Online education has been booming recently, with new entries coming from startups eduFire and the upcoming (though nebulous) Grockit, among others. One of the newest is LearnHub, a startup that launched last March that has undergone a major redesign as it vies for a top spot in this space.
LearnHub has modified its layout to be less overwhelming – the site’s homepage now reads like an online magazine, displaying featured content, trivia, and polls. It isn’t until after clicking on one of the featured lessons that the user is thrust into LearnHub’s social learning network, which is its primary offering. This “mullet layout” (business in the front, party in the back) helps users find the content they’re interested in without having to go looking for it (assuming they can find something they like on the front page).
The site separates its topics of study into Courses, each of which can have its own tests, lessons, and games attached to it. Many of these are free, but content creators can also choose to charge for a course. Content providers can also tutor pupils using the site’s audio/video whiteboard. Students can gauge tutors by looking at their reputation rating, which is determined by the number of classes they’ve taught and the reviews they’ve received.
LearnHub is trying to be a lot of things, which may not work to its advantage. While the redesigned layout does help make the site more accessible, it is still a little overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, students may lose direction, which may lead experienced tutors to choose to use sites designed exclusively to promote their specialty, as eduFire does with video tutoring.