Behind the business opportunities of online interest classes for adults: they can’t escape the trap if they want to learn “tea art”


Welcome to the wechat subscription number of “chuangshiji”: sinachungshiji
By Li Xuanqi
Source: zinc scale (ID: znkedu)
Online interest training for many adults has become a one-time experience
At the end of 2020, Xiao Xiao, 28, decided to give himself a new year’s gift — Taking an online “tea art” course.
“This” tea art “is not the other” tea art “, it is to learn the tea ceremony from the eight classics.” Xiao Xiao, who has been working in the fourth tier cities for nearly four years, has a stable work and rest, works nine to five and has weekends. According to her words, “there’s plenty of time to pass.”. And this job also brought her a fairly good savings.
So, not long ago, when I saw an advertisement for an adult “tea art” interest class on the Internet, Xiao Xiao was immediately moved.
Nowadays, there are still many Xiao Xiao. They are not very busy at work. They have some time of their own, and their income level is enough to meet some needs other than daily life. More importantly, they have higher requirements for the quality of life and hope to cultivate their sentiment or enjoy life after work.
On the first day of pre-sale of an e-commerce platform, the number of people buying online courses increased by 649% compared with last year, and the consumption on education increased by 1566% compared with the same period last year. Most of online courses are not bought by parents for their children, but by adults for themselves. According to the report on self improvement of adults in 2020 released by Taobao education, 30% of consumers buy online classes for their children and 70% for themselves.
At the same time, a variety of adult interest training institutions are emerging in the market, providing popular interest skills training such as tea art, flower art, calligraphy, painting, baking and so on, including online courses.
However, when Xiao Xiao decided to sign up, they were often fascinated by the chaotic market, and even had to stop in front of the screen lined with thousands of advertisements
Adults are “Crazy” in class, but more confused than children
When Xiao Xiao was still selecting a reliable online tea art training platform for herself, Zhu Xiaoyue of Chengdu had long been used to the schedule of interest training: every Friday afternoon after work, she would appear in the flower market not far from the company on time, carefully selecting the flowers and leaves she needed, and sometimes updating some cutting tools. At nine o’clock the next morning, she had already set up the small world of art on the balcony. While listening to the video lessons in her laptop, she took notes and took out materials for practical operation.
After the two-hour course, Zhu Xiaoyue took a lunch break and began to trim and bind the flowers carefully. From how to layer to how to place and weave, she often had to spend an afternoon on the balcony.
Although this is far from her work field, she enjoys it. Zhu Xiaoyue, who is over 30 years old, is the head of a department in a state-owned enterprise. Most of the working day, she has to face the computer to check various reports and documents. Now, it’s a “rare relaxation and comfort” for Zhu Xiaoyue to leave the big and small screens and focus on the flowers and plants in front of her every Saturday.
Of course, this comfort needs to pay a certain cost. Zhu Xiaoyue signed up for this “world flower master teaches you to do” series of annual courses, which costs 699 yuan and contains 180 video content. Recently, she took a fancy to the new course “flower painting” launched by this platform. The original price is 2800 yuan, and the recent activity price is 680 yuan. Zhu Xiaoyue thinks, “you can not only arrange flowers, but also learn to draw some flowers and plants. It may be more interesting to learn to match them.”
Courses registered by Zhu Xiaoyue
But more importantly, Zhu Xiaoyue believes in this platform, which she has studied for one year. “The price is reasonable, and the course is also good.”.
However, Zhu Xiaoyue’s experience can be regarded as lucky. In contrast, Xiao Xiao’s confusion in the face of many online interest training institutions is the only “disaster” adults have to go through before they want to attend an interest class.
In fact, before she decided to learn tea art, Xiao Xiao had a plan to spend time learning some small skills, but she had to postpone the plan again and again because she didn’t know what to learn.
Indeed, unlike the “main force” of the education market, students in school have a clear goal. Xiao Xiao and other adults tend to have a more relaxed original intention for training, either to improve themselves, or to cultivate their sentiment, or to adjust their life. Different from adult education such as certificate examination and academic promotion, “Xiao Xiaos” don’t need to bear the pressure of scores on interest training, but focus on “interest” rather than “learning”.
However, as a result, they are faced with a variety of curriculum options, and it is often more difficult for them to make the final decision than the students in school.
Open Zhihu, microblog and other social platforms, it is not difficult to find that many adults have similar entanglements. In Zhihu, it is similar to “can you recommend an interest training course suitable for adults?” What online courses can adults choose to learn There are many questions, but the answers are nothing more than a list of the current popular flower art, tea art, piano and so on.
