Changes launched in Spring 2013 reveal an even more personalized language-learning product
Six months ago, if you started a Voxy language lesson via the web on your home computer, and then had to head out to work or school, that lesson would start anew when you logged into your mobile app en-route. Not anymore. Being able to continue lessons between devices and across three platforms - web, iOS and Android - is just one of several major enhancements rolled out with the new Voxy product, which launched in April.
The changes in the new product do not just relate to the user’s experience and the sleek, sophisticated new design. While a beautiful aesthetic and convenience of use are enticing and can separate a product from its competition, they are meaningless if the product does not actually do what it’s supposed to. Therefore, a high priority was also placed on enhancing the efficacy of the product. In other words, Voxy users should be able to see progress in their English knowledge, skills, and abilities with continued use of the product. Additionally, they should feel confident that the vocabulary and resources that are matched to them are appropriate for their level.
To address these needs, the new Voxy product offers lessons that are aligned to seven different skill levels, including Beginner and High Beginner as well as Low Advanced and Advanced, which were created based on established pedagogical criteria. And coming soon is an enhanced proficiency assessment for effectively evaluating one’s baseline level and subsequent advancement through the levels. The new diagnostic tool, combined with a new sophisticated and patented adaptive learning technology, results in a dynamic feedback loop which results in lessons and courses that calibrate to the learner. These improvements are fundamental to what makes Voxy unique as lessons become even more personalized.
However, as great as the technology and design are, they cannot on their own keep learners engaged. What keeps learners interested and motivated, as you may have experienced if you have ever tried learning another language (or learning anything else, really), is content that is relevant and personally meaningful. With that in mind, Voxy significantly expanded the breadth of content sources and types available to the learner, and if one fancies sports or entertainment, technology or business, this is the subject matter that will be delivered. Now lessons are created using 11 different sources, including the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Mental Floss and various blogs. Additionally, Voxy has expanded content types to go beyond breaking news stories and now include grammar lessons, conversations, how-tos, and images among others. Now you can learn from a real-world photo by tagging it in different places and becoming familiar with the words that comprise the photo. All of this serves to ensure that engagement with the product becomes second-nature and truly integrated into one’s life.
Successful and effective learning is further encouraged with newly established goal tracks, which result in yet another layer of personalization. Learners can choose a goal track that is most closely aligned with their individual language-learning objective, which may very well be different than the next user’s objective. For example, they can choose to “Master Technology” or “Acclimate to the US” or “Prep for TOEFL.” And now they can receive awards for completion of goals and benefit from a sense of accomplishment and positive reinforcement.
Finally, the most recent upgrade that Voxy users will enjoy is a new and improved live-tutoring platform that leverages Google Hangouts and is integrated with the core product. Users who have purchased tutoring credits will no longer need to leave the site and open a separate Skype session. Instead, they can book their sessions and choose their tutors directly through the application and booking platform. With the recently announced Google+ integration, anyone with a Google account can seamlessly log in with one click, share their lesson results with people in their Google+ network, and even challenge others to get higher scores.
Now, more than ever, learning English with Voxy is all about “your life, in English.”
Contrbuted by Aimee Styler, Special Projects Manager at Voxy