Study.com is a leading online education platform helping learners of all ages excel academically and close skills gaps. Study.com’s online courses, short, animated video lessons, and study tools make learning simple for over 30 million students, teachers, and working professionals. Study.com was founded in 2002 and is a privately held company located in Mountain View, CA.
Brooke Gabbert, Sr. Communications Strategist at Study.com, is an accomplished communication professional with more than two decades of experience in marketing and communications under her belt.
She has held leadership positions across a spectrum of companies including HomeAdvisor, Six Flags and, most recently, Guild Education, to name a few.
Connect with Brooke on LinkedIn.
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s time for Learning Insights. Brought to you by TrainingPros. When you have more projects than people, TrainingPros can provide you with the right L&D consultant to start your project with confidence. Now, here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:27] Lee Kantor here. Another episode of Learning Insights, and this is going to be a good one. But before we get started, it’s important to recognize our sponsors at TrainingPros. Without them, we couldn’t be sharing these stories. Today on Learning Insights, we have Brooke Gabbert with Study.com. Welcome, Brooke.
Brooke Gabbert: [00:00:45] Thank you. Welcome.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:47] Well, before we get too far into things, tell us about Study.com. How are you serving folks?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:00:51] Sure. So, Study.com was founded with the mission to make education accessible. And that vision is expanded over the last two decades to make Study.com a leading online education platform helping 30 million learners and educators a month. In fact, every minute, a learner enrolls in a course on Study.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:12] So, now, how does the organization kind of imbue online learning throughout the organization, not just for the end user?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:01:23] So, everybody at Study.com embraces our goal of making learning accessible and breaking down barriers to education. So, you see that whether you’re working on a spreadsheet, or you’re designing a customer experience, or you’re developing the content for our site. Everybody really embraces that mission. Our team members, along with our study studio network of experts, we’ve created 1.5 million learning resources on our platform. And we’ve fueled 16 million hours of learning engagement this year. So, you really are seeing the results of your work and it’s very satisfying.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:02] Now, how do you kind of keep the culture in a thriving productive manner that allows maybe people to experiment, try new things, and also kind of double down and share what’s working?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:02:16] Sure. So, we have a startup mentality. We’re two decades old, but we still operate very startup and you can make a big impact. And so, we move quickly, we get things done. Team members wear different hats and they regularly interact with senior leadership. There’s a very clear vision that everybody, as I mentioned, buys into is making learning accessible. And so, you know, you feel that throughout the organization. The past year, obviously, going virtual has been – we’re a very in office culture, have happy hours and lunches and sports teams. And so, going virtual, we taken that virtual, and we’ve done bingo ,and we did a Thanksgiving party, and just trying to really create that culture outside the walls.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:08] Now, does any of that transfer to kind of the end user? Are you able to say, “Hey, this worked well in this environment.” Is this something that can also translate to the end user who are using the Study.com platform?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:03:21] Yeah. You know, Study.com is really unique in the online learning world for, I think, three reasons. And this comes from our years of doing this. And so, first, the platform is built to deliver content and engaging and easy to understand. And we do this through microlearning. And so, our lessons are five to seven minute video segments that really help, they move the lesson along, they keep the learner engaged, and they help retain information. And so, that’s a real big one that we really spend a lot of time thinking about.
Brooke Gabbert: [00:03:57] Secondly, our curriculum spans K through 12 to higher ed, STEM to social sciences, and everything in between. We have over 83,000 video in microlessons. And we’re really suited to help teachers and learners alike. And then, lastly, Study.com meets learners where they are on their education path. So, for example, whether you’re a high school student or you’re a working adult, you can access the largest online college course catalog on Study.com and earn college credit at a fraction of the cost. And all of these are available to our employees as well. And so, we had a graduation about a month ago, in December, and we had several employees graduate as part of our Working Scholars Program, taking advantage of all of what I just told you.
