Virtual Classroom Could Be the Next Big Thing in the Education Training Industry
Technology has transformed the education industry and has the potential to accelerate, amplify, and expand the impact of powerful principles of learning. It can help capture learners’ attention by tapping into their interests and passions. With an influx of new learning models available, traditional educational methods are bound to evolve in the next decade. While there are numerous benefits to online learning, there is a significant increase in the levels of engagement and flexibility with live or virtual classes.
According to a survey, of students who are currently using offline modes for exam preparation, 70% would shift to online learning if given access to online Live classes and 80% cited ‘access to expert faculty’ as the primary reason to make this shift. 46% of students are preparing for Medical and Engineering entrance exams and 20% of those inclined towards online live classes are preparing for GATE.
Over 90% of the students said that they would choose online modes of learning rather than offline coaching. Factors such as ‘convenience’ of preparing from home, ‘access to live classes’ and ‘cost-benefit’ are the top 3 drivers for this choice. 20% said they would be willing to pay extra for access to live classes. 63% amongst those students that prefer online learning would choose live classes for their exam preparation, while 29%, would choose recorded lectures. The top reasons students stated for choosing live classes are 'interactive classes for instant doubt resolution' and 'proper planning through a day-wise study plan'.
Thus, it is clear that this mode of study is steadily disrupting offline coaching and recorded lectures, as students are seeing the results and realising the scope and impact of using live online classes for their preparation.
In conversation with Franchise India, Shobhit Bhatnagar, CEO and Co-Founder, Gradeup, talks about the emerging trend of virtual or live classrooms.
The emergence of Technology in Coaching Industry
While in earlier years students would depend majorly on books and photocopied notes at their tuition and coaching centres, the internet and e-learning platforms, in particular, have changed that. The fast-paced lifestyles of today demand quick and accurate solutions and students have less time to sit through and chart out what and how to study. This is where Ed-tech brands are providing comprehensive solutions by bringing about new forms of learning and assessment backed by the latest technology, which ensure their offerings match the evolving requirements of students.
Several exams today are also shifting to online modes. So, students are increasingly becoming comfortable with preparing online for an online exam as opposed to spending time writing and shuffling through several pages of physical notes. All they have to do now is log on to the websites or apps, and their plan and material are in front of them. By providing a systematic approach, Ed-tech platforms are successful in helping students complete their course, not just quickly but with a better understanding. Additionally, the technology-driven nature makes it easier to adapt, tweak and add features and material wherever necessary.
Driving Factors behind the demand for live classrooms
While there are numerous benefits to online learning, there is a significant increase in the levels of engagement and flexibility with live classes. These are major factors in keeping students motivated to continue to depend on the platform for their preparation needs.
The element of online live classes that is most attractive to students is that they provide a classroom-like experience from the comfort of one’s home. Students can interact with teachers instantly as they would in class, raise questions and get a deeper insight into what is being taught. In addition to this, they have a structured day-wise study plan to work with, as well as continuous evaluation with live analysis to track their progress. Students also have access to mentor support 24x7, so they can solve doubts without having to wait for the next lecture.
The learning with online live classes also extends beyond the classes to regular quizzes, mock tests, interview preparation, and other forms of gamified learning which provide a simulation to give students a better idea of the practical application of what is being taught. This greatly heightens the efficacy of learning outcomes by enhancing retention and understanding. With an open forum for discussion, students also get to learn from each other’s questions and doubts.
With the extent of learning that is delivered with virtual classrooms, students’ education is enriched like never before, ensuring that they are on-track with their preparation and helping them get better scores. This mode of learning is also creating a more collaborative ecosystem as opposed to an individualistic one. It is also more accessible and affordable for a large number of students, thus helping to democratise education worldwide.
Scale Up Your Coaching Business
‘Competition for competitive exam preparation’ is a problem that is unique to India. Every year, more than 12 lakh candidates appear for the UPSC examinations alone, with a success rate of 0.08%. If one includes all the other competitive exams for government services and accounts for repeat candidates, this still puts the figure well above 3 crores. Armed with nothing but great aspirations and facing stifling competition, these students pin all their hopes on institutions for exam preparation.
This has led to the mushrooming of thousands of ‘coaching centres’ across big cities and hubs. However, these are still out of reach for a majority of aspirants based out of smaller towns or remote locations. While this problem of accessibility has been addressed to a large extent by the Ed-tech space, the real problem still persisted – accessibility to effective preparation. Online players largely relied on recorded videos and shaping offline content in the online space to enhance learning. This, unfortunately, did not do much for engagement levels, which remained poor, and the efficacy of this approach was questionable to a large extent. Hence, there was a need for a solution that focused specifically on the Indian context.
Online live classes have been proven to be at least 4X more engaging than recorded sessions. This, in turn, becomes more effective in terms of retention of the subject matter.