Self-directed, 1-on-1, On-demand – It all begins with a question

TOPICS: Education & Training

by Katherine Cheung

Once upon a time, I was a math teacher at a tutoring center. As with most one-to-many learning environments, some students inevitably fell behind, and unfortunately, not every student was comfortable with speaking up in class to ask questions. 

I had many conversations with concerned parents and many wanted extra assistance outside of class for their children so I agreed to do private tutoring. But, sadly, not every family could afford someone like me. 

After working a few years in various learning environments, I realized that students were often stuck on very similar homework problems, and asked the same questions. Yet due to limited options, they could only get help during times and at locations where tutors were physically available.

I then began creating online videos about these frequently asked questions. Students could watch the content at their own pace and allowed them to find answers more efficiently. Many viewers messaged me. They said the videos piqued their curiosity on other topics and asked many intelligent follow up questions. While the videos solved issues concerning time and location, they still lacked a component of individualized and personal assistance. 

That's when Snapask began to take shape. We needed a solution that focuses on the core issues:

1. Large classes = lack of personal attention

2. Homework help is limited to time and locations where tutors are available.

3. Every student is different. Many are introverts and shy.

4. The high cost of existing tutoring options. 

5. Quality of teachers.

The coding and designs were the easy part. Creating a learning experience, with the above pain points in mind, was and still is the driving force behind our decisions. Here are a few highlights of the Snapask experience. 

  1. One-on-one tutoring online.
  2. Immediate help, anytime and anywhere.
  3. A safe platform for students of all levels and capability to ask questions.
  4. Reasonable subscription fee. 
  5. Snapask tutors are top students attending top universities.

Our earlier initiatives focused on recruiting qualified tutors. Not just top university students, who have personal experienced with their respective local education system. We also developed a rigorous training process to ensure they provide great teacher-student interactions. 

Our motto is “It all begins with a question.” The Snapask learning journey starts with providing a safe and convenient environment for students to quench their curiosity. A place to have their questions resolved. So one of the most memorable milestones was when we answered the 1 millionth question in 2018. I still remember it came from a student in Thailand. 

Now six years into this startup adventure, we are operating in eight Asian markets - Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea. And more than 350,000 qualified tutors call Snapask home. Moving forward, we have plans to expand our presence in Southeast Asia, with Vietnam as our next stop. 

Individualized and on-demand learning resources as well as new methods to motivate students to want to learn on their own is key to effective education. Snapask's primary service is a mobile app, which allows students to match with a team of tutors in seconds. From the safety of their homes, they can take photos of homework questions of any subject with the app, and qualified tutors will provide help in timely, one-on-one sessions online.

In recent years we have also launched new data-driven services that cater to the educator's side of the equation as well as courses aimed at helping students to develop real-world skill sets. It's all part of an effort to provide a well-rounded learning platform. 

We encourage students to take responsibility and make decisions for their own learning experience. We support their curious nature and aim to inspire the lifelong pursuit of knowledge.

About the Author

As the Chief Marketing Officer, Katherine leads the performance marketing for more than 8 regions across Asia, establishing Snapask as the leading online education platform that maximizes study efficiency with a personalized learning approach.
Specialising in market expansion and brand building, Katherine studies new markets to discover opportunities and formulate its go to market strategy. She has led the expansion for Malaysia, Indonesia, Korea, Japan as well as Vietnam, transforming products to a profitable business model.

At her leisure time, Katherine enjoys writing and has contributed articles to Fortune Insight. In her recent book “49+1 Life Principles”, she shared success formula that she holds dear and how we can apply them in our everyday life.