Gone are those decades when heavy books, pens, chalk and blackboard defined education.The present day dotes on PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets as the face of education.The changes are quite macroscopic. While the concept of online education has already influenced the learning institutions in full swing, education restricted to only traditional classroom learning is now a passé.
India is taking the required steps towards this new phase of education at a slow pace compared to other countries and still seems to be deliberating the pros and cons of changing modes from traditional to modern. Irrespective of this pertinent dilemma, TechNavio has reported that the online form of education in the country is deemed to touch CAGR of 17.50 % by 2019.
Online learning- Reformulating New Age Education
The university classroom has been a foundation of higher education for a period longer than anyone would remember, dating back to the time when online education meant Greek and Latin to most people. With technology taking a greater turn in recognition, people are welcoming ‘online -learning’ with open arms as it has redefined new age education by bringing the concept of a classroom beyond the four walls. The next big thing in this space would be mobile learning.
The internet penetration in India is significantly high, wherein the country has the third largest Internet population of 190 million in the world today, after China with 620 million and the US with 275 million. The advent of the internet has undoubtedly changed our lives, making it inevitable for education to be absorbed entirely online. e-learning has only a few challenges and several beneficial opportunities cinched with it. Education from some of the best institutes of the world, interactivity, flexible learning as per your own schedule, growth in every aspect and exclusive job opportunities at the forefront are some of the facets of e-learning with the potential to let the practitioners avail world-class knowledge and education. This method has now being adapted at a primary level, as well as at the secondary level. Almost every third educational institution gives you the freedom of online learning. This also helps in enrolling for programmes and acquiring certifications from some of the top institutes online. But, whether online education has the capacity to replace offline learning is a question that is yet to be answered.
Technology- A windfall for education providers and students
The online education system has been in vogue for the past 5 years now. With the rise of mobiles, Digital India campaign, and resolute interventions by the Modi-government, the online market of India is witnessing an unprecedented growth expected to reach 300 million in 2018. An increased number of education providers are adopting e-learning format and the numbers are increasing year-on-year in India. While e-learning ensures that data quality remains the top-most priority, setting up a technology-driven system is a Herculean task. India has made massive strides in improving its education system, but a lot still needs to be done in terms of upgradation. While faculty and infrastructure deficits are major hurdles in increasing the reach of education in India, there is a need to take note of the changing pedagogy and using technology to fill the gaps in the system. The introduction of technology has not only aided the students but also the faculty, and as a result education is now accessible to everyone. Students now don’t have to depend on the classroom setting that tends to group students together in large numbers, often making it difficult for the faculty to provide the necessary close attention. But online education enables highly effective learning coupled with personal attention owing to an individually-focused communication through e-mails, chats and live video sessions. Over a period of 3 years we have catered to over 300000 students, the percentage of students enrolling for e-learning courses is growing at a significant rate of 55.
Interactive tools such as gamification, collaborative and social learning make it even more interesting and engaging. Moreover, teaching skills like problem-solving, critical thinking and higher order learning expertise are best taught outside classrooms. When it’s time for evaluation, online learning enables measurement of success with assessment tools that are also a critical part of the pedagogy, which the traditional format of learning definitely lacks. Interactivity is another major aspect which scores an all-time high in online learning. Since the students are directly interacting with the professors and are not surrounded by their peers more often than not, the level of interactivity in an online environment is 50% higher than a traditional classroom. Online learning is also not restrained by time, hence, a session is not limited for a designated 45 minutes where the students are required to grasp as well as clear their doubts. Tools such as discussion forums and cloud campus empower a learning ecosystem that is 24/7. Thus in a way, online learning not only surpasses borders but also gives the students the ability to learn at any juncture of their life.
Online or Conventional: Which is the More Valuable form of Learning?
There’s a surging demand for education owing to the growing job market and online learning may seem to be the most viable and economical option for a majority of students to up their academic quotient. But all said and done, amidst this new wave of online learning, there is no way conventional learning is taking the backseat. Students may find it convenient to learn at their own pace, but certification for that learning acts as the biggest challenge. Will employers accept your qualification acquired from an online course rather than a tradition institute? It’s way too early to say if universities feel threatened by the rise of online learning, but it is definitely a new age learning mechanism that enables a ‘now you can’ ecosystem for the learners where they can enhance their knowledge and skills for overall development at any personal or professional phase.
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