Table of contents
- What is Online Education?
- How Does Online Education Work?
- Virtual Classes
- Advantages of Online Education
- Disadvantages of Online Education
- India needs to be Future-Ready in Online Education! Here’s Why?
- How to get the most out of e learning in education?
Online Education has proved to be an effective educational method in the post-pandemic era. Experts suggest that this new online education system has the potential to make education policies more responsive, transparent, and evidence-based in the years to come. Globally, this smart solution has already offered several advantages to both students and stakeholders. However, some of us are still skeptical about this educational method. And we miss out on utilizing the opportunities created by this powerful medium at various levels of formal education.
Let’s decode some essential dimensions and of e learning in education, to help you understand what this medium has in store for you. In this write-up, we will explore the challenges, opportunities, and scope of this flexible option, particularly in the Indian context.
What is Online Education?
Simply put Online education refers to a method of carrying out teaching and learning processes through technology. Students and teachers make use of internet technology to experience learning opportunities outside the vicinity of a traditional classroom. Students and teachers interact with each other through options like virtual classes/sessions, Chabot’s, emailing, messaging, etc.
We all know that the pandemic has given a boost to the e-learning market. But do you know the exact growth rate of this market in India?
Before we discuss more about online education advantages and disadvantages, here’s a look at some quick facts about the growth of the e-learning market in India:
- There has been stupendous growth in the e-learning market in India in the past 6 years. The value of the Indian e-learning market was 39 billion rupees by the year 2018. And this figure is estimated to increase to a massive 360 billion rupees by the year 2024.
- The net worth of this market expanded at a CAGR of 44% between 2014 to 2019 and 43% from 2019-2024.
- In the years to come, India will a bigger market for virtual education. The Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India highlights that India is on the way to becoming a virtual education market worth $313 billion by the year 2030. With this, online education platforms, along with the skills market will grow double in a decade’s time, thereby impacting 429 million learners.
Let’s explore further and discover more about this educational method.
How Does Online Education Work?
Online study is conducted through a Learning Management System (LMS). Students log in and access the dashboard to find the course content which is generally in the format of modules, further divided into lessons. They also have the option to connect with the teachers, join a virtual session, chat with peers/teachers, etc. through the dashboard. Some online schools have also gone miles ahead with mobile applications, a fixed number of online classes, and ‘on-request’ educator support, etc. for an enhanced experience.
Like traditional education, this modern education medium too requires coursework completion within the defined deadlines. Students need to complete and upload their assignments, post which the teachers share their feedback. In a 100% virtual learning environment assignments are also conducted virtually. All the details of the student’s performance (assignments, post-lesson tests, assessments, etc.) are recorded within the LMS.
This information is collated and used to gauge the effectiveness of the teaching and learning processes. And even to plan a remedial action for the identified learning gaps. Some platforms allow offline assignments, while others can stick to completely online formats.
Moving on to virtual classes now!
Technology-driven virtual classes are an imperative part of an online learning center. These sessions/classes are conducted by trained educators who connect with the students for doubt-clearing, knowledge-sharing, collaborative activities, skill-building, etc. In the simplest terms, these classes are for real-time interactions and often have a predefined schedule. These synchronous learning opportunities allow students to be part of discussions and engage in socializing with their peers without visiting any physical campus.
These virtual classes can have their own set of advantages such as safety, and better quality interactions. In fact, research also proves that students retain 25-60% more material while learning online.
Advantages of Online Education
- Inclusivity – Many times students with special needs are overlooked in policies. But with a massive population of almost 240 million disabled children in the world, inclusivity is certainly a big concern across the globe. Like distance learning, online study too benefits disabled students immensely. It helps them to develop skills by eliminating all barriers to learning.
- Better Accessibility and teacher quality- With only a stable internet connection, and a device, an online school can bring the best quality educational content right to the doorstep of a student. In a country like India, where 65% of the population resides in rural areas, accessibility is a huge problem. Digital learning also resolves the problems of teacher quality (such as accountability, untrained, absenteeism, poor knowledge of appropriate pedagogies, etc.).
