by Bhola Meena
There was a time when the state of the Indian education system was significantly dismal and bleak. Multiple issues ranging from obsolete syllabus, lack of practical learning, shortage of quality educators, and other issues formed the crux of the problem. However, in the past couple of years, one could undoubtedly observe educational efficacy evolve with the support of digital means.
E-learning has played the role of a catalyst for bringing about an equitable approach to high-quality education. It has done so by providing unlimited teaching and learning opportunities, while also improving studentís learning outcomes, participation and pedagogical innovation tremendously.
The proliferation of digital tools like apps, tablets, and laptops has introduced a sense of unbridled, real-time interaction into the learning process. A simple chalk & talk lesson has matured into engagement, collaboration and feedback. This reflects in the number of eager learners who sign up for online courses. In 2016 alone, 5.8 million students enrolled in online courses. This is a 263% increase over the last twelve years, making India the third-largest online learning market behind only the US and China.
E-learning has reached deep and wide
Breaking barriers is one thing, and the ability to consolidate education and training across geographical constraints is another. E-learning has penetrated into the Indian hinterland owing to increasing affordability of high-speed Internet as well as access to smart-phones. Students are being empowered to get quality resource and education, anytime, anywhere. Improved connectivity and digital payment access have further bolstered the concept of education for all.
It is proving to be value for money, and flexible with time
There was a 175% increase in the cost of education from 2008 to 2014. This made the online space the most cost-effective place for learners to hone new skills, supplement for school learning, prepare for competitive exams or even take up non-academic subjects. Courses online are 53% cheaper than offline alternatives. Along with that ardent learners are also able to save on time otherwise lost while travelling from one place to another. They can simply log on to their devices and leverage the benefits of e-learning on the go.
Quality has not been lost despite its reach
Online learning is a great platform to present a world-class learning experience to the ever-expanding student community and workforce. There is no denying that each year a limited number of seats are available at leading universities. Many lose out on them, and along with it, on the chance of getting a quality education. However, online education has changed this. Many online websites have opened up access to live and interactive learning in collaboration with premier schools and universities from around the globe. The faculty is best in class and the students have the opportunity to learn directly from industry stalwarts. Simple-to-use interface, virtual field trips, email, virtual labs, electronic textbooks, and free online resources are students them excellent global educational experiences.
It is customizable to personal needs and goals
Personalized e-learning enables learners to customize a variety of the elements involved in their education process. From modified schedules, personalized lesson plans and activities, customized goal-setting, everything is as per the individualís needs.† This unique learning approach has helped provide individualized and differentiated instruction to each learner. This makes the learning experience richer and with improved learning results.
The online-to-offline strategy is removing the barricade of owning gadgets
Many e-learning centers have adopted an O2O strategy; that is an Online-to-Offline strategy. In this approach, they rope in local coaching institutes, independent tutors, and publishers, to offer students a simulated learning experience. This is a big leap in terms of providing digital access to a wider learning audience. It ensures that quality study materials and preparation guides are available to those who live beyond metro cities.
Evidently, e-learning is creating a better learning environment for learners and teachers alike. It is now expanding into areas like test preparation for government and bank jobs, re-skilling initiatives and professional certification for entrepreneurs and professionals looking to upgrade their skillset, higher education through distance-learning, and casual learning.
Product offerings are set to increase with the advent of artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics. While the former will make discovery of learning more accessible and intuitive; the latter will contextualize learning options and drive purchase behaviour based on past choices of learning modules.
To summarize, e-learning has been able to permeate many layer of the Indian society, and the platform is fast-becoming an essential tool in transforming the educational system for good.
Bhola Meena is CEO & Founder of OnlineTyari.
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