstream trend for education industry?
Author： Van Fan
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in January this year, it was indeed a bad news for educational institutions that wanted to make money during the winter vacation. With the worse situation, most of the educational institutions are facing the survival challenge. However, under the call of "stop classes without stopping study" from the Ministry of Education, online education companies seize the opportunity to catch the business, and many traditional offline institutions have also transformed and launched online courses. The word “OMO” seems to appear in the eyes of people overnight.
What is OMO?
OMO, Online Merge Offline, online and offline integration. It was first proposed by Kaifu Lee, founder and CEO of Innovation Workshop, in the 2017 Economist magazine. Kai-Fu Li emphasized, "The four key factors that helped the OMO era come are: large-scale application of smart phones, smooth payment systems, high-quality and inexpensive sensors, and the advancement of artificial intelligence technology. The development speed is quite amazing, and it is expected that OMO will be realized first in the future.
While in the education industry, OMO does not seem to have become a consensus before. Each company has its own gameplay, offline education offers good learning experiences and services and the teaching quality is relatively better. Online education seems more diverse, artificial intelligence, intelligent adaptive learning, online teaching and various learning software emerge in endlessly. The combination of online and offline does not seem to form a good synergy in the education and training industry, each side seems to prove its own advantages.
The pandemic caused a head-to-head confrontation between online and offline, and the both had to stand in the other’s shoes to think about the value of the other side, as their same goal is for survival. Compared with the small and weak companies that are overwhelmed by the epidemic, leading companies (listed companies) have responded quickly this time, and they transferred their offline sources to online within the shortest time by using R & D and technological advantages. Among them, Jingrui Education, which is the domestic leading enterprises in the K12 industry, announced in February the launch of a new online education brand "Jingrui online", the platform which will cover VIP live broadcast, children's subject live broadcast, foreign English Teaching, K12 class and so on. Zhang Xi, Chairman and CEO of Jingrui Education, said that Jingrui Education was 'walking on two legs' and both online and offline businesses are equally important. In the future, Jingrui offline high-end and ultra-high-end businesses will continue and further penetrate deeply into the second, third and fourth tier cities while increasing the intensity of OMO business.
The impact of the popularity of online courses.
The first is to greatly enhance the social awareness of online education. This outbreak has enabled many users who have not been exposed to or who do not trust online education to recognize and experience online education.
Secondly, the influx of such a large number of users online has brought tremendous challenges to the technical requirements and operational capabilities of online companies.
Third, online courses are a brand-new attempt and experience for teachers and students, and also allow teachers and students to reflect more on their own deficiencies in the process of teaching and learning.
Fourth, online courses also reveal that the network resources in the west and remote areas are relatively limited. As a result, teachers and students in some backward areas cannot successfully implement online courses.
The problems faced in OMO
First, how to train teachers. The form and content between online and offline teaching are very different. For teachers accustomed to giving offline courses, how to teach, how to interact, how to control the classroom, and how to supervise the completion of homework are definitely challenging. Through the screen, the teacher ’s attractiveness and control will be greatly reduced.
Second, how to improve service. It is undeniable that the weakened online course experience means that they need to increase quality in services to gain customer stickiness.
Third, how to ensure operation management? Going online means the organization management and performance evaluation are very different from the original, which is a very big challenge.
What forms of online business is reserved?
One is to set up an online school, the main target is for students who are from the remote areas and more sensitive to prices.
The other is the OMO model, which turns this online business into a value-added teaching service. Online offline picture books, foreign teachers' courses, and online homework will be added during mid-weekend. If your child is busy on weekends, you can also reduce the number of classes on weekends and move online to improve convenience.
Online Merge Offline will be the big trend
As the pandemic situation has eased in the country, many regions have begun to resume classes. After the epidemic, what challenges will online education face? I suppose that students ’demand for online education will continue.
First of all, the pandemic has not completely ended, the impact still exists, and the current online courses still occupy a large part of the market and will continue.
Secondly, through continuous online courses during the pandemic, people's awareness and recognition of online courses have been greatly improved. Many users have already accepted the online class mode. Especially for those 80s and 90s parents, their acceptance of online courses is relatively better.
Finally, through the call for "stop classes without stopping study", many schools and network platforms have in-depth cooperation, which has laid a good foundation for the continuation of this model in the future, which also provides more possibilities for further cooperation.