Until a few years ago, the online medium in India was used only for the consumption of entertainment content. Today, with rapid penetration of the Internet and smartphones, it is fast gaining popularity as a preferred medium for learning and higher education. According to a report titled 'Online Education in India: 2021' by KPMG India and Google, the Indian online education market is set for a quantum growth of eight times in the next three years.
What are the trends which will dominate 2020?
Let us examine the trends that will dominate the specialized education space in India in the year 2020. These trends also explain why there has been a distinct surge in online education in the country-a trend that will continue to dominate throughout the year 2020.
Online courses will be more job-oriented
Online courses are a quicker route for churning out employable professionals. In this context, we are seeing industries collaborating with colleges as well as educational start-ups to prepare courses in tune with the current market demands, making online course students readily employable.
Moreover, data-rich online learning models go a long way in solving hiring woes by making study materials more accurate, efficient and up to date.
Closing down of engineering and technical colleges
The number of students opting for engineering and technical education colleges has been on a decline in the recent past. This has been the case because the courses these colleges offer are not regularly updated, even as these institutes face a shortage of funds and qualified teachers.
Emergence of online courses by reputed institutes
Several prestigious universities and colleges in India have started offering online learning. These include government-backed organizations like the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B) and private ones like the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). This trend will continue in 2020.
Easier enrolment and access
Online learning programs are much easier to enroll for and to access, compared to the traditional model of education. Students can participate in the course as well as carry out the study formalities like fees payment from the comfort of their homes. Also, the fees are much lower than what one has to pay for traditional education.
Newly introduced Income Share agreements from online ed-tech start-ups are also picking up steam.
Scope for pre-empting and predicting outcomes
There is a big focus on the analytics of online data related to students.
This data is used by institutions and educators as a model of predictive surveillance for projecting student expectations and future behaviors to optimize the learning experience.
Transparent processes and improved student self-monitoring
Digital data utilized by the online medium, results in improved proficiency and transparency in educational processes. The granular data flow makes the education process a lot more transparent for all those involved - be it the students, parents, teachers or the industry. It also helps students self-diagnose as well as self-monitor their learning procedures.
Student assessment at a granular level
The online learning concept makes available appropriate software tools for helping teachers assess students on a broad gamut of parameters. Such technical strengths will continue to boost the prospects of online education next year.
Flexible, scalable and facilitating personalized experience
The online learning medium gives flexibility to frequently add, remove or even entirely modify the course content. It also offers a personalized experience to students, who can not only access course content as per their requirements but also, access teachers and mentors relevant to the course.
For example, if a student who requires additional help on a subject can make use of the available software modules and Apps that are designed for improving the individual learning experience. Also, online learning models are scalable, and students can opt for more course modules to suit their requirements and preferences.
Government support for online learning
The Indian government is taking several strong measures to boost digital reforms and online learning is no exception. According to the Government of India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology website, it has been financially helping R&D projects in the field of eLearning at many educational institutes.
With the twin objectives of encouraging skill-based learning and creating employable resources, it supports programs for course content development, R&D technology initiatives, human resource development, and faculty training.
Income Sharing Agreement (ISA) model
Lastly, nowadays, several colleges, institutes, and even niche education programs, have started experimenting with a novel, Income sharing Agreement (ISA) model. In this, the educational institute/company agrees to bear the expenditure of learning of the students and the student, in turn, agrees to share her/ his income once (s)he gets hired after the course is completed to pay for the course fee.
While making institutes accountable, ISA also signals the definite emergence of high-quality outcome-oriented courses.