THE LEADER IN SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING WANTS YOU!
Eye Level is synonymous with excellent children education program. As Malaysia’s leading Self-Directed Learning (SDL), Critical Thinking & Blended Learning (Online + Offline) education provider, Eye Level brings together over 30 years of experience to be shared for your business success. But is time just right for one to become an Eye Level Franchisee? It seems so. Franchise Asia speaks to Jean Kim, Country Manager of Daekyo Malaysia to find out more.
■ To those not familiar with Eye Level education, can you describe what an Eye Level franchise is?
An Eye Level franchise is a one-of-a-kind children education business where an individual takes up our franchise brand and executes the business based on a set of standardized policies, systems and operations. It revolves around a mutually beneficial relationship between the franchisee and us, the franchisor. As the global leading education brand in 22 countries, the philosophy, teaching methods, programs and other aspects of running the business are constantly reviewed and ensured that they are delivered in compliance with our standards. As such, on-going trainings and marketing support will be provided throughout the franchisee’s business. This is one of the perks of being an Eye Level franchisee – the relentless support from our staff.
■ Eye Level is said to be a leader in Self-Directed Learning (SDL), Critical Thinking and Blended Learning. What are these concepts all about?
Here at Eye Level, we believe that Self-Directed Learning (SDL) is the key to nurture our young generation to be a critical thinker, lifelong learner and problem solver. Through the 4 Self-Directed Learning (SDL) cycle – Setting a goal, planning, academic coaching with Self-Directed Learning (SDL) and review performance, the students are encouraged to be proactive and to learn independently.
To realize the Self-Directed Learning (SDL) concept, three key elements – contents, space and mentor, are used to guide students towards taking the initiative to expand their learning beyond what the teachers have taught them in the classroom. Content-wise, students develop independent learning through the use of individualised and holistic small step-based Eye Level learning materials. Space is where learning is done at Self-Directed Learning (SDL) desks (3-sided library-typed desks) that allow full concentration. Students can concentrate better with less distraction. When coaching is needed, our Eye Level instructor is always there to provide 1:1 individualized coaching.
Self-Directed Learning (SDL) helps to nurture students to adopt problem-solving skills in various aspects, such as finding ways to solve a difficult math question. In short, they will embrace problems as part of their challenge and subsequently, build character and become more disciplined, motivated and independent than ever before.
Eye Level was instrumental in introducing the critical thinking concept since its inception in Malaysia 12 years ago. The Eye Level Math offers a solid mathematical skills mastery by combining both Critical Thinking Math (CTM) and Basic Thinking Math (BTM). Mastery in Critical Thinking Math (CTM) and Basic Thinking Math (BTM) enables the student to acquire comprehensive mathematical thinking and skills. Critical Thinking Math (CTM) incorporates learning methods using the Eye Level teaching tools to aid critical thinking areas like problem solving, reasoning skills, geometry, patterns and relationships, spatial sense and depth perception.
Eye Level then moved into the new education era which led to the introduction of a new educational model known as Blended Learning. Eye Level is the pioneer in introducing the Blended Learning educational model in Malaysia specially created to combine the best of both worlds – traditional, face-to-face learning and online learning methods. This concept gives each student a more personalised and interactive learning experience. The Blended Learning module consists of Eye Level Math and Happy Talk.
What makes Eye Level’s Blended Learning unique is that the instructors and parents are able to track their students’ learning progress through academic records made available to them. This allows instructors and parents to determine and tackle the student’s area of weakness.
Blended Learning allows students to practice their learning topics anytime and anywhere conveniently by just logging in to the Eye Level Learning Room, hence allowing easy, fast and effective learning.
■ The world economy, including that of Malaysia, is going through some tough time. Is owning an education business like Eye Level sustainable regardless of the economic/political situation in our country?
Investing in an education franchise is not just about making a profit but also providing a wealth of rewarding experience in terms of educating children for a better future. One of the most ideal business outlooks in the education franchise is the growing demand for supplemental educational services.
An Eye Level business is evergreen regardless of the tough situations in our country. Yes, most businesses are affected. However, when it comes to children’s education, parents will not give that up so that their children will be imparted with solid academic foundation and positive learning attitude, to which Eye Level nurtures both these areas. Eye Level program fees are inclusive of all learning materials like the worksheets, teaching tools and student bag, which makes it affordable for parents.
Of course, to make this business a success, one must not only possess great passion in children education but also the belief in the Eye Level philosophy and programs. It is through our philosophy that sets us apart from other education centers.
■ Consumer sentiment is low now due to the higher cost of living. How has this impacted your franchise business?
As shared, parents want the best for their children’s education. While some parents may give up other enrichment programs like music or art, academic program like Eye Level is a priority to most of our parents. However, in times like this, we see that parents are more selective and cautious of where to spend their money on education for their children.
No doubt that it takes more effort now to reach out to parents for us and our franchisees. Therefore, as the franchisor, we have worked out a series of marketing activities which incorporate support to our franchisees. This way, franchisees have a clear marketing guide on how to reach out to parents. We are touching base with national and international schools to share to more parents about the wonders of our programs.
■Nowadays we often hear students needing additional learning after school, like tuition. One of the complaints is that students are not getting sufficient and effective learning in school. How does the business and education concept of Eye Level help supplement the children academically apart from the education provided by school?
The Eye Level education is tailored to an individual child’s strengths and weaknesses. In an ordinary learning classroom in school, even though they are in the same grade, they have different understanding and knowledge. However, Eye Level managed to prepare a child at a level based on their learning pace and ability. To do this, we give a Diagnostic Test to the child first to determine which level he or she is at and only then assign an appropriate level for the student, at a pace where the student is confident and comfortable in. In the process of learning at Eye Level, we focus on mastery of concept, understanding and applications. Eye Level also benchmarks a child’s mastery with our standard speed and accuracy. Thus, Eye Level is able to nurture problem solvers, critical thinkers and lifelong learners with a study path tailored to the students’ abilities.
As mentioned, our learning concepts of Self-Directed Learning (SDL), Critical Thinking and Blended Learning, coupled with our learning materials and optimum learning environment aid the children in engaging them to learn effectively and to be self-directed learners.
■ The children education franchise is a booming market and with heavy competition. How can a new Eye Level franchisee set-up a franchise to capture the market?
Firstly, the Eye Level programs say it all. We offer Math, English, Play Math, Happy Talk and Chinese. Our quality and well-researched learning materials, coupled with our SDL concept and optimum learning environment are the epitome of a solid academic foundation in the children.
Throughout the ongoing research of our programs, development and enhancement of the curriculum are conducted from time to time to keep abreast with the current education trend and children’s learning needs. For instance, our English program will be revised with better curriculum. With the program effectiveness and development, a new franchisee will have the competitive advantage in the market.
A new Eye Level franchisee can expect a series of training and marketing support to guide them through in the initial stage of their business. Concrete training for program understanding and parent consultation skills is vital to equip the new franchisee with proper know-how. Whereas marketing support in terms of guiding new franchisees in identifying potential local marketing ideas as well as guiding them to execute nationwide campaigns like Free Trial Class and Referral Campaign is important too to generate student enrolment. We also provide incentives for new franchisees who perform well in their first year of operation.
Of course, the right location has to be chosen. Together with the new franchisee, we will explore and survey the franchisee’s proposed location initially.