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Pearson

ELT placement tests

The brief

Pearson ELT were considering ways to develop institutional English placement tests, and wanted to gain a better understanding of which product features were most important to their customers. Pearson ELT had already conducted qualitative research to gain a broad understanding of the needs of English Language teachers and students in this area. However, they wanted further research to help them develop an evidence-based business case and design a product with a more concrete set of features and price plans.

Our approach and methodology
  • We conducted a conjoint analysis e-survey with English Language teachers in Pearson ELT’s key international territories. The survey script was developed with input from Pearson ELT, which aimed to show the underlying factors on which English Language teachers base their decisions when choosing a placement test. A thorough analysis of these results then enabled us to determine which of these factors were most important to potential users of a placement test service.
  • Shift Learning also provided and ran a market simulator for this project, informed by the conjoint part of the project. This allowed us to ‘test out’ potential placement tests and price plans against Pearson ELT’s competitors, and to estimate how changing certain features of a potential product would affect customer choice share. This enabled Pearson ELT to see how different versions of a placement test product would compare to their key competitors.
Delivering results and value to our client
  • The conjoint analysis and market simulator allowed us to predict which product features were likely to be most valued by users of placement tests, and to create a product model and price plan that would be competitive in the ELT market.
  • Our conjoint analysis of key product features such as price, product format and method access, enabled Pearson ELT to see which features were most valuable to potential users, while the market simulator helped them to predict how varying product features would affect the likelihood of English Language teachers buying their product.
  • Final deliverables included a full report and the custom-designed market simulator, which meant that Pearson ELT could further experiment with new product models and competitor comparisons after the research was completed.