Education for every child in a country of 1.3 billion people—is this a distant dream or will it soon become a reality? Even after a decade of the Right to Education (RTE) Act, the challenge of bringing quality education to millions of children has not been solved. Picture this: K-12 learning solutions will account for 41% of the total edtech market size and 11.3 million could be the total number of paid users in the K-12 learning solutions space by 2025, according to a report. An edtech platform requires professionals such as course developers, course designers, technology experts, graphic designers, and subject matter experts to develop an online course. But the lack of qualified professionals and skilled manpower results in poor quality online courses and acts as a major hindrance to market growth. This brings us to the burning question: What is a sustainable solution for India’s long-term learning needs?
Owing to the paucity of quality teachers, most students being in small-town India, and affordability of education being a major roadblock, any practical solution to this problem must offer scale from the word go. How do you teach a student in a far-flung location, where there are no qualified teachers or efficient schools? Here we need to address two main problems: affordability and accessibility to quality learning, even in the remotest parts of the country. Live online classes can provide education to students no matter where they are located. Further, owing to strong tech intervention, one-to-many live models will make learning both affordable and accessible, as one quality teacher can teach up to 500 students during one live session.
Let us look at the global pandemic that brought all forms of physical learning and classroom experiences to a screeching halt. Initially stumped, it threw open a massive gateway for students to use live online learning so that India’s learning does not stop. A live online class is learning in a virtual setting where the student-teacher interaction is real-time, akin to a face-to-face learning experience. But it goes much beyond the traditional scope as students are continuously engaged through quizzes, leaderboards, hotspots, and instant doubt solving. These features are custom-designed for all students residing in any part of India.
Concepts are taught through a rich medium and with appealing visualisation, making classes both fun and engaging. The level of interactivity in live online learning is very high, enabling education to be more effective, not compromising on the camaraderie of a classroom. AI and ML are playing a huge role in making the content intuitive to the student’s learning pace and interest areas, all leading to a highly personalised learning experience. One may argue that online education has a low completion rate. Therefore, recorded lessons can never replace true learning through a live online experience.
Owing to my personal experiences as a teacher both offline as well as online, I would like to share my thoughts on pedagogy around live online learning. The two pillars which matter in education are experience and outcome. The learning experience is extremely critical and if the input is not proper, it is very tough to extract an output. The way we design a great pedagogy is to think about the input, which is the learning experience to achieve maximum student engagement. Pedagogy should aim towards sparking curiosity and inquisitiveness in a student so that he/she looks forward to the learning experience.
In live online synchronous learning, the capability of the platform, the role of the content, and the expertise of the teacher matter a lot. The design of the pedagogy can be done with the data on how engaged the child is. Knowing where the child is engaged and where he/she is disengaged will help one in offering a better solution. And that is the beauty of live online learning; the same thing was done earlier in offline but there it was largely subjective. In live online learning, one can use this data to improvise on the content, improve on the training of the teachers, and even help one design the pedagogies.
It is almost like AV testing right inside of the product, where one can run these experiments and can optimise them. If the experience is good, the child loves it. And then the learning outcome improves. If the learning outcome improves, the child loves the motivation and tries to spend more time and gets engaged with the pedagogy. The more engaged the child is with the pedagogy, the greater the learning outcome.
Product experts who design learning journeys need to think about such things as learning loops. It is about the learning experience, leading to the outcome and the outcome leading to the experience. But the litmus test is when you ask your student after a session about his/her experience and the student wants to spend more time. And that is the magic, where great learning products are the ones which can do this repeatedly.
We are fundamentally reimagining and changing the way students have been taught till now. This new way of learning should be all-inclusive so that it is experienced by every student across the country. For all entrepreneurs and creators out there, it is the perfect time to change the way India learns.
Views are personal. The author is , CEO and co-founder, Vedantu, an online tutoring platform.