Peaqs Sees 300% Growth – An EdTech Frontline Story
It is no secret that the Covid19 crises has accelereted a shift of attention and resources towards digital solutions in educational systems across the globe. And while this has left teachers and universities scrambling for new approaches to teacher and courses, the disruption has been a massive opportunity for most EdTech providers to widen awareness and gain new business relations.
For new Danish EdTech on the block, and 2019 Nordic EdTech Award finalist, Peaqs, the disruption has translated into a tremendous growth story, with user-levels up by more than 300 % for the next semester over the previous two semesters – combined! A dramatic change induced by trendlines most people would recognize, Co-Founder Peter Martin Holst explains:
‘One lever is certainly the simple fact that video-meetings have become a new normal. They are a true enabler when your product has a potential global audience. In the previous year leading up to the lockdown most of our meetings were done in-person with university professors and course designers.
Since then practically everyone has video-meetings as the first go-to option, giving a business such as ours a much easier way to reach our audience. Not only to make deals but also to get much needed platform feedback, which is essential for a newcomer such as Peaqs, who develops in tandem with user- and expert- feedback. So the fact that everyone has grown comfortable with video meetings means we are getting invaluable feedback on a scale and scope that we wouldn’t have imagined a year ago’.
Another obvious trendline that has assisted Peaqs’ growth is the acceleration in demand for digital solutions in higher education in general. Universities have had online and blended learning ambitions for years, but in many cases the implementation has been half-hearted. Propelled by campus lockdowns this is changing, but the change has to make sense and deliver on all these good intentions and ideas that were already manifest, if you ask Marie Høpfner, Managing Director and the other Co-founder of Peaqs:
‘You saw some universities making the case that having google-docs was blended learning or that the campus LMS was securing a blended or digital learning approach. And while an LMS can be great for facilitating administrative tasks it rarely touches on the heart of the matter in regards to learning. It doesn’t prescribe a method, system or approach to run a course, or design the way in which in students actually interact with the curriculum.
During the talks we’ve had with countless university teachers about Peaqs we feel that they are really appreciating the difference in us providing a system that sort of bridges the gap between LMS and course design, and I feel that we, in particular with the new version release have managed to acchieve this bridging– and still keep the system flexible enough to work across different subjects. Though we designed it with entrepreneurship and product development in mind, the system can be used in most case-based teaching scenarios, regardless if the students have to develop a solution to given problem OR evaluate a set of already given scenarios.’
So, with an audience more keen on listening to new approaches and with a system that can facilitate blended or hybrid learning in it’s original sense, Peaqs seemed on a good track to success. However, when the lockdown came Artventure, the company behind Peaqs, quickly realized that apart from the opportunity to broaden Peaqs proliferation there was also good sense in using lockdown time, to double down on development efforts and re-launch the system. This set the team out on a three month intense design-, user-feedback-, feature-development-journey that in any type of normal situation should have taken 12-18 months. Peter Martin Holst concludes:
‘We’ve heard this story before from other companies: All of a sudden the speed of development and solution-making was increased manifold. Even for a small business such as ours that was not at all bureaucratic in the first place.
Maybe the readers out there can reflect along with me on this point but I’m pretty sure that creativity and ingenuity feeds well on confinement and restrictions and that the lockdown presented us with all with an extreme case of changed conditions, that for some served as jet-fuel to arrive at new ways of working. It certainly did for us, but even though it was a hard process with many all-nighters we are so happy to be where we are today, and can present a new and updated version of Peaqs.
And of course it doesn’t end here. Later this year we’ll start an AI project that will ultimately help us deliver personalised learning journeys to our users. This is next level stuff for us, and it will be a learning experience for our team as well.’
Artventure released Peaqs 2.0 on Monday the 24th of August 2020.
Peaqs is a system made for higher learning that allows teachers and faculty to create blended or hybrid learning experiences for their students. Peaqs is highly customizable and built to secure high levels of student engagement via elements of gamification, peer feedback and learning progress transparency. The system was launched in late 2018 and already a finalist at Nordic EdTech Awards 2019.
Peaqs was orginally designed for teaching entrepreneurship and doing business acelleration, however has since then seen applications in many other subjects across business schools and technical universities worldwide. At a later stage Peaqs will also find applications within Corporate L&D.