This article introduces the educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site, describing competitive offerings, the customer profile, problem-oriented solutions, target markets, product offerings, and usability features. It concludes that the module is a major contribution to the information superhighway.
The aim of this article is to introduce to the world the educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site. The article is addressed to those readers who may have an educational problem bogging them and who may therefore be looking for a way out of their predicament. The reader may be a parent, child, or student.
It is a common fact of life that we all have problems and that we are often frustrated or we tend to lash out because of our inability to find accessible and reliable information about our problems. This specialist site fills this need - as our pragmatic friend for solving our educational problems.
To be of the greatest use to people a problem solving site must combine pragmatic discussions of their personal or professional problem with merchant products that provide more detailed information. Typically, the web site will provide free information in the form of news, articles, and advice, which direct the visitor on what to do to solve her problems. Complementing this, the web site will also provide merchant products which discuss in detail how the visitor can go about resolving her problem. This means that the most effective, visitor-oriented problem-solving site will be an information-packed commercial site - and so is the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site and its specialist sites.
The approach that we have adopted below is to describe competitive offerings, the customer profile, problem-oriented solutions, target markets, product offerings, and usability features.
The following are the top educational sites on the Internet, along with their offerings.
US Department of Education. It defines the US education policy and provides information on financial aid, educational research and statistics, grants and contracts, and teaching and learning resources.
Educational Testing Service. It provides a range of test resources.
FunBrain.com. It provides educational games for K-8 kids.
PrimaryGames.com. It provides fun learning tools and games for kids.
GEM. It provides educational resources such as lesson plans and other teaching and learning resources.
Education World. It provides advice on lesson plans, professional development, and technology integration.
NASA Education Enterprise. It provides educational materials and information relating to space exploration.
Spartacus Educational. It is a British online encyclopedia that focuses on historical topics.
Department for Education and Skills. It is a UK government department site that offers information and advice on various educational and skills topics.
Times Educational Supplement. It offers teaching news, teaching & educational resources, and active forums to help UK teachers.
All these sites are useful in the domains that they cover. Their main limitations are as follows:
1. They tend to cover only a very narrow segment of the educational market.
2. They do not take as their starting point the daily educational needs of the typical family.
3. They lack a problem focus; i.e., they do not formulate the typical learning and educational problems that pupils, students, and parents face on a daily basis.
4. As a result of the preceding point, the solutions offered are not as incisive (i.e. as problem-centred) as they could be.
5. They do not offer merchant products that deepen the visitor's understanding of her problem and of the consequent solutions.
The educational solutions module of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site addresses these problems by targeting a multiplicity of market segments, adopting a customer profile that fits the typical education-pursuing family, considering the specific needs or problems that this family may face, offering incisive (problem-centred) solutions to the various problems, and offering a range of merchant products that deepen the visitor's appreciation of her problems and of the solutions that are applicable to them.
The customer profile or target visitor characteristics of the educational solutions module is the same as for all specialist sites of the world's most recent personal and professional problem solving site. The site has been designed to meet the needs of visitors who have an educational problem bogging them. It is designed for both males and females, even though it is often convenient to refer to just one sex when writing.
This visitor uses search engines to research information about her personal or professional problem, with the intention of finding solutions to it. The visitor is serious about solving her problem and is therefore willing to buy products that help her to achieve her mission, provided that she can find reliable and honest information about relevant products so that she can make an informed decision about which ones to acquire. This information will help her to apply her finances economically, and hence avoid wasting money.
The visitor will want a money-back guarantee so that if a product does not live up to expectations or if she were misled into buying a product she can get a refund. Such a guarantee absolves her of purchase risks.
The visitor is intelligent (without necessarily being a genius), educated (without necessarily being a PhD), computer literate (without necessarily being a computer guru), and money-minded (without necessarily being a freebie hunter or an unemployed person). This of course does not mean that freebie hunters or unemployed persons cannot gain a thing from the site. To the contrary, there is a great deal of free information on the site. Just that it is hard to see how anyone can gain the full benefits of the site without buying products.
The visitor wants high quality information products (usually in digital form) and wants to pay the cheapest price for these (without paying so much emphasis on price that she compromises quality). The visitor also wants free bonus offers that are attached to the purchased goods.
The visitor is self-reliant and can cope on her own by reading, digesting, and applying advice about her problem until she solves it or discovers that she needs help from a professional, at which point her acquired knowledge will help her to reduce her consulting fees. As a result of the knowledge gained, the visitor will be able to assess consultants in order to avoid incompetent or fraudulent ones.
Our free solutions are organised in the form of pragmatic articles that are written by top experts. Each article addresses a specific daily problem, but does not go into detail. It explains the problem and tells the visitor what she must do to solve her problem. However, it does not tell the visitor how she must solve it - this is too much for an article. To find out about the how, the visitor must buy a product (usually an e-book or e-book set) that goes into greater depth.
