Ruangguru Makes Textbooks, Studying for Exams Fun

Ruangguru chief executive Adamas Belva Syah Devara, left, and co-founder Iman Usman, second left, launch Ruangbelajar in Tebet, South Jakarta, on Tuesday (24/10). (Photo courtesy of Ruangguru)

By : Dhania Sarahtika | on 10:02 AM November 07, 2017
Category : Life & Style, Education, Technology

Jakarta. Online education startup Ruangguru, initially founded in 2014 as a platform to find private tutors for high school students, has launched a new service called Ruangbelajar that allows students to study for exams on their own using interactive multimedia content.

Ruangbelajar (literally, "study room") was launched on Tuesday (24/10) at Ruangguru's ("teacher's room") Jakarta office in Tebet, South Jakarta.

Ruangbelajar plans to have a complete range of study materials available for fourth to twelfth graders.

Study summaries, quizzes, downloadable infographics and 5 to 10-minute videos with animated graphics will be available on Ruangguru’s website and mobile application.

But so far only study materials for ninth and twelfth graders are ready.

They got a head start because in Indonesia, ninth and twelfth graders have to sit for a National Exam.

Ruangguru chief executive and co-founder Adamas Belva Syah Devara promised the company will have all materials ready by December.

Ruangguru also employs a team of "Master Teachers" for every subject to make up test exam questions and make sure all their study materials are up to scratch.

All the study materials offered by Ruangguru and Ruangbelajar comply with the Indonesian school curriculum.

Belva said students at Ruangbelajar do not spend all their time watching videos. They also have to do daily questionnaires and study summaries of each subject.

Subscription to Ruangbelajar starts at Rp 50,000 ($4) per month. One-month, six-month and yearly subscriptions are available.

"A normal 'bimbel' [group tutorial] can cost up to Rp 7 million-Rp 10 million per year, this only costs a tenth of that," Ruangguru co-founder Iman Usman said.

Ruangbelajar has also started a social media campaign called #RevolusiBelajar ("study revolution"), aiming to turn boring, mind-numbing rote learning into a fun activity.

"Students want to study in a fun way. Ruangbelajar makes studying feel more like playing an exciting game," Belva said.

No Internet, No Problem

Internet access is still limited in many parts of Indonesia and, even in cities, not all students can afford data subscriptions to use online services.

This is why Ruangguru also has On the Go, a USB flash drive packed with study materials that can be connected to mobile phones, so students can access them without using up data.

"The materials are encrypted so they cannot be copied and can only be accessed using the Ruangguru mobile app," Belva said.

On the Go is slated to be launched this month.

Partnership With Local Government

Ruangguru also offers other services, including private tutor marketplace Ruangles, on-demand learning course Ruanglesonline and group chat-based distance learning Ruangguru Digital Bootcamp.

It also partners with local governments to run the Learning Management System, allowing teachers to input study materials, exams and academic records that can be accessed everywhere.

So far Ruangguru has partnered with 326 city and district administrations and 33 provincial governments.

There is only one provincial administration missing from Ruangguru's list, and that is Jakarta.

According to Iman, Ruangguru still has not met with the capital's newly inaugurated governor.

"We'll try to pitch for a partnership again soon," Iman said.

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