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A short notes about BYJU’S learning app

A short notes about BYJU’S Learning app
In the last two years, BYJU’S has metamorphosed into an online edtechunicorn with Forbes estimating a value over $700 million

India’s ed-tech industry is booming. A report published by India Brand Equity Foundation in April 2017 estimates that the edtech market in India is currently worth over 100 million dollars, and in coming years these numbers are going to rise exponentially.

According to a very recent report published by Google and KPMG, India’s online education industry is expected to grow almost eight times to $1.96 billion by 2021. And the number of paid users rising six times from 1.6 million to 9.6 million. The report also says that online platform providers will play a pivotal role in the online education ecosystem in India. Initially, the online platforms served as an enabler by connecting prospective students and content providers. In recent times, the platform providers have increasingly played the role of content providers and curators. Perhaps the biggest one in this booming edtech game is Bangalore based start-up BYJU’S.

In the last two years BYJU’S, an institution established by Byju Raveendran as a training center for CAT exams, has metamorphosed into an online edtech unicorn with Forbes estimating a value over $700 million. Unlike other players in exam coaching sector and online learning, the key to this astonishing success comes from their highly popular BYJU’S learning app for students from 6th to 12th standard. Currently the app has over 12 million downloads, and most importantly 700,000 paying subscribers, in a time when thousands of startups struggle to find a solid revenue model.

“India has the largest K-12 education system in the world, with over 260 million enrollments. Lack of access to good quality teachers, one-size-fits-all approach, and learning driven by fear of exams has been the main reasons why India consistently ranks low in all global education indexes,” said Byju Raveendran, founder, and CEO of BYJU’S, in an exclusive interaction with PCMag India.

“While India has been big on traditional schooling and learning techniques, use of technology can truly bring in phenomenal changes in the education landscape. The main idea behind starting BYJU’S was to make learning accessible, effective, engaging and personalized for everyone. We noticed that there was a huge gap in the way students learn and how concepts could actually be learned. In a conventional classroom learning system, access to high-quality education and personalization of learning has always been an issue”, added Byju Raveendran.

Knowledge graph and personalizedlearning
When you set up the app for the first time, after filling out your profile and choosing your class and subject, in this writer’s case 6th standard mathematics, it will provide you a personal learning journey that takes you through each module. Only by completing the lessons, which are explained through videos, and practice tests, one will be able to move to the next stage in the learning journey. The learning process is very effective and engaging, thanks to the carefully crafted visuals and the intuitive design of the app. Importantly, the 6th grader in me finally learned permutations and combinations.

This highly engaging learning is the product of collaboration between three different teams within BYJU’S. A strong academic content team, which has it roots from Byju Raveendran’s CAT exam coaching days, provides a strong foundation. The media team makes sure that the lessons are informative, engaging and fun by creating videos with high-quality graphics and animations. And tech team brings it all together. The end result of this synergy is the backbone of BYJU’S, something they call the knowledge graph.

“We began by looking into all the concepts a child needs to learn, we have every single concept done at a micro level which is tacked to something we call the knowledge graph”, explained Ranjit Radhakrishnan, chief product officer at BYJU’S.

The modular nature of knowledge graph also offers BYJU’S a unique advantage as it helps them support various school boards and syllabuses across the country, as well as multiple competitive exams from UPSC to CAT. All they need to do is remap the modules from over 60,000 learning concepts in the knowledge graph.

The knowledge graph isn’t just a module of videos stored somewhere and accessed through the app online, rather every piece of content in the knowledge graph is tagged with several attributes and parameters. “Every piece of content we have and any questions we ask are all tagged with difficulty levels, the average time normally is taken to answer, general accuracy range of kids of particular age group has on a specific question, and so on. This helps us in generating tons of data from which we create unique learning profile for each user”, Ranjit Radhakrishnan described.

This “tons of data” collected through the app acts as the framework for what many believe is essential in online learning- personalization.

In India, we have a multi-layered formal education system with 260 million students enrolled in more than 1.5 million schools, according to All India Survey on Higher Education 2015-2016 by the Ministry of Human Resource Development. However, in a classroom of 30 to 50 students it is almost impossible to tweak the learning process to the suitability of each and every kid, everyone has different learning speeds and styles.

