Digitisation Of Education & It's Impact On Proliferation Of Education Across The Country

Digitisation Of Education & It's Impact On Proliferation Of Education Across The Country

By: Dr. RoopaAdyasha, Senior Manager- CDS, IIM Bangalore | Friday, 25 November 2022

Dr. Roopa is a passionate educator, a life-long learner, and a people-centric career development professional. Her 20 plus years of experience in the education industry spans across Teaching, Training, and leading academia-industry partnerships in Executive education and Campus Placements. Her endeavor is to inspire and empower students to go beyond their expectations and to make a difference in their lives. She champions fitness and a healthy lifestyle for a happy work- life balance.

CAUSE & EFFECT:

Remote work and work from home is the new normal for many organisations today. With the changing dynamics of work, recruiters today are looking for niche skills like collaboration technologies, cyber security, resilience, emotional intelligence, and more,in their workforce. These skills may not have been acquired by the employees in their education and qualifications from theiruniversitys' already established curriculums. Hence, as the talent shortages are increasing rapidly,the traditional education models need to be revisited and recalibrated.

"Technological innovation can be leveraged to unleash human potential", says the World Economic Forum's Founder and Executive Chairman, Professor Klaus Schwab and as adoption of technology increases, 50 percent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025.

According to the Salesforce Global Digital Skills Index 2022: "Among 19 countries, India has the Index's highest digital readiness score at 63 out of 100. In India, 72 percent of respondents say they are very actively learning digital skills now to prepare themselves for the future of work".

Year 2020 became the fulcrum for new learning models and technologies and blended i.e. hybrid mode of learning became the new value proposition for many universities and institutions for proliferating across the country. The `online-mode also' courses and MOOCs have also moved from the earlier linear model to a more asynchronous non-linear structure.

THE IMPACT:

The digitisation of educationhas given the flexibility, affordability, and accessibility to learners customised to the learner's current needs, depending on who they are, what they do and what learning outcomes they expect. These new learning models embrace AI-powered adaptive learning which are basically stackable inter-related learning nuggets in smaller chunks to address a specific skill. For example, if the learner has learnt data mining skills and advanced modelling techniques, then he can create and explain big data results.

This trend of learning outcomes/competency based online learningwould be the new path-breaking model of online education where it focusses on knowledge and application of that knowledge in measuring the learning objectives that the learners have gained.

In an HBR article published in September 2020, authors Sean Gallagher and Jason Palmer highlight that this trend that could be a paradigm shift in the way education and qualifications are perceived by the industry and employers.

They highlighted that `unbundling' of degrees into shorter form micro credentials that are stackable as a larger lifelong curriculum with online, digital credentials focused on certificates and certifications that summarize achievement, skills or competency could be the shift from the traditional static degrees, marksheets and transcripts.

THE FUTURE:

With the shrinking shelf life of skills, the demand for workforce reskilling, upskilling and lifelong learning, could open new revenue streams for an agile, affordable, digitally credentialled certificationsand an efficient learning ecosystem.

Leah Belsky(Chief Enterprise Officer at Coursera), in one of her articles in HBR, talks about how universities should take this as an inflection point and harness emerging technologies in providing adaptive and curated learning experiences for effective outcomes. Universities could collaborate with industry, learning communities, top universities, and governments to create stronger learning engagements. Technology -driven collaborations could also alleviate faculty shortages, leverage the best minds in the industry from any geography, and reach geographically diverse learners across the country.

In an HBR article published in May 2020, the authorsDeVaney, Shimshon,Rascoff, andMaggioncalda, have highlighted that though the pandemic forced many universities to go into online mode, going forward it is critical for higher education institutions to future-proof themselves from such exigencies and have a framework in place for virtual learning.

"The digitisation of education has given the flexibility, affordability, and accessibility to learners customised to the learner's current needs, depending on who they are, what they do and what learning outcomes they expect"

Universities should work towards a digital transformation strategy which includes building a robust digital learning infrastructure, using machine-learning solutions like Coursematch, community engagement through crowd-sourced notes, study groups, virtual coffee/happy hours, and live-streamed events, global expeditions and gamification.

Universities could offer hybrid programs which blend in-classroom experiences with online components for the learner to have the best of both worlds.Moreover, these digital natives/learners living in the instant gratification online world, could fare better in a hybrid model of learning than the traditional classroom and paper-based evaluation system.

Universities could offer hybrid programs which blend in-classroom experiences with online components for the learner to have the best of both worlds.Moreover, these digital natives/learners living in the instant gratification online world, could fare better in a hybrid model of learning than the traditional classroom and paper-based evaluation system.

This could lead to greater education-workforce alignment and bridge the skill-gap of demand vs. supply in the industry and thereby universities can act as a catalyst for being lifelong learning enablers.

THE QUINTESSENTIAL CORE:

However, there will always be something special in a face-to-face, teacher-student experience in a classroom. Therefore, in the new era of hybrid learning ecosystem, educators can play the role more of a coach or mentor and help students in class for assimilation and real-world application of the online learnings.

Skills like communication, collaboration, soft skills, empathy, and likeare difficult to acquire in an online mode of learning. The fundamental and theoretical concepts of many subjects/topics can be moved online for the learners to understand the basics and come prepared to class. Teachers could help internalize the online learnings through their research/case-based teaching, and plough back their insights and experiencesin the classroom environment.

And last but not the least, the crux of this model and its efficacy lies in the fact that the physical (human connect) and the virtual(online learning) should complement each other and not act as a substitute.