How AI is assisting E-learning market booming for the betterment of India?


India as a country today is witnessing an incredible phase of technological development. The effects of these can be felt in every sector including the education industry. For the longest time, we have based our education system on traditional methods of teaching that involves a teacher addressing the students within the walls of a classroom. The extent, to which education could be disseminated in this way, depended upon the teacher’s ability to help students visualize difficult concepts without the right tools.

With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, India has begun transitioning towards a world that functions efficiently with digital technology to make things simplified. An array of online learning platforms has mushroomed in the last decade to make learning accessible, affordable and easy to understand. In 2020, India had over 749 million internet users across the country. This figure is projected to grow to over 1.5 billion users by 2040, indicating a big market potential in internet services for the south Asian country. In fact, India was ranked as the second largest online market worldwide in 2019, coming second only to China. The number of internet users was estimated to increase in both urban as well as rural regions, indicating a dynamic growth in access to internet. Essentially, what this means that a big chunk of our population has access to the online world and we need to derive the most out of it.

The e-learning market that stood at $247 million in 2016 is now expected to reach $1.96 billion by the end of 2021 with a CAGR of 52%.It is true that the e-learning market was evolving, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has become a catalyst to this situation. A lot of educational institutions are now adopting the ‘blended model of learning’ which involves a combination of offline classes coupled with online learning.

The benefits of e-learning are uncountable:

  1. Engaging content – We have all had situations where we have been bored attending classroom sessions rigorously. However, with online learning students have access to gamified versions of concepts and this leads to a student being interested in pursuing a module and finishing it.
  2. Flexibility – E-learning offers flexibility to its learners. One can self-pace his or her learnings. Irrespective of school and tuition hours, one can just onto their learning platform and study from anywhere at any time.
  3. Custom-learning – One can custom almost everything with e-learning. A student has the option of picking a tutor based on ratings, the concepts he intends to learn, whether he wants to study in a group or individually. The opportunity to tailor makes one’s own study allows them to take more ownership and be more inclined towards the overall learning process.
  4. Affordability – In a country like ours, financial problems have been a major hinderance in the path of education. Many students who want to learn and study cannot do so owing to the unaffordable fees levied by top institutions. However, e-learning solves this trouble. E-learning is not only more efficient as compared to classroom learning, but it is highly affordable as well. You can pursue online courses from the most prestigious universities at highly affordable rates.

Our biggest challenge today for the e-learning industry in India is the lack of technological penetration in rural areas. Given that most of our population (65.53%) resides in rural areas, this is a serious issue that needs to be tackled. It is true that the government has launched several initiatives to fast track technological development of Indian villages and these initiatives may bridge the gap between urban and rural education, however, as of today the divide between the urban and rural population in this sphere remains.

E-learning has contributed significantly towards the growth of education industry in India. The Indian online education market is highly fragmented with around 3,500 edtech start-ups operating in the country. Many foreign players are entering the Indian online education industry. For platforms to stay relevant in such cut throat competition, one will have to devise better tools, integration of AI into learning and build a more conducive environment for learning that allows our students to take the step towards building the right future.

(The author is Ms. Minal Anand, Founder & CEO, GuruQ, India and the views expressed in this article are her own)

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