“I love desserts, so I think it’s good to learn how to bake. In a twinkling of an eye, I pass by a florist, and I think it’s good to learn how to arrange flowers to cultivate aesthetics.” Xiao Xiaoxiao said with a smile that he had enough time to learn several lessons. The final decision to learn tea art was related to Xiao Xiao’s interest when he was young. “My father loved tea, and I also tasted tea when I was young, so when I saw the course of learning tea art, I immediately made up my mind.”
There are many “potential traps” in the platform, and it is difficult to “learn what I want to learn”
After deciding what courses to learn, choosing a platform becomes the second hurdle.
Compared with offline, adults tend to prefer online platforms that are more convenient to arrange time and place. However, unlike the competitive K12 online education track, which already has many mature and reliable platforms, there are many but miscellaneous platforms for adult interest training, and it is difficult to find a unicorn platform in the field. How to distinguish the professionalism of the platform and the excellence of the teachers have all become obstacles in front of “Xiao Xiao”.

Molly, who was originally interested in painting, once wanted to learn painting in her spare time after work, but just like Xiao Xiao, she never found a trustworthy online platform. “If you search on the browser, nine out of the ten are advertisements; if you ask questions on social platforms, most of them are advertisements.” Molly is very cautious about advertising, after several times of search, chose to give up, “different platforms, the price is also different.”. It’s almost the same course. The tuition here is nearly one thousand, but there’s more than ten thousand. There’s too much water. ”
Although Zhu Xiaoyue trusted the platform she chose, she also questioned the price of her courses. After her search, she found that the online price of course resources similar to the platform covering multiple books and materials is less than 400 yuan.
In the blue ocean of online interest training for adults, we find that there are many players who are trying to become giants. However, as Molly said, the quality of the platform is uneven, and the teachers and services are often difficult to match with the advertising.
In the social platform and consumer service platform black cat complaints, there are many complaints about adult online interest training platform. Among them, Dapeng education, an online interest training platform for adults, which claims on its official website that it is “one of the leaders of online education in China, has an international teaching and research system and a professional operating system”, has more than 400 complaints about black cat. From the specific complaint content, the vast majority are related to fraudulent consumption and difficult refund.
According to the official website of Dapeng education, it has more than 100 copyright courses, covering graphic design, UI design, fine arts, calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, short video and other fields, with more than 30 million registered students. In addition, there are tens of thousands of students studying many courses, and over one million students studying some comprehensive courses.
There are tens of thousands of people studying the course
However, the price of courses is not cheap compared with other platforms, and there is a big price gap between comprehensive courses and single courses. Taking the courses of its online Academy of fine arts as an example, the price of sketch special courses including 30 classes or gouache special courses including 18 classes is 2900 yuan, but it covers a variety of special courses such as sketch, gouache, watercolor, oil painting, color painting and fashion design, with a total of 206 comprehensive courses, and the official website price is 5600 yuan.
And the teacher in charge of Dapeng education told him, “now there is a new youth education program, which can reduce the tuition fee by 2200 yuan, and if you have a student ID card, you can also reduce the tuition fee by 200 yuan.” This means that 3200 yuan can be applied for comprehensive courses. When asked if there are corresponding requirements for the student assistance program, the other side said, “there are no requirements. It’s all up to me to go to the leader.” And in half an hour to inform zinc scale has been successfully applied.
In addition, he said that he had graduated for a long time, and the other side said “it’s OK, I pretend I don’t know” and said that he could help students borrow a student card to apply for a discount. According to the consumers complained by black cat, the head teacher sometimes “suggests” the students to pay their tuition fees in installments with Huabei and Jingdong Baitiao, which puts heavy pressure on many students.
Zinc scale also found on Dapeng education’s official website that Huabei, Jingdong Baitiao, Rongyi staging and other platforms are not its cooperative institutions. Dapeng Education said, “get the official staging guide, and learn lessons with ease.”
However, it seems that consumers are not so easy to be “at ease”.
On the one hand, according to the previous report of blue whale finance, most people understand Dapeng education from wechat group or circle of friends. Many art graduates, who claim to teach painting and calligraphy, recruit students in the name of “teaching painting for free and learning by adults and children (0 basis)”. However, once the students receive the free course, they will receive a Mirs number and a micro signal from the head teacher. The head teacher will guide the students to download Dapeng education app and promote the regular price courses. For example, “as long as you study for more than a month, you can do a part-time job”, “if you have activities, you can study first with deposit”, and so on.