Lee Kantor: [00:04:49] Now, is the methodology different when you’re teaching maybe a child had to do something as opposed to a working professional? Or is kind of the fundamentals are the same in either case?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:05:03] I think we find the delivery can be very similar, and that’s in that microlearning environment. So, you know, we have lessons for fifth graders that are taught at a fifth grade level, but they’re delivered in that five to seven minute increment and that visual element to it. And we have the same thing for our college level courses. And so, we’ve helped people, we have a big special needs learning segment and they find that this modality really helps them learn. You have working adults who find, you know, “When am I finding time to sit down for two hours and study?” And they can use this quick lesson format to move through.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:46] Now, when you’re talking about the learning aspect of this, how is the measuring of results come into play?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:05:59] So, Study.com provides quizzes and assessments at the end of each lesson. And so, learners who don’t pass that lesson or that quiz are able to then go directly back to the point in the lesson or the video where they missed that concept. And so, you’re really seeing that real time feedback and being able to measure your understanding of a concept right then and there. And so, that’s one way that we’re able to do that. Also, through our teacher product, we have a whole backend where teachers manage hundreds of students and are able to see their progress throughout the lessons and see how they’re doing on their quizzes, and really help manage that progress and measure their success in that course.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:51] Is the learning taking place kind of individualized or is it something that there’s also an opportunity for group learning?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:07:00] So, teachers have used Study.com in their classroom for years prior to virtual learning. As you can probably expect, this has been a monster year for us and we’ve seen more adoption of our program with teachers going virtual. But in a classroom and also in a virtual way, you could actually use it asynchronously or synchronously. So, you could, for example, talk about a Greek mythology lesson, show the video or assign the video after the lesson, and then have them take the follow up worksheets on their own. So, you can mix and match, and that’s one of the great things about Study.com. It gives teachers and learners and parents at home right now, who are doing this online learning environment, it gives them a lot of different ways to do that.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:52] Now, it sounds like for the most of your history, it’s been focused academically on students learning through teachers. As part of the roadmap for the future, is there any kind of more emphasis on businesses using this in a professional setting in terms of training and development?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:08:14] So, we have a program Working Scholars. And Working Scholars is designed to work with cities and businesses to do that, to help provide affordable college credits, affordable pathways to getting degrees, and then some of that training. We have over 60 different types of test preps, so that’s for people, the working adult and the person who is getting a nursing certification or a real estate certification, or we have a lot of teacher certifications. And so, we see a lot of more working adults or professionals using our teacher or our cert product, our test prep product, to help them advance in their career or get to that next step.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:01] Now, what about like in terms of, say, my company wants to do some leadership training with my teams, do you have a curriculum that can help me facilitate some of these kind of business like curriculums?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:09:17] I would say we have lessons in leadership that companies could use. Like I said, we have 83,000 total lessons, so we cover over 4,500 subjects. But we’re really built for more of the academic side. Businesses, through our Working Scholars Program, have used us to get their upskill and educate their team members. But we’re really more built on the academic side.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:47] And then, for you, what’s the most rewarding part of the job?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:09:52] You know, I have to say that Study.com is a society, we were built that companies need to make a contribution to society. And working there, you really see that come to life. When COVID-19 hit and school started to close, our CEO gathered a group of us and said, “What can we do?” And we ended up donating millions to schools, mainly Title 1 schools across the United States, to help them transition to that virtual learning. And then, most recently, what’s been really empowering for me is our partnership with DonorsChoose. This is a fantastic organization, nonprofit, that we partnered with to help bring access to Study.com for teachers across the nation. And so, reading their stories about how they’ll use it in their classroom and how their students will benefit has just been personally, for me, very rewarding.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:49] Now, looking forward, do you see any kind of silver linings in terms of all the remote learning that’s occurred now nationwide that, maybe, will be able to kind of be taken advantage of post-pandemic?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:11:05] You know, we don’t think that virtual learning is going to go away post-pandemic. I think you’ll see an acceleration of technology in classrooms as online learning really created the opportunity to reimagine the classroom. You were forced to, right? And so, we think that this will continue to be a trend. For example, I talked about the visual learning aspect of our website. I think that will become a really important part of in-classroom learning. And so, our short microlearning video segments are a great example of how a teacher could continue to use technology and online learning in a classroom. We are so excited, we’ve seen an increase of 70 percent year over year in learning engagement on our site. And we’re just excited to head into 2021 eagerly hiring to meet this increased demand and continue to create the technology that is fueling the learning for millions.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:00] Now, what do you need more of? How can we help you?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:12:04] You know, we are hiring, like I said. We are a great resource for you if you’re a parent looking to supplement your child’s learning at home. We’re a great resource for you if you’re a teacher looking to help with the virtual learning and bringing some more resources to you. And we’re also a great resource if you’re looking to go back and get a college degree. Like I said, we’ve got a great catalog of college courses and a really great platform to help you achieve your goals.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:41] Well, congratulations on all the success. If somebody wants to learn more, maybe have more substantive conversation with you or somebody on your team, what’s the website?
Brooke Gabbert: [00:12:50] Study.com.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:52] Well, Brooke, thank you again for sharing your story. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Brooke Gabbert: [00:12:57] Thanks so much, Lee. I appreciate you having me on.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:00] All right. This is Lee Kantor. We will see you all next time on Learning Insights.
Outro: [00:13:07] Thank you for listening. For more information about TrainingPros, visit their website at training-pros.com.
About Training Pros
Since TrainingPros was founded in 1997, they have been dedicated to helping their clients find the right consultant for their projects.
23 years later, they are proud to have helped hundreds of clients complete their projects and thousands of consultants find great assignments. Training Pros continues to focus on helping their clients and consultants as well as their community.