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The Growing Role Of Interactivity In E-learning

Today, e-learning is no more just an alternative means but a prominent way to learn, educate and build specialization in the field of interest.

The education segment has witnessed a tremendous transformation over the past decade with the emergence of new and improved learning models. Away from the traditional classroom model, due to the need for continuous upskilling, education today has metamorphosed into instant, online, flexible, and on-the-go learning. Moreover, with the democratization of technology and the internet's growth, online education has witnessed a rapid surge, with learners across levels embracing the new model. Today, e-learning is no more just an alternative means but a prominent way to learn, educate and build specialization in the field of interest. Besides, the pandemic's disruption has provided learners across levels with an opportunity to experience virtual and remote learning experiences.

However, these new avenues of learning and the surge in popularity of e-learning platforms have also brought more recent challenges. For many students, the classroom has always been the place where they find the best learning environment - providing them with the opportunity to engage and have a much-focused conversation with the subject matter expert besides their peers to share knowledge and clarify their doubts. Furthermore, there have also been questions about the effectiveness of the new model and the learning outcomes.

Making learning more effective and meaningful

E-learning is a broad term that has been widely used for a variety of remote learning experiences. Any e-learning course's effectiveness depends on numerous factors from course content, learning module, and ensuring a swift delivery cycle. However, interactive learning is critical to making any digital course exciting and meaningful for students.

Many educational institutions offering e-learning courses rely on recorded audio-visual content, but this often leads to loss of interest among participants and may result in lower learning outcomes. In contrast, new synchronous models of e-learning focus on reinforcing the building more significant engagement opportunities using technology's power, providing students a platform to interact live with the faculty member or subject matter expert and an opportunity to network with each other. In the case of synchronous learning, though the engagement is virtual and distant, the learners don't miss out on the real-time exchange of inputs and feedback. Moreover, to bring alive the classroom experience, educators also use various activities, including small group assignments, quizzes, case studies, simulations, and group discussions. Online examination tools with AI proctored test and now with the facility of remote invigilation makes the learning outcomes as closer to the real classroom learning.

The rise of EdTech platforms in India has also brought a great deal of transformation in online learning, exploring new ways to drive interactivity and creating more engaging experiences. From managing screen space to developing the interactive interface and building new tools and options for ease of use, e-learning platforms have evolved to provide nothing less than classroom experience. Learners can virtually raise their hands to ask questions, converse and use whiteboard tools when required, and even deliver the session as a co-presenter. For teachers, this provides for greater control and complete visibility on the group of students. Moreover, they can virtually initiate a quiz, discussion, or any other group activities through virtual break-out rooms with much ease.

For effective online teaching, educators require meticulous planning and more overall effort than traditional classroom teaching of the same material. Besides setting up the right infrastructure, it's equally important for educators to create a compelling, engaging, enjoyable learning environment for students. Like few of the premier IIMs and IITs already offers a series of specialized live interactive online courses both in the management as well as a technical field. However, the disruption bought by the pandemic has now pushed a large segment of Universities and institutions to make a considerable shift towards embracing the online medium. Universities and institutes are increasingly working with established EdTech services to offer students multiple choice of courses and an opportunity to learn from the best of faculty without having to travel any distance. Moreover, this also helps the institution evolve and keep pace with the technological transformation happening worldwide.

Considering the tremendous distance e-learning has covered in the past and the growing democratization of technology, there's no doubt that e-learning will also witness considerable changes in the near future. Still, it's safe to admit that interactivity will remain the critical pillar around which e-learning will shape its progress further.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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