I thought I would share with you some of the exciting developments that you can expect to see over the next few months.
I have a very strong team here at CLO. I wish I could say that I did it all by myself, but that would be far from the truth. I will be investing heavily in them over the next few months. What does this mean for you, the listener? I’m glad you asked. There are a few major changes planned for the long term:
1. Existing premium content:
There has always been some lag between when lessons are released, and when the premium content for them is released. As the difficulty of our lessons has increased, this lag has begun to increase as well. Rest assured, I plan to have this lag eliminated so both lessons and premium content can be released together.
2. Earlier lessons:
Since about lesson 196, we have hired a local university teacher with ten+ years teaching Chinese, as a consultant. Her job has been to look over our lessons before they are released, to make sure the material being taught is relevant and appropriate for our course. I’ve been so pleased with her work, that she has now been instructed to go over earlier lessons to correct and update their content too, where appropriate. As you might expect, this is a pretty time consuming task that will take many months to complete. Sections of earlier lessons will be rerecorded where necessary. Stay tuned for updates on this blog for details of which lessons are updated.
What this also means is that the lessons recorded prior to our moving production to Taiwan (lesson 109 on), will be rerecorded completely with our current speakers. The end result for you will be a much more developed course, with a more consistent feel to it throughout. I personally feel that the quality of lessons after 109 (both content and audio quality) are a much better experience than the earlier lessons. My goal is to eliminate this gap altogether.
There are other changes that have also been taking place behind the scenes. Key staff members have been enrolled in courses specifically for teaching Chinese to foreigners. These changes have been implemented not only within the lessons themselves, but also in our Skype one on one sessions.
New Premium Content:
While I’m pleased with the many resources we have been able to offer our Premium subscribers, I still have a few other ideas that I plan to roll out over the next little while. I am looking for a replacement to the Podcast Review that is still in the development stage. The podcast review was a great way to review the dialogue based lessons. However, since many of our more recent lessons aren’t dialogue based, the podcast review in its current form doesn’t always work out.
We also have another review tool that is ready, and will be deployed over the next few months as well.
Overall User Experience
– We are still having issues where our site has been going down, due to too many users trying to access site content at the same time. Thanks to investment in new hardware, the problem is much more manageable now than it was a few months ago. However it’s still not at the stage I would like. Rest assured, there will be more investments made over the next little while to improve the speed and usability of the site.
– We have commissioned a local artist to create pictures for each lesson for us (another time consuming process). I’ve been very pleased with the work I’ve seen so far. Again, with more than 200 lessons to go, it will take some time before pictures are available for all lessons, but I’m confident that the results will be worth it. Like the videos, I’m hoping the pictures will add some visual context to the lessons, better allowing you to remember what was taught.