Once the fee is paid, it is difficult to refund it. Although the Dapeng Education Service Agreement received by us has clear provisions on refund, for example, “within 7 days after the opening of the course service, you can still contact the purchase order and this Agreement without any reason. Dapeng education will deduct the comprehensive management fee calculated by 8% of the course price and refund the remaining course fee to you.” But in fact, many students will be delayed after the initial application for refund. After several twists and turns, more than seven days of objection period, the difficulty of refund increased greatly, and finally had to lose a so-called “handling fee”. In addition, for refund, Dapeng education will charge various fees, including “system service fee”, “learning management service fee”, “knowledge content service fee”, etc.
According to the business platform, Dapeng education was also sued in 2018 for refund.
On the other hand, many students also raised the question that “the actual teaching is not consistent with the propaganda”, among which the teacher is a major focus. When consulting the teachers of art courses, the head teacher said that “all the teachers are graduated from professional art institutes and eight art institutes, with more than five years of teaching experience”. The official website also showed that “teachers should not only have many years of working experience and high-level skills, but also participate in targeted teacher training. Only by breaking through the traditional online teaching difficulties, can they master the correct online live teaching methods To lead the students to start teaching. ”
The promotion of teachers does not meet the requirements of recruitment, and the price is preferential
However, after searching the recruitment information of Dapeng education, we found that its lecturer requirements for calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting, broadcasting and other courses are “fresh students of relevant majors are also allowed, but they must work full-time”. And the art lecturers are not required to “graduate from the professional academy of art and the eight major Academy of art”, but “graduate from the Academy of art or normal university, bachelor degree or above”, which is obviously inconsistent with the official propaganda.
All of the above are “potential traps” that Xiao Xiao and Molly can’t accept. Dapeng education, which was founded in 2015 and claims to be “one of the leaders of online education”, is still like this, and the situation of other small and medium-sized online interest training platforms is even more difficult to trust.
“Although our requirements for courses are not as high as those for academic courses, it does not mean that we are willing to pay IQ tax casually.” Molly said it’s hard for discerning adults to be attracted by fancy marketing, false publicity and over commitment.

From this point of view, the slogan of “learn I want to learn, find the passion of life” made by Dapeng education is more like the good wishes of adults. However, in reality, as Molly said, “it’s difficult for me to learn, because I can’t find a reliable platform.”.
Adults are not willing to bear the cost of trial and error in a chaotic market
In fact, Mirs education is only a miniature of the adult online interest training industry.
When the adult’s demand for interest training has soared in recent years, “Mirs education” certainly does not want to give up this new blue ocean easily. Some data show that the registration of related enterprises has increased sharply since 2019. At present, there are 49000 adult education related enterprises in China, of which the annual registration in 2019 rose sharply to 4806, a year-on-year increase of 171%.
After all, compared with the characteristics of youth training, the adult training market is obviously more suitable for online teaching. Adults have been able to properly control the use of electronic devices and their own time, and they lack the whole time to attend classes while dealing with work and family life. However, online classes can better meet the needs of adult consumers anytime and anywhere.
“On the one hand, the living standard is rising, on the other hand, it is also influenced by some life and talent variety shows in recent years. In recent years, adults are increasingly pursuing spiritual things, hoping to reduce the pressure through interest classes.” A teacher of an offline adult tea ceremony training class told me that these interest classes, which are used to in big cities in Europe and the United States, have not been accepted by Chinese people for a long time. They are almost too busy to stop. They have no time to care about the so-called interests, and they do not have much will. “Now, the market is getting bigger and bigger.”.
The “big data report on the recovery of summer education industry” also shows that in the summer of 2020, a number of categories in the field of adult education and training and children’s education and training have witnessed a rapid growth compared with the same period last year, and many consumers’ learning habits have also quietly changed. Among them, the meituan app education and training channel, swimming, badminton, dance, piano, cake baking, makeup and other words of the search heat is high.
However, often because the platforms ignore the quality of education and service, many adults’ online interest training eventually becomes a one-time experience.
Source: blue whale Finance
This can also be seen in the more common subdivision of adult English. For example, New Oriental, an education and training giant, has decided to split up its adult training business such as English training and set up a university business unit. An important reason is that the growth rate of its adult training business has slowed down in recent years; the low-cost popularization represented by fluency, with 51 The high price and high-end of 1v1 represented by talk has not achieved satisfactory results, and even many English training institutions have given up adult English training and turned to children’s English market.
“In fact, there are still many problems in the adult online training market, and the platform level is also uneven. Adults who tend to be rational may not be willing to pay for low-quality content. ” Xiao Xiao observed that his colleagues and friends have more or less learning needs to improve themselves, but it is difficult to find a platform to satisfy themselves in the current training market. “Adults with limited time and energy are more reluctant to bear the cost of trial and error.”
(Xiao Xiao Xiao and Zhu Xiaoyue are pseudonyms)
(statement: This article only represents the author’s point of view, not Sina’s position.)