- Flexibility and pacing options- The Merits of Online Classes also include the freedom to plan, create, design, or follow any study pattern as per one’s lifestyle or preference. This importance of online education empowers students to spend more or less time on a topic as per their individual need. they do not have any compulsion to match the pace of any other student, unlike a regular classroom.
By far, we have discussed the benefits of digital learning. But this educational medium has its own set of demerits too. Let’s discuss these now.
Disadvantages of Online Education
- Dependence on technology– Digital divide, internet literacy, and the availability of a supported device are barriers to this medium. India ranked 73 out of 120 countries in internet literacy. And reports revealed that 50% of our population had no access to the internet. Despite the alarming state, Indian policymakers have found a way to work on these issues. Our government has created some great action plans to curb the digital divide. And initiatives like ‘National Digital Literacy Mission’, ‘Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ and ‘Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan’ etc. (By Niti Aayog) are already targeting a huge fraction of the Indian population (more than 6 crores).
- Distractions– Another flip side of an online learning center is that a student can easily get distracted. While some educationalists like to believe this fact, it is still debatable. In a virtual learning environment, a student’s motivation, monitoring, and engagement are subject to many factors. In fact, some online education platforms have challenged this belief and proved it as a myth. Reports have proved that 85% of students who had enrolled in both traditional and virtual learning institutions found the latter either the same or better than classroom learning.
Despite the pros and cons of online education, the virtual learning movement is here to stay!
India needs to be Future-Ready in Online Education! Here’s Why?
- Employability Prospects– In this skill-driven world, digital learning can help in developing and honing relevant job skills. This can make our youth more employable. And they will be able to use their skills more comprehensively. India Skills Report 2022 shows a marginal increase in the number of employable workforce in India (from 46.2% to 50.3%). However, we still have a long way to go to make our youth employable in the real sense.
- Improved learning opportunities- Digital learning education in India is also a credible solution to break free from the mundane chalk-and-talk methods. With gamification, puzzles, quizzes, animations, videos, podcasts, and the use of virtual reality highly engaging learning experiences can be created at a reduced cost.
- Address issues- This viable option can also beat almost all challenges that hinder a student’s educational journey. We can find solutions to problems like teacher-student ratio, poor quality teaching, school violence, learning and physical disabilities, etc. through this student-centric educational medium.
Now that we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of online classes, let’s understand how this medium can support the various facets of education in India.
Introduction of Online Education in India
Online education has been practised much prior in developed countries than in India or other developing nations. But due to the Covid pandemic, the online education industry boomed and give chance to many online Indian education startups.
The world’s first online learning in world traced back to 1960 at the University of Illinois, USA. Although the internet wasn’t Invented back then, the student began learning from interlinked computer terminals. The First- ever completely online course is offered by the University of Toronto in 1984. The University of Phoenix become the first educational institute offering both bachelor’s and master’s degrees
What is the Scope of Online Education in India?
- Supplemental learning–
Research proves that students enrolled in traditional schools can enhance/supplement their learning by harnessing the power of technology. India is already a huge market for online education platforms. And the CAGR of supplemental education across the primary and secondary stages of school education was estimated to be 60% with a market size of 773 USD in 2021 (KPMG Report).
- Virtual schooling-
Another striking fact that proves the scope of online education in India is the full-fledged option to enroll in an Virtual School. India now has some credible virtual schools open for students from all parts of the country. Read more about virtual schooling in India here.
In India, we no more depend on traditional platforms to take up reskilling, upskilling, or similar courses. All this is readily available through the virtual learning option. And the best part is that a student can make use of this convenient medium at a reduced cost. Some of these opportunities were available for students in the past with distance learning options, but there is still a stark difference between the two.
Distance education is the process of connecting the learner and the educational institution when they are separated by time or place with the help of technology. In other words, distance learning courses can be studied without being present in educational institutions.
Distance Education in India is available for all academic levels including Master Degrees, Postgraduate and Undergraduate.
Types of Distance Learning
Distance Education divided into 3 main category:-
Online:- This types of virtual learning allow the student to learn from their home. This program required
internet and a computer. The classes are mostly recorded sessions and live sessions.
