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Case Study: Bonas MacFarlane

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BONAS MACFARLANE Using Technology to Expand Access to Top Quality Tutoring Independent Education Canvas Case Study London, England 27+ Users Commenced in 2016 The Challenge Bonas MacFarlane Education is one of the UK's most respected providers of private tuition and educational advice. Its university team specialises in preparing promising students for leading universities in the UK and the USA. Formerly only offering one-to-one tuitions in person or online, the company has launched a one- year pilot project with a group of students on 100% scholarships. The aim is to use technology to make the very best university preparation programmes available to sixth-form students worldwide. "This is a very different project for us," Guy Schady- Beckett, Head of Research at Bonas MacFarlane, explained. "The majority of the tutoring we offer is to students readying themselves for Oxbridge and top US universities, who have perhaps already received a lot of support throughout their studies or have a firm view of their educational path. This project is set to offer the same tutoring opportunities to a much wider cohort of students. Adapting to this larger scale approach required a lot of thought, particularly in terms of the technological challenges involved. We've already been using video technology for distance tutoring, but we wanted to do things differently and offer a more enriching experience, almost like a trial run at attending uni at age 16. Many of the scholarship students in our pilot study were from backgrounds where they hadn't had the chance to interact with peers outside of their own area, but we were keen to bring them together with fellow applicants from around the world." The Solutions To meet their requirements, Guy felt Bonas MacFarlane needed a VLE. "Once we had mapped out the project, it was obvious we needed something to contain the whole teaching experience, which we couldn't do with WebEx alone. Having no history in this area - and as such, no preconceptions - we could look totally neutrally. With a relatively short time to develop courses, it was essential that the VLE we chose was easy to pick up and the ability to customise and adapt courses was essential." "We trialled Canvas for six months and the results were clear - it's the only VLE that felt like it belonged in a post-Web-2.0 world. The Canvas mobile app was miles ahead of what we had seen of the competition, and we knew that mobile was key to our offering. Having an app that mirrors the desktop experience makes it far easier for our students to engage with courses flexibly, watch lecture videos on the move and interact with their peers, no matter where they are in the world." Value for money was also a factor for Bonas MacFarlane, according to Guy. "We didn't have a big onboarding as it was a pilot run, so we needed a VLE partner that could be nimble. The fact that we started with a relatively small cohort wasn't an issue; Canvas worked with us to make a package suited to our needs. Other platforms' pricing structures were designed for huge institutions and made no financial sense for us." instructure.com/canvas/en-gb

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