Tag : online education

Online Education

As online education gains momentum, can India tap its full potential? Insights from U.S.-based professor Hari K. Rajagopalan.

I work in a small public university in South Carolina, U.S., and we pride ourselves on providing an excellent liberal arts education. The School of Business is accredited at the highest level by AACSB, an international accreditation body, for both its Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes. The 2008 recession and the resulting slump in the economy caused enrolments in the MBA programme to drop. By 2011, we had to take a call about continuing with the MBA programme.

The first thing we did was take a survey of our former students and companies in our area who pay for their employees to do an MBA. The most important feedback was that attending classes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. after a full day’s work was not convenient for them. Online programmes, they pointed out, were convenient and more suitable for working adults. Many colleagues in public and private universities who don’t offer online classes believe that online education courses do not have the same rigour or value as the traditional style of education.

Rising popularity

However, I believe that this attitude is wrong. Online learning is here to stay and I believe it will revolutionise the education industry. It will make learning more accessible, cheaper and might enhance the learning experience for students if done properly. It is important, however, to ensure that the learning experience is legitimate and implemented correctly.

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The education sector in India is no longer bound to just classrooms. Thanks to new start-ups and higher internet and smartphone penetration, the online learning space in India is growing manifold.

The e-learning market in India is estimated to be around $3 billion. The central government’s efforts to make available to students in every corner of the country is also aiding the sector.

Currently, online training in India focuses equally on both school and college-based courses as well as mid-level professional courses.

For instance, Bengaluru-based provides practice papers for all engineering and medical entrance tests in India. The company aims to help students focus on the right subjects and contents rather than swim blindly in an ocean of study materials available across different media. Also, they focus on convenience-based training because online capability enables students to get access to subjects anytime and anywhere.

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