Introducing RookieUp

Today we’re incredibly excited to launch RookieUp, a new type of company in the wonderful world of online education.

Learning online is incredible, inspiring, and practically infinite – no matter what you want to learn, you can be almost certain that the resources to help you learn it are out there. The quick proliferation of free and cheap educational platforms like YouTube, Udemy, Coursera, and hundreds of others has democratized knowledge in a completely new and revolutionary way. At a high level, here’s how we view the current online learning environment:

  • Self-guided learning: The wild west of online education, across YouTube, blogs, message boards, or any other free resource with no barrier to entry or quality control
  • Massively open online courses (MOOCs): free structured classes open to anyone and generally created by academic institutions, on platforms like Coursera and edX
  • Educational marketplaces: free and paid structured classes created by users, on platforms like Udemy and Skillshare
  • Online bootcamps: bootcamps following a structured curriculum over several months priced at $300-$15,000

The main trend here, with the exception of smaller bootcamps, is simple: scalability.

Personalizing Online Education

The scalability of online education brings with it one major problem – the depersonalization of the learning experience. In 1984, two doctoral students at the University of Chicago completed dissertations on the importance of 1-on-1 tutoring in education. Their final paper, the 2 Sigma Problem, shows that students who receive 1-on-1 tutoring perform on average 2 standard deviations higher than students in normal classroom settings. It’s therefore not at all surprising to find that 96% of students enrolled in MOOCs do not complete the course – with no personalization or 1-on-1 feedback on their progress, the simplest frustration or unanswered question can cause students to give up completely.

This is the massive gap in the online education market that we want to help solve with RookieUp. While many services have democratized education, we want to democratize 1-on-1 mentorship. We want everyone to have easy access to qualified experts to answer their questions and provide feedback in personalized 1-on-1 sessions. Most people embark on online learning paths that are far less structured than traditional school, so the need for personalized tutoring isn’t as predictable. We understand that and want to be there, with the right expert, whenever someone needs some help — whether they have questions about technical concepts, want to improve their chances of getting a job in a new industry, need quality critiques of their work, or anything else.

We’re launching RookieUp with a focus on creative skills like graphic design, UX/UI, motion graphics, photography, and illustration, but our ambitions for the platform are far greater. We hope to build RookieUp into a global marketplace of qualified and curated mentors from any field, so that anyone seeking to learn anything can book a session with the perfect expert whenever they need a bit of personalized help, guidance, or feedback.

We’re so excited to embark on this journey and we hope you’ll be a part of it with us. Let’s make online learning personal, the way it should be.

-Team RookieUp