“By going online does not means just solving the accessibility question. If you end up providing the same learning path for every student, you are left with the same problems as the offline classrooms, and that is not disruptive enough. This is why our commitment right from the onset was to let the kids go through their own personalized journeys,” Ranjit pointed out.

When a child interacts with videos and goes through the learning journey, answer the practice questions, the app generates a unique profile. In fact, my learning journey to study Newton’s second law won’t be same as that of someone who has a better understanding of the concept. One of the key advantages of personalized learning is that over the course of time the app is able to form quite a good understanding of user’s strengths and weaknesses.

If someone experienced difficulty in learning the concept of momentum in physics, then the app will make sure to give the person a quick walkthrough of it right before introducing Newton’s second law. The app does it by connecting the user’s profile with knowledge graph, thus use past learning gaps to predict future difficulty level in related topics.


List of Unknown Entrance exams in India

Maharashtra Council of Agricultural Education and Research (MCAER), Pune

1.MSc (Agri.)
2.MSc (Hort.)
3.MSc (Forestry)
4.MSc (Home Science)
5.MSc (Agri. Biotechnology)
6.MTech (Agri. Engg.)
7.MTech (Food Tech.)
8.MBA (Agri)
9 & 10.MFSc & MSc (PHM)
National Entrance Screening Test (NEST)

National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER) Bhubaneswar and University of Mumbai

1.Integrated MSc in Biology
2.Integrated MSc in Chemistry
3.Integrated MSc in Mathematics
4.Integrated MSc in Physics

IIT Delhi (for admissions 2017)

1.MSc Joint
4.Dual Degree
6.Integrated PhD Degree
OUAT Entrance Exam

Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT)

1.BSc (Ag)
2.BSc (Forestry)
3.BSc (Horticulture)
4&5.BVSc & AHBTech (Agri Engg)
7.BSc (Home Science)
8.MSc (Botany)
9.MSc (Chemistry)
10.MSc (Mathematics)
11.MSc (Microbiology)
12.MSc (Physics)
13.MSc (Zoology)
14.MSc (Biotechnology)
15.MSc (Computer Science)
16.PhD in Physics
17.PhD in Chemistry
18.PhD in Mathematics
19.PhD in Botany
20.PhD in Zoology
21.PhD in Microbiology

(National Level Exam)

1.PhD in Physics
2.PhD in Theoretical Computer Science
3.PhD in Neuroscience
4.PhD in Computational Biology
5.Integrated PhD in Physics
6.Integrated PhD in Theoretical Computer Science
7.Integrated PhD in Neuroscience
8.Integrated PhD in Computational Biology
Pant Nagar University Entrance Exam

GB Pant University of Agriculture & Technology

For all UG, PG and PhD courses (except for MTech course admissions).

Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology

All BSc and MSc Courses

GITAM Institute of Science

All BSc, MSc and BCA Courses

Chhattisgarh Professional Examination Board, Raipur

All science courses
IISER Entrance Exam

Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs)

BS-MS dual degree programme
TIFR Graduate School Admissions (GS)

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

1.PhD Mathematics
2.Integrated MSc-PhD Mathematics
3.PhD Physics
4.Integrated MSc-PhD Physics
5.PhD Chemistry
6.Integrated MSc-PhD Chemistry
7.PhD Biology
8.Integrated MSc-PhD BiologyComputer & Systems Sciences (including Communcations and Applied Probability)
9.PhD programmePhD programme Science Education

Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University

1.UG courses in Agriculture and Home Science
2.MSc Agriculture
3.MTech Ag. Engineering
4.MSc Home Science

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)

(UG and PG degree programmes)
Rajasthan JET

Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture & Technology (MPUAT), Udaipur

1.BSc Agriculture
2.MSc Agriculture
3.BFSc Horticulture and Forestry
4.BSc Horticulture and Forestry
5.MSc Horticulture

Madhya Pradesh Vyapam/ Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board

1.BTech Agriculture
2.B Tech engineering
3.BSc Agriculture
4.BSc Horticulture
5.BSc Forestry

IGKV= Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya

1.MSc Agriculture
2.PhD Agriculture

IGKV= Indira Gandhi Krishi Vishwavidyalaya

1.BSc Agriculture
2.BSc Horticulture