Hybrid Distance Education Program:- This types of learning students have to take both online and face-to-face interaction. In this type of Distance learning, students have to attend their education premises at certain times in a month.
Fixed Time online courses:- In this type of learning learner gets a set deadline but they have the freedom to complete the course at their own pace. Fixed-time online courses required learners to log in to the eLearning platform and complete pre-scheduled activities at a specified time
Difference between Online Learning and Distance Education
Distance learning hardly has any scope for peer and teacher interactions. On the other hand, the benefits of online education allow a student to collaborate and interact with others in real-time. As a smart solution to the challenges of education, digital learning is also much more engaging than the other form.
Before we wrap up, let’s explore some quick tips that can help you in making the most of this medium.
How to get the most out of e learning in education?
- Quiet study corner– A distraction-free, quiet, and organized study corner can do wonders for the student. Remember to keep the supplies handy and keep the buzzing devices away during study time.
- Intrinsic motivation- Unlike the traditional ways, this one needs more discipline, motivation, and adherence to follow schedules. The habit of delaying or procrastinating can ruin the entire purpose of adding flexibility to learning. With virtual learning, it is always better to stick to schedules. And do not forget to keep some buffer time to compensate for any loss of productive time duration (in cases of exceptions).
- Seeking help- In the modern-day scenario, a student is never isolated. He/she can always connect with teachers, friends, or the institution to seek help all the help that is required at any point in time.
Conclusion of online education:
As a developing nation, India has its own set of challenges and advantages with online learning. However, this shift in the educational landscape is a perfect answer to numerous unresolved issues within the Indian education sector. Our government initiatives are all set to create a roadmap of success for Indian students. Let’s do our bit and drive the change that we desire to see in the upcoming years of this DIGITAL AGE!
Thanks for Reading!
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What is meant by Online Education or online education definition?
Online education is when all the educational processes are carried out through internet technology. Students and teachers do not visit a physical campus and the teaching and learning process goes on virtually. Globally, online education advantages and disadvantages are widely discussed topics. Most developed nations have already embraced this option. And India too is witnessing this paradigm shift post the pandemic.
- How is online education the future?
India has embraced the change, and platforms like online schools are now operational in India. Other than the distance learning options, this medium too is accepted by Indian stakeholders and students. Besides, the growth of India’s online education market also speaks volumes about its promising future in the upcoming years.
- Can I do online education for free?
You can find some websites that offer free online courses. However, the top online schools in India charge a reasonable amount for their courses/programs. The fee aspect is totally subject to the discretion of the authorities in the institution.
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of Online Learning?
E learning in education allows a student to study during flexible hours and set his/her own pace to master concepts. This medium is also more cost-effective and secure for students without the need for compromising on the quality of education.
One needs a stable internet connection for learning online. In addition, some students lack the motivation and discipline to study online.
- Why is Online Education growing in India?
In India, the pandemic has given a boost to this medium. Our stakeholders are already aware of the pros and cons of online education. With this medium, India has discovered a new and convenient way of learning skills, completing education, and upskilling. This paradigm shift is now a part of our mainstream system.
Our policymakers are also embracing this change with a number of schemes/policies to improve the scope of digital learning across the masses of the nation. There are numerous advantages and disadvantages of online classes that students are experiencing in the present scenario. But the best part is that mostly, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
- What is online classes
Classes which offered using computer and internet resources. Where classes are mostly contected by virtual medium such as zoom, google meet. Read more here:- https://onlineschoolsindia.in/school-guide/online-classes/
- What is online course
An online course is a learning programme that is arranged according to a syllabus and takes place in a virtual location. Online courses can be informal and focused on a single skill, or they can be formal and lead to certification or a degree. Here are the top 10 online courses in India.
- How does online school work
A Learning Management System (LMS) is used to deliver online education . Students log in and access the dashboard to find course content, which is typically organized in modules that are further subdivided into lessons. They can also use the dashboard to connect with teachers, join virtual sessions, chat with peers/teachers, and so on. For an enhanced experience, some online schools have gone miles ahead with mobile applications, a fixed number of online classes, and ‘on-request’ educator support, among other things.