Red Thread uses TalkJS chat to connect students and course creators to drive better learning outcomes

We bring you a success story from Alexander Seidmann, the CEO of Red Thread, a platform that helps students study for their exams and collaborate with course creators. One of the core features is the in-app chat they built with TalkJS.

“We needed to provide a way for the students to communicate with the creator via a chat and also enabling the creator to manage multiple chats at once.”

— Alexander Seidmann, CEO at Red Thread

About Red Thread

While in college, Alexander noticed that the students relied heavily on expensive tutoring services to pass the exams. To make learning more affordable, he came up with the idea to connect students with older peers. It was simple. Older students would create tutoring courses and offer them to students that were struggling with a particular exam.

The Red Thread platform offers fully digital courses, so students can take tutoring-like services for 25€ per course instead of spending the same amount per hour of private tutoring. The courses are online exam preparation adapted to university modules.

The Red Thread platform dashboard

Challenges

Support and communication are essential for both students and course creators to solve problems during the study. This is why the platform needed to provide a way for the students to communicate with the creators via a chat, and also enable the course creators to manage multiple conversations at once.

Having the ability to ask the course creator a question about a course is a core concept on their platform. Alexander told us that they had noticed the demand for a chat very early on when users started writing them e-mails with questions directed to the creators. Then it became clear that a direct line of communication would meet user expectations and reduce friction.

Example of a course on Red Thread

The team from Red Thread wanted a solution that could provide a 1-on-1 chat capability, and one they could integrate on a tight timeframe.

“The Problem for implementing such a chat was that we, as a startup, are on a tight timeframe and can’t afford to reinvent the wheel with every feature we add to our product. Which is why we were looking for a solution we could integrate asap.”

— Alexander Seidmann, CEO at Red Thread

Solution

At first, the Red Thread team was considering developing the chat solution by themselves. They soon realized the high cost of doing it from scratch and opted for a TalkJS chat solution that proved more affordable.

“After shortly considering coding the chat myself, I decided to look for third-party implementations and was honestly quite shocked and frustrated at how few fitting products there were out there. Most Chat SDKs I stumbled upon were not very clear as to what I can exactly use them for and most were covering Chat-Driven Marketing- not the user experience after the purchase.”

— Alexander Seidmann, CEO at Red Thread

The whitelabeled Red Thread chat inbox created with TalkJS

The TalkJS chat API and Javascript SDK are exactly what they needed, a straight-to-the-point solution for their problem. It offered and easily embeddable chat with enough customizability for it to still feel like part of the Red Thread platform design.

“If I had not made the purchase I would have probably either found a way to work around the lack of customizability with other Chat SDKs I have found or would have implemented the system myself.”

— Alexander Seidmann, CEO at Red Thread

TalkJS also provided an advanced feature that keeps the users in the loop across platforms. If the user goes offline for whatever reason during chatting, an email is automatically triggered and sent to that user with the message you just posted on the chat. The user can then reply to the email, and the message will land back in the chat closing the loop and making sure that the conversation is not lost.

In the exam-period, most creators receive an average of 2 messages per day. Alexander told us that users love that they don’t have to log in to the website every time. Instead, they can answer directly from their mail client – usually using their smartphone.

Results

The chat solution is a core part of the user experience the Red Thread platform offers. With TalkJS their team was able to build a 1-on-1 chat that perfectly fits their use case. The students are not only taking courses, now they are collaborating with the course creators and that way improving the learning outcome.

“The creators and students both love the chat feature and the E-Mail integration that allows them to just answer directly from their mail client.”

— Alexander Seidmann, CEO at Red Thread

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