Dr. Somali Ghosh, assistant professor, Case Western Reserve University and chief strategy advisor, Kapdec.
The Indian higher education system has witnessed multitudinous milestones – with e-learning being the latest one. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to e-learning gaining prominence like never before. In the pandemic scenario, e-learning has undoubtedly become the need of the hour and the future of the higher education system in India. Today, e-learning is utilised widely by learners and educators in higher education, schools, businesses, etc. In the pandemic-disrupted year, several higher educational institutions have adapted to the new paradigm of e-learning. The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown has compelled institutions to switch to e-learning methods on digital platforms and recent statistics have shown a sharp surge in interest for e-learning.
E-learning — an emerging education trend
E-learning has emerged as a dynamic education trend in the 21st century, paving way for students to earn a degree and enhance their careers from the comfort of their homes. An ever-increasing number of students today prefer opting for e-learning courses of varying levels and disciplines. From mathematics to coding, there are endless options for students willing to hone their skills in subjects of their choice and achieve degree certificates from recognised universities.
Key aspects of e-learning
Specialised instructors remain in their places and deliver instructions to a multitude of students in other sites. E-learning comprises up-to-date video content delivery where pre-recorded content can be accessed anywhere at any time. Through such engaging content and experienced educators, and high-speed internet, e-learning enhances its ubiquity each passing day. Self-learning is another aspect quite noteworthy in higher education, which is accomplished by computer-based training.
Scope of e-learning in higher education
For so long, textual education drove practical knowledge in India. Once upon a time, parents could not imagine subscribing to an e-learning course for their kids. However, things have changed a lot, courtesy of the COVID-induced lockdown. The shutting down of schools, colleges, and universities transformed the concept of e-learning into a reality. Looking ahead, e-learning is here to stay with enormous scope for students in India. The convenience, ease of access, affordability, scalability, effectiveness, and unique content has offered e-learning enough scope to boom in the Indian higher education system in the near future.
Important benefits of e-learning
The 21st-century learners demand relevant, self-paced, and personalised content. Only e-learning can fulfill this demand where students can gain real-world knowledge within the solace of their homes.
E-learning offers greater flexibility than any other mode of learning. Students can study at any time of the day at their own pace once the course has been configured. With such phenomenal flexibility, students easily accomplish the learning goals that they have set for themselves.
24–hour unlimited access to content
With the assistance of e-learning, anyone can access the content, contact educators, and give exams for an unlimited number of times with a strong internet connection. This is particularly beneficial for students while preparing for examinations. They can attend the lectures anytime with ease and convenience.
Access to up-to-date content
In e-learning, a course’s contents are updated or changed according to the industry needs and trends. This is practically unthinkable in any other mode of learning.
E-learning offers affordable courses as learning through this mode happens fast and efficiently. A lot of expenses are saved for travel, accommodation, the external course materials, etc. The affordability further enhances the profitability of the e-learning platforms.
It brings learners to the centre of the learning path. E-learning puts personalised content on the table enabling students to have a different view of subjects in a personalised manner. Students can keep an eye on their progress, pending activities, etc.
Eco-friendly way of learning
E-learning encourages a paperless mode of learning, thereby protecting the environment to the best possible extent. By saving the trees, e-learning indeed is an eco-friendly way of learning.
E-learning holds extraordinary relevance to India as the youth constitute a majority of its population. There isn’t any other way to take education on such a colossal scale without technology intervention. The use of e-learning has been witnessed at every level of the education system, including higher education. In the post-pandemic era, e-learning can be visualised as the country’s license to boost its higher education system continually.