But first, a brief introduction.
In an ever-changing tech space, there has been an increase in E-learning applications. So far, in Nigeria, two EdTech startups stand out –
- Simbi Interactives, owners of SimbiBot.
- uLesson Education Limited, owners of uLesson.
uLesson was founded in 2019 by Sim Shagaya, who was the past owner of Konga, one of Nigeria’s e-commerce platforms.
They promise visitors to their homepage a holistic learning experience in subjects such as Mathematics, Basic Science, Basic Technology, Business Studies, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
SimbiBot, on the other hand, was founded in 2018 and is led by Abdulazeez Ogunjobi who also doubles as the CEO of Brimatel Global Network and has several years of experience in the education industry.
On their website, simbibot.com, they promise anyone who visits, a personalized learning experience in all subjects for each school department (Science, Social Science, Humanities) using an AI bot named Simbi.
It is noteworthy to state at this point that uLesson uses only Video Lessons to teach (audio-visual aid), while SimbiBot caters to all forms of learning aids – Simplified Lesson Notes and Flashcards (visual aid), Text-to-Speech (audio aid) and Video Lessons (audio-visual aid).
On this note, let the comparison begin.
uLesson vs SimbiBot: Onboarding Process
Creating an account on uLesson requires a student submitting his mobile number and then waiting for an OTP.
After the said student has filled in the OTP, he/she then proceeds to sign up, submitting the name (first name and last name), country of residence, class and a password.
SimbiBot is quite similar to uLesson in the signup stage. Rather than a request for a mobile number, the user is required to submit an email address. The next page asks to determine whether the user is a student or parent.
For a student, he/she then proceeds to fill in the name (first name and last name), phone number, class, and password.
However, SimbiBot takes it up a notch and adds an optional box to fill in the date of birth so as to send a complimentary birthday greeting on the day selected.
uLesson vs SimbiBot: Subjects Available
uLesson offers video lessons (audio-visual aid) for both Junior and Secondary school.
However, they are restricted to only a number of subjects (Mathematics, Basic Science, Basic Technology, Business Studies, Physics, Chemistry and Biology).
This doesn’t cater to other departments in the Senior Secondary School and other subjects of the Junior Secondary School.
SimbiBot on the other hand, offers video lessons, simplified lesson notes and flashcards for all department subjects (Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities) of the Senior Secondary School.
However, as of this moment, they do not have any app available for Junior Secondary School. Still,
because of the encompassing subjects catering for all students in the Senior Secondary School,
SimbiBot is superior here. As the saying goes, “if you want to do something, do it well.”
uLesson vs SimbiBot: Evaluation of Lessons Learnt
The uLesson boasts of 18,000 practice tests, quizzes and free past questions. uLesson also offers a top-notch learning analysis, like a report card, for the student and guardian alike.
This means that a parent can access the learning analysis of a child by viewing the time spent learning, progress and achievements.
While SimbiBot offers over 22,000 past questions divided into interactive questions and evaluation.
In terms of learning analysis, SimbiBot is quite similar.
As a parent, you can access the learning analysis of your child by viewing the time spent learning,
subjects he/she has strength in, and subjects he/she is weak in.
SimbiBot further scores an extra point by adding a predictive learning aspect which tells a student what topic he/she is weak in after an exam so that the student can go back to learn the said topic.
uLesson vs SimbiBot: Reward for Learning
Both platforms make use of a reward system for learning.
While uLesson rewards the student with badges at different stages of learning,
SimbiBot rewards the student with Activity Points (AP) which can be gotten for each learning activity in the app.
SimbiBot further added a leaderboard grouped into – daily, monthly and all-time; to bring out the competitive spirit in students while having fun learning.
uLesson vs SimbiBot: UI/UX Design
In this category, uLesson takes the frontline and the whole point in this category.
The landing page (homepage) of uLesson will leave you amazed.
With an amazing UX/UI design done by Cuberto, a world-class leading digital agency,
there is no wonder uLesson’s app and homepage leaves a visitor with the “wow factor.”
On SimbiBot’s part, what they don’t have in terms of UI/UX design in the app,
they try to make up in their user interface which leads students step-by-step through an AI named Simbi.
uLesson vs SimbiBot: Compatibility With Devices and Costs of Usage
uLesson asks that a user should have a device with 2GB RAM or more before the app can be used.
This puts a strain on users because devices with a RAM of 2GB are quite expensive.
The videos also need to be streamed and in a country where data costs are exorbitant,
this app doesn’t cater to the average Nigerian.
In trying to make things better,
uLesson suggests that a user can pay for an offline SD card preinstalled with video lessons of the student’s class and get a dongle with the package.
But that offer (with the dongle) only comes with a yearly subscription of N18,000.
Another question that begs to be answered is that;
“What if I, as a student, lose my SD card/dongle, do I have to stop learning?”
SimbiBot in this aspect puts all of this into consideration by making the app fairly offline.
A student can read lesson notes and flashcards,
practice interactive questions and evaluate oneself with real-life exams all without a data subscription.
The brain combat, learning analysis and video lessons require a data subscription.
This means that a student’s learning on his/her device is not determined by the RAM of his device or data subscription.
uLesson vs SimbiBot: Subscription Fee
uLesson charges N2500 for a month, N6000 for 3 months and N18,000 for a year.
A student is granted access to the videos available, the quizzes, tests, practise questions,
past questions and learning analysis for either Junior Secondary School or Senior Senior Secondary School for that duration.
SimbiBot charges N1,500 for a month, N4,000 for 3 months and N10,000 for a year.
A student who subscribes on SimbiBot is granted access to all the features of the app –
flashcards, simplified lesson notes, interactive questions, evaluation, video lessons, brain combat, learning analysis, predictive learning,
and more for Senior Secondary School for that duration.
Overall, we think SimbiBot is better than uLesson in every area aside from the fact that they do not have an app for Junior Secondary School.
It is cheaper, has more features, caters for all learning styles, compatible on all Android devices and accessible both online and offline.
The in-app update is also innovative, allowing a student to update his app to get corrected questions,
newly added questions and explanations, all from his/her app without actually going to download a new update from Playstore.
uLesson has an amazing book cover (stunning UX/UI design for its landing page) that SimbiBot lacks,
but if you are a person who cares more about the content in the book, than the book cover, then SimbiBot answers your call.