Will online learning be the new order of the day?

 Will online learning be the new order of the day?

Bhaskar Majumdar

There is no doubt about the fact that Online learning will continue to be on the rise in the foreseeable future and top-notch reputed universities and academic institutions will consistently partner with credible online course offerors such as Coursera, UpGrad, NIIT and MICA. At the very basic level, such a surge in the number of relevant online courses and people undertaking those can be attributed to the inherent advantages such a type of learning pedagogy encapsulates at its very core – absence of time constraints, flexibility, convenience, affordability and accessibility for a larger base of audience, thanks to the internet and the smartphone and their widespread proliferation.

To determine another cause of their uptick, let us take a look at the Indian education system. The Indian education system has its unflinching ability to provide the best-in-class theoretical education, yet inadvertently, have not been able to transform it into a viable catalyst for progress. This is the primary reason why we come across terms such as demand-skill gap that myriad industries are grappling with, day in and day out.

India has got a massive pool of talent, some of the best educational institutions, but there is a dire lack of industry ready employable workforce. Cases in point can be; IT behemoths such as Infosys, IBM and the like, who have their own academic training centres to train fresh college graduates in order to bridge this glaring skill gap.

Some corporates such EMC, Cisco, HP, Accenture etc, have forged alliances with engineering colleges, for the same purpose. HCL Infosystems runs a programme, Digischools, to improve the way education is being imparted in schools through technology. Brain drain is not seemingly incomprehensible keeping in perspective the fact that, many of our best brains have moved to countries where the opportunity and blueprint for exercising their intellectual freedom is already in place and are ready to be reaped. Exceptional progress made by the indigenous ICT industry is playing its role by bringing in many of these people back to their own soil. It is only a matter of time when such a scenario gets replicated in other sectors as well.

To tackle and manage this skill-demand gap, several companies across sectors are now joining hands with premier educational institutions to offer online courses to aspiring professionals. Organisations are setting aside sizeable funds to invest in learning  and development in a huge way than ever before, keeping in mind the dynamically evolving business landscapes and the inevitable need for such adaptive and innovative measures to secure themselves in the long haul. Individuals can undertake these courses for a nominal fee, study from the comforts of their homes, learn new skills that are relevant to the current job market, appear for exams and earn credible certificates.

It also important to note here that audio visual courses and interactive technology based systems of imparting education not only helps one to grasp and retain better but also makes learning an enjoyable experience as compared to traditional teaching modules. Such models of learning inculcates creativity, infuses problem solving skills and encourages analytical thinking. Customised and personalised specially designed digital content and technology support enables learning in ways, hitherto unimaginable.

Therefore, it would not be wrong to conclude that online and digital education sector is growing in leaps and bounds in a predominately education conservative country. This is true, not just in the realms of higher education, on-the-job training etc, but also at the school and college level. Interactive, immersive and participative modules of learning, via AI, AR, VR and gamification are no more alien concepts now.

As Covid-19 and the resultant lockdown has crippled the way we lead our day-to-day lives, online learning from the comfort of homes has become more and more commonplace. A large number of professionals can be seen, not just working from their homes, but also ‘learning from their homes’, honing new skill sets, each and every week.


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