By Akhand Swaroop Pandit
Since time immemorial, we have been acclimatised to attain our educational goals through classroom-based learning, which is majorly based on a theoretical exam-driven system. From the very childhood, this archaic system pushes us to focus on scoring well, instead of practically understanding the concepts. However, now that this belief is changing with the advent of various online learning tools, educators are rapidly adopting online learning pedagogies, which involve a right mix of offline as well as online learning techniques.
Today’s educators are completely aware of the fact that the 21st-century student is no longer receptive to the practice of offline learning, which limits them to textbooks and classrooms. Rather, they prefer online channels that are easily accessible and give them a much wider choice of self-learning. According to a recent KPMG report, the online education industry is anticipated to gain a user base of 9.6 million by 2021 as compared to 1.6 million in 2016.
In fact, the scope of online learning is not only limited to school and competitive exams but has gone beyond these boundaries. A large number of online players have forayed into upskilling – helping job seekers acquire new skills and prepare for today’s evolving job market. That said, the education system in India is surely reshaping by leaps and bounds and is turning into a student-friendly ecosystem that focuses mainly on fostering effective learning.
On the back of this transformation, the education industry is witnessing several trends, and this is just the beginning! Here’s an outlook on the top trends that India is likely to witness in 2020:
For ages, it has remained a challenge for educators to assess each and every student in the classroom. Even the practice of parent-teacher meeting has not been much of a success. However, players in the online learning space are highly focused on addressing this challenge. With the kinds of online tests these players conduct and the way they leverage the digital footprints of users, it has become both easy and efficient to cater to the needs of students as emphasising on their strengths and weaknesses that they would need to work upon.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
Although not very new to the human ears, AI is certainly redesigning the path of online education by automating and making the process more engaging than ever. The integration of AR and VR in the online space significantly adds an audio-visual factor to the overall learning process with elements such as 3D designs, animations, and sign languages, among others – making learning fun for both students and educators. It is clear how education has come out of the textbooks and is leaving digital imprints on the minds of learners, which was not the case a few years ago.
While video games were one of the major causes why children once got scolded by parents, gamification has emerged as a new kind of learning technique that is widely being adopted and accepted by educators. A large number of players in this space are gamifying different concepts that can help students enhance their problem-solving power, retain information and improve their overall performance in a very engaging and fun-learning manner. Even in schools, this technique has been adopted by educators to teach valuable skills that they will need to fit into future job roles.
With smartphones becoming an all-time tool for students to gain and collect information from the internet, edtech players are rapidly developing mobile-based content and online study materials that are easily accessible, anytime and anywhere. By leveraging tech advances, these new-age educators are able to expand their reach even to the rural geographies, where imparting education has majorly been an age-long challenge.
Gone are the days when coaching classes were only seen as offline tutoring sessions. With mentors and educators coming online, students are now enabled to access the same offline sessions through online platforms, on their smartphones. The best part about video-based learning is that it can be replayed infinite number of times, which naturally eliminates the probability of missing anything associated with the subject. Not only do students get access to live online lectures, but they also have the choice of watching a wide variety of rich and well-researched videos related to their respective subjects.
With the rise of technology disruptions, the future of online learning seems promising and filled with a barrage of opportunities for edtech players to innovate further. Not only are these new-age platforms ensuring quality education to student masses, but also making sure that learning reaches to every corner of the country. The aforementioned trends are gaining wider adoption and are already being implemented by several educational institutions across the country. Besides, it is anticipated that these advances will slowly but surely help India turn into a digital-first nation and make its citizens smart enough to secure future jobs, which would be largely driven by technology.
(Disclaimer: The author is Founder and CEO, Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform. The views expressed in this article are his own)