Knowledge Portal

Technology and Learning: Models for Change

Technology and Learning: Models for Change

India has the world’s second largest education system, after China. Prior to 2020, traditional learning methods maintained a stronghold. Since last year, the Indian educational system has evolved significantly, and e-learning has acquired substantial traction in the country. Online education or e-learning has forged its way deep inside the education sector (at all levels), backed by the rising momentum and extraordinary growth in internet usage. From being traditionally dominated by classroom teaching and lack of digital infrastructure, it has transformed itself at a rapid pace to adapt to the vacuum created since the onset of Covid-19

Technology has impacted almost every aspect of life today, and education is no exception. It has also begun to change the roles of teachers and learners. In the traditional classroom, the teacher is the primary source of information, and the learners passively receive it. This model of the teacher as the “sage on the stage” has been in education for a long time, and it is still very much in evidence today. However, because of the access to information and educational opportunity that technology has enabled, in many classrooms today we see the teacher’s role shifting to the “guide on the side” as students take more responsibility for their own learning using technology to gather relevant information. Schools and universities across the country are beginning to redesign learning spaces to enable this new model of education, foster more interaction and small group work, and use technology as an enabler.

The perception of online courses has changed significantly in the past decade. Today, most employers and educational institutes understand that an online degree is as efficient and educative as a regular degree programme. Recent years have indeed seen the dominance of online degree programmes. However, the demand for offline courses is still remarkably high. That’s because offline programmes allow students to communicate with peer groups and ask questions to their lecturers directly which can lead to develop and improve the interpersonal skills.

Benefits if pursuing an Online Programme:

Scheduling flexibility: Working professionals would be able to schedule online courses according to their requirements thanks to the option of asynchronous learning.

Geographic flexibility: You can complete your online graduate degree from a university of your choice irrespective of your geographic location.

Lower overall expenditure: The course fee for online courses is lower when compared to traditional courses. Apart from that, students don’t have to bear expenses for the daily commute or pay for college accommodation.

Career advancement: You will get to complete the necessary degrees online to get promotions at your workplace. Working professionals need not leave their job to earn a master’s degree.

Improvement in technical skills: You will learn to use new software suites, study about various formats of online communication, perform detailed research, and more.

People have different learning styles. Some people like the openness of an offline learning environment where they can ask questions and discuss things with others. Other people are more reflective thinkers and like to take in what they read and re-read it until it sticks whether this is online or in text books. They like to learn at their own pace and classroom learning forces them to learn at the class pace which can frustrate them. As such there is no direct comparison of both the systems but even as per the new National Educational Policy (NEP), a hybrid mechanism should be adopted wherein student can learn the behavioural skills along with the domain concept and theories in an offline mode and equip themselves with the skills relevant to their day to day work in the office.

About the Author

Dr. Lalit Sharma
Associate Professor and Area Chair – Business Analytics
Jaipuria School of Business, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad