The digital wave in the country has transformed the entire education ecosystem, making it more tech-oriented and student-friendly. As technology seeped into every aspect of life, it was only a matter of time for it to penetrate one of the most important facets of one’s existence i.e. education. Online learning presents various benefits such as easy accessibility, on-the-go learning, flexibility and convenience to name a few. These are the main reasons behind the increasing inclination of people towards this mode. In fact, it has quickly become a default way of studying and has evolved from being an option to being a need. Digitisation of the education landscape is also letting the students residing in tier-2 and tier-3 cities reap the benefits of quality education tools. On the other hand, however, offline learning also has its own merits, which definitely cannot be overlooked. Therefore, a seamless blend of both offline and online pedagogical approaches is now the need of the hour.
Online learning enables students with the option to study in the comfort of their homes, without having to travel miles to go to an institution for attending an important lecture. This makes it a cost-efficient mode of learning. Besides this, online learning is suitable for working people as well who do not have the time at their disposal to attend regular classes. They can get a certificate or a degree without having to physically go to a brick-and-mortar institution. Online video lectures help these students stay connected with what is being taught in traditional classrooms. This way they don’t have to miss out on anything and can fulfil their ambition of working and attaining further academic qualifications simultaneously. There has been a slow and steady pick in self-paced courses, and this trend is fairly visible for all.
While these are the benefits of online learning, there are some limitations as well. Self-discipline and time management matters a lot in online learning. Limited interaction with fellow students and with the instructors can also result in lesser enthusiasm and confidence as compared with offline pedagogical approaches. Although lectures can be attended online, the interpersonal relationship between a student and instructor is harder to build virtually.
The concept of traditional learning is slowly undergoing a transformation with the advent of the internet and technology-led education. However, the innumerable benefits of this mode of education cannot be denied. With its multi-sensory appeal, it enables students to grasp what’s being taught easily and quickly. Immediate interactions help them clear their doubts then and there. They can take part in live discussions and know the view-points of other students at the same time. Visual Learning classes have been appreciated by students and faculties alike. It helps students to understand the tough concepts easily and learning becomes fun for them.
However, there is no denying that traditional learning eats up a lot of time. It’s expensive as compared to online learning and lacks flexibility. In many cases, the traditional format makes quality education and guidance inaccessible to those students in whose locality there aren’t any good institutions or coaching centres.
Advantages of digital education for students of tier-3 and tier-4 cities:
Digital education has metamorphosed the education landscape of the country in such a way that students of not just tier-1 and tier-2 cities but also of tier-3 and tier-4 cities are now able to access superlative learning opportunities. Digital courses have tremendously helped in bridging the wide geographical gap that hitherto existed between students and the leading institutions of the country. Such online courses have been instrumental in enhancing the learning experience of students residing in extreme corners of the country.
E-learning has made inroads in the entire nation, the result of which is this that students are now rapidly embracing this new concept. A blend of the online mode of learning and traditional pedagogy is being adopted by institutions these days so as to provide a compelling learning experience to students. Live lectures combined with the facility to interact with faculty in real time and give students a feel of traditional classrooms is what many institutions are now focussing on. This combination of the physical classroom and the e-learning experience is enriching the way students understand and absorb information and apply this knowledge.
New age education methods like app-based learning also give superlative convenience to students and bolster the result of other learning techniques. The spike in smartphone and mobile data usage has given to rise to new, innovative, creative and highly engaging ways of understanding concepts, memorising difficult topics, taking tests and assessing oneself. Quality content remains the main requirement of students and is pivotal in making the online learning experience rich and beneficial. Education providers have to ensure that they deliver meaningful content to students in the online space and amalgamate this content with the best of traditional learning methods so that more and more students embrace this new way of absorbing information. The offline versus online debate is now not as relevant as the debate about how the merits of both these formats need to be synchronised to create new benchmarks in the Indian education space.
The author, Ritesh Raushan, is the director at The Gate Academy – See more at: http://www.businessworld.in/education-institutions/e-learning-becomes-essential-india#sthash.nAJ6uxmt.dpuf