The set of educational articles that we have chosen, to provide initial solution to a visitor's problem are as follows:
Signs of a Gifted Child - Informs parents on how to identify whether or not their children are gifted.
Essential Parenting Lessons for Enriching Your Child's Education - Teaches parents how to enhance their child's education.
Using Positive Affirmations to Be a Better Student - Teaches students how to use positive affirmations to improve their performance.
They Are Just Afraid of Writing - Teaches writing skills to students
How Can Parents Encourage Their Children to Read? - Shows parents how they can improve their children's reading skills.
Test Preparation Tutoring - Discusses the topic of tutoring students to prepare for tests or exams.
Test Taking Strategies - Discusses various strategies for taking and passing tests or exams
Playing and Winning the Scholarship Game - Describes how to win scholarships.
How to Get a Scholarship to a UK University - Describes how to win scholarships to a UK university.
Saving Money for College - Instructs students on how they can save money in preparation for college.
Student Loans: When Your Educational Dreams Can't Compete with the Cost - Explains to students the benefits of a student loan.
Education Loans Can Fund a Higher Degree to Boost Your Career - Also explains to students the benefits of a student loan.
The Secret to US Department of Education Loans - Teaches students how to get a US DoE loan to finance their higher education.
Student Loan Consolidation - Save Money, Pay Less, Spend More - Explains to graduates how to make use of loan consolidation to reduce their student loan repayments.
Higher Education: Finding the Right College for You - Explains to students how to find the right college or university for their higher education studies.
Mobile Learning - An Alternative Worth Considering - Explains the concept of mobile learning and its place in education.
Online Degrees - Is Online Education Right for You? - Analyses the merits of online learning as compared to traditional learning.
An Online College Education Overview - Reviews the whole concept of online learning.
Finding the Right Quotation for Your Paper or Speech Online - Shows writers and speakers how to find the right quotation to use in their writings or speeches.
Collaboration: An Important Leadership Development Skill - Explores the useful concept of collaboration and its role in leadership development.
At the end of each article is a list of merchant products that supplement the article's content. A link is also included for accessing the educational product catalogue.
Target Markets and Product Offerings
Now let us turn to the target markets and their associated product offerings. We have positioned the segments to address the various needs of a visitor over a period of time, and at any given time a customer may belong to one or more of the market segments. There are three general classes of products offered: ClickBank products, Google products, and eBay products. Google and eBay products are presented on each page of the site. ClickBank products are grouped into product categories that match the target markets. These categories and their markets are as follows.
Children and Parenting. This consists of visitors who want parenting solutions for improving their children's upbringing. Their needs are met through the Children and Parenting section of the educational product catalogue.
Difficult Admissions. This consists of visitors who want to learn how to get admission into top universities. Their needs are met through the Difficult Admissions section of the educational product catalogue.
Esoteric Needs. This consists of visitors with unusual needs. Their needs are met through the Esoteric Needs section of the educational product catalogue.
Financial Aid. This consists of visitors looking for scholarships, grants, or loans. Their needs are met through the Financial Aid section of the educational product catalogue.
Leadership Skills. This consists of visitors looking to develop their leadership skills. Their needs are met through the Leadership Skills section of the educational product catalogue.
Learning. This consists of visitors who want to improve their learning ability. Their needs are met through the Learning section of the educational product catalogue.
Mental Speed. This consists of visitors who want to explode their mental speed. Their needs are met through the Mental Speed section of the educational product catalogue.
Positive Affirmations. This consists of visitors who want to transform their negative dispositions into a positive mindset in order to improve their performance. Their needs are met through the Positive Affirmations section of the educational product catalogue.
Speaking. This consists of visitors looking to improve their speaking skills. Their needs are met through the Speaking section of the educational product catalogue.
Tests and Exams. This consists of visitors looking to master exam technique. Their needs are met through the Tests and Exams section of the educational product catalogue.
Writing. This consists of visitors looking to improve their writing skills. Their needs are met through the Writing section of the educational product catalogue.
Usability has been enhanced to make it easy for the visitor to find solutions to her problem, by following these steps:
1. The first thing the visitor sees are a set of articles whose titles represent the specific problem area they address. The articles are accessed from the Educational Problem Solving menu of the navigation bar to the left of the screen or from the Educational Problem Solving main page. By scanning these articles the visitor can identify whether or not her problem is covered. If not the visitor can check the educational product catalogue through the Product Catalogues menu of the same navigation bar, to see whether a product exists that answers her query. If she finds nothing she knows that her problem is not addressed. She can proceed to the Related Sites pages, which are accessible from the left navigation bar.
2. If the visitor finds an article that addresses her problem then she can begin to explore that; at the end of the article she will find products that discuss her problem more deeply. She can also access the educational product catalogue through an article page.