Continuous learning is not a new concept. It is in existence for decades. Learning is required for Enhancing existing capabilities or for developing new capabilities. The moment you stop learning, your growth starts declining or becoming stagnant. There is no age for learning.
Students may learn new things (music, sports, etc.) out of personal interest or out of competitive intent to perform better than peers. Similarly, a working professional needs to learn continuously to keep pace with the technology, manage their work better, employer incentive, promotion, or out of their own personal interest.
Today, Covid 19 pandemic, underscores the importance of continuous learning through online education. Digital is the way to keep oneself ahead of the curve. There are hundreds of online platforms (YouTube, Udemy, Biju’s, Skill fin Learning, etc.) providing education content on a wide range of topics. Enrollment in online education is reaching new highs every month. The affordability, easy accessibility, quality of content on these platforms have revolutionized the preference for online learning across the globe. People have 24 hours of access to these courses through mobile phones/ laptops.
The business models for these EdTech platforms are also quite different. Let’s discuss a few of them in this article.
Online Learning Platforms
Many EdTech platforms (like Udemy) provide pre-recorded online educational video content. These platforms provide the content for a nominal price ($5-10 per course). Millions of students/ professionals globally enroll in these courses every month because of affordability and accessibility. The content is available on a wide range of topics (from music, cooking, communication to programming).
Though these courses are available on these platforms are easily available. There are a few challenges/limitations faced by these platforms.
Learning always requires self-discipline and motivation. Historical data suggests that the completion rate for enrolled online courses on these platforms is very low. People enroll in multiple courses because of low costs but are not able to complete them because of a lack of motivation and self-discipline.
The quality of content on these platforms is not always good. Since there are no quality checks, any person whether an expert or not can upload his/her content on these platforms.
There is no obligation for professors to interact with their students. Students have limited or no access to their professors therefore clarifications on doubts is not always possible.
Content on these platforms is mostly theory-based. It often lacks practice-based learning.
In this model, education is provided to students virtually through online classes. Students can interact online with teachers as well as with other students. It is a virtual classroom learning, as an in-person learning model. The advantage of this model is that there is a regular interaction between student and teacher and it includes both theoretical and practice-based learning.
The challenge with such EdTech Platforms is that the courses provided by them are more expensive compared to online pre-recorded courses and not always affordable.
Online content with Instructor-led sessions (Hybrid model)
While there are gaps in both prerecorded online learning content and online class model, a third model has emerged off late which is the Assisted Learning Program. In this model, the prerecorded education content is available online along with live instructor-led sessions.
Skillfin Learning is one such platform providing a personalized learning experience, thereby bridging the gap between Online Learning and Online Classes. Once a student enrolls in these courses, they interact with them on a regular basis to keep them motivated and rewards them for completion of their courses. Along with quality video content they provide weekly sessions covering different topics and clarifying doubts of their students.
The advantage of this hybrid model is that it bridges the gap between online learning and online classes. The courses on such platforms are available at affordable rates. It also provides an opportunity for regular interaction between students with teachers and also includes both theoretical and practice-based learning.
While there are multiple models of how we can learn new things. One thing which the Covid-19 crisis has confirmed is that Digital is the future of learning.
Today there are multiple learning platforms and learning models (a few of which are discussed above). All you need is a mobile or a laptop and a little motivation to learn something new. It is difficult to generalize which learning model or platform is better than the other. You should choose whatever suits you best depending on your requirements and the time you want to invest.