E-learning: 2015 saw a tremendous increase in the number of individuals, corporations and institutions turning towards e-learning. According to a report by Docebo, India has witnessed a 55% growth in self-paced e-learning. Many educational and vocational institutes have introduced a plethora of e-learning computer hardware and networking courses to further increase the reach of e-learning amongst the socially and economically weak sections of the society. There has also been an increase in mobile learning and corporate training for e-learning professionals. Students can access all the classroom content from home or any other part of the world. It is an interactive medium where students can collaborate with each other or the faculty and undertake practice tests.
Hybrid Learning: Hybrid/Blended learning has surpassed the e-learning limitations of a fully online instruction in India. It has become a great learning aid in the Indian slums with space constraints and where retaining certified teachers is a challenge. Blended learning has also been adopted by many universities which have received a great response especially by working professionals.
However, experiential learning is facilitated by performing practicals in a supervised environment. Hence we cannot disregard the brick and mortar model yet as in industries such as IT, just knowing concepts is not enough and the talent needs to be able to apply this knowledge in their work.
Education Apps: Besides the everyday apps, many students are now installing a lot of education apps which enable them to study and give tests online as well as get certified! There are currently over 75,000 educational apps on the Apple app store alone. These apps are a blessing for students with disabilities. Besides these education apps, parents and teachers are using simple apps to share updates as well as track the progress of the students.
Simulation Labs: Simulation labs are yet another innovative approach towards imparting education. Engineering colleges and nursing institutes are giving increasing importance of having simulation labs for a practical learning sessions. Institutions are now providing simulations for students to perform practicals under controlled environment to test their skills.
Outlook for 2016:
Machine Learning: With the market for these platforms growing substantially year on year, it is only a matter of time till machine learning gets utilized more ominously to allow students to avail more personalized and richer content. Service providers who adopt this technology will definitely gain a competitive advantage over their peers.
Edutainment: We have always heard, laughter is the best medicine. Educators are looking up to laughter in the coming year as a solution to the saturation resulting from the continuous bombarding of only theories and concepts. Edutainment typically seeks to instruct or facilitate social interaction in its audience by embedding lessons in some familiar form of entertainment like television programs, games, films, music, websites, multimedia software, and so on. This will effectively reduce the anxiety of the learner as well as motivate them to focus. Learning with laughter and games is expected to be effective as it will make learning more interesting and the information which is to be retained more memorable. This will also keep the learners engaged and hopefully reduce the dropout rate of these courses.
Moving towards perfect competition: With more service providers entering into the Indian market, the competition is constantly on the rise between education giants and start-ups to adopt innovative ways to impart knowledge. As we move towards more development in the education space, parents are not just concerned about educating their wards but they are more concerned towards them receiving the best quality education. This has led to the rise in the total fee spent on education. The increasing demand for e-learning courses, learning apps and softwares is making the education industry look promising for the year 2016.
The author is Vice President at Jetking Infotrain Limited.