Allay “ExamFear” with YouTube Teacher Roshni Mukherjee

Impact Warriors

July, 2020

Roshni Mukherjee quit her job with HP to pursue her passion for teaching, and today she teaches science, social science, math’s and languages to nearly a million students through her YouTube channels. Her endeavors have earned her ‘100 Women Achievers of India’ Award, constituted by Union Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), in collaboration with Facebook in 2016 and several other accolades.

Q1. What motivated or inspired you to start ExamFear?

I have always been passionate about teaching. As background, back in 2011, after completing college, I worked in an IT company as an IT Analyst. Consequently, I was always using computers and the internet, which means I readily became aware of YouTube as a platform for content creation. During those days, however, YouTube was hardly used for publishing educational content. It was a platform merely for entertainment, like music. Then the thought of making use of YouTube to publish educational content came to me. I then created a couple of videos on Class XI Physics in July 2011. When I first created and uploaded those videos on YouTube, I found a channel to give credence to my passion for teaching. However, I was unsure whether I would continue creating YouTube videos. Once I uploaded those videos, I realized many students were watching them and learning.

I still remember one particular comment which motivated me not to stop during those initial days. Just within 2-3 days of uploading my first video, a student wrote to me – saying that my teaching helped him drastically understand a chapter that he was struggling with
for a long time. It gave me immense satisfaction. And with that, I continued to create more and more content. At the same time, I received a lot of requests from students to create videos on specific topics. This was just the initial first month, and I was uploading one video almost every week.

My perspective on what I was doing as a hobby changed following my interactions with people around me. I got even more motivated to provide quality education without having to spend much. I then decided to use my platform as a provider for free education while I continued to create more content. As years passed by, we created a website and provided additional content from subjects besides Physics. Currently, we have Class VI to XII Physics, Chemistry, Math’s, Biology, English Grammar, Geography and Science experiments. For the last 9 years, I have created over 6,000 videos on various subjects based on the prescribed curriculum.

“Apart from our videos, we also have a variety of things on our website, including what we call a 5-step learning process, and these include tests, revision work, ‘ask questions’ section for kids. Everything on the website is entirely free of cost and accessible to all.”

Q2. You have two YouTube channels – one is in English and the other in Hindi? Why did you choose a vernacular channel? What kind of audience are you catering to?

When I started, it was in English because, at  that  point, I had not  planned   or  thought of it as a long-term prospect. However, over the years, I realized that most of the students who watched my videos were from rural areas or small towns. They followed my Hindi language channel better than the English language channel. With requests coming in from children to create content in Hindi, we started a vernacular channel. Three months back, I re-branded and renamed my channels from “ExamFear” to “LearnoHub.” I have also reshuffled channels based on the grade, irrespective of the language. I now have 3 channels for better access, and these are ‘LearnoHub- Class 6,7,8’, ‘LearnoHub- Class 9,10’, and ‘LearnoHub- Class 11, 12’.

Q3. Please tell us about the framework that you have for creating content or lessons for your channels?

The idea behind creating these videos is not just about providing content but also ensuring that real learning happens. From my experience and interactions, I realized that many children around me would usually mug up and study just for marks without understanding the concept. So, when I create videos, I always try to make it easy to understand, interactive and try to increase their interest in the subject they’re learning. I believe that when a student understands the concept, she or he performs better in exams.

While creating my videos, there are a few points that are my priorities:

  1. To make the concept as simple as possible, using pictures and basic animations
  2. Keep it short and to the point
  3. The application of the concept – How it should be used, where it should be used, and the students’ approach

Q4. What are some of the challenges that you have faced in terms of content creation and technology adoption?

It was quite challenging when I started as it was all new to me. Nevertheless, since I started with YouTube, many things were already in place in terms of platform and its user interface. I did not have to struggle a lot. However, when I began creating my first videos, features like audio quality were not so good. But I improved over the years. I always took students’ feedback for my video and audio quality. Google has always been a great help. Slowly and gradually, I learned many things about technology.

Q5. Where do your student audience hail from – urban or rural India?

YouTube is limited on options to find out about demographics that are watching our lessons. So, we have no way of finding out where our audience hail from. However, we do receive lots of success stories and comments from students in remote parts of the country. For example, there was a student from a village in Karnataka who managed to get a medical seat and became a Biology topper in the whole state. We were informed that many were dependent on our content for their exam preparations. Through these success stories, we know that there would be thousands of students from rural areas who are watching our videos.

Q.6. Do you charge any form of fee from your subscribers, or is it free?

Every content on our website or YouTube channels is free. The only item for which we charge a minimal fee is what we call a pen drive course. These are courses that are distributed on a pen drive.The reason for launching these courses is to provide our content offline to those students who cannot have continual access to internet connectivity.

Many students used to reach out to us grieving about the poor connectivity issues of the internet in their villages. So, the same content that is being published on our website and YouTube channels are packaged and uploaded in a pen drive with an OTG connector so that they can view it directly on their mobile phone. The fee that we charge is extremely minimal – Rs. 1000 for the entire course for a whole year, which includes all the subjects.

“The intention is not to earn money out of it but to help interested students having internet problems so that they don’t lose out on our content.”

Disclaimer: Views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the person interviewed and not to TechConnect or EdIndia and its employees, unless explicitly stated.

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