E-Learning Will Work Wonders To Improve The Quality Of Knowledge Transfer: Srinivasa Addepalli

In an exclusive talk with BW Education, Srinivasa Addepalli, Founder & CEO, GlobalGyan Academy, spoke about the firm and more.

What are your strategies to cope with the impacts of COVID-19 on the teaching-learning process? 

GlobalGyan has been making a shift towards digital and blended learning over the past three years. In fact, over 50% of our revenues last year were from digital learning. Therefore, we were prepared to move to a 100% virtual-digital combination.  

Because of the travel and cost involved, all classroom programs try to pack the day with as much content as possible. That is not really conducive to effective learning. With virtual live sessions, however, we are able to distribute the same content over a period of time, with time for reflection and application by the participants. We are also able to cover larger cohorts of managers simultaneously, thus, making corporate learning not only effective but also cost-effective. 

What kind of changes were made at the infrastructure level?   

Our mobile learning app already offered a great platform for self-paced learning. In fact, when the lockdown began, we offered our learning management system as a free platform to those companies which wanted to launch e-learning immediately without having to invest in any technology of their own. 

We have been using Zoom and other video conferencing apps for live sessions. We have been ramping up our capacity in the creation of digital content and aim to double our content portfolio this year. 

What changes do you see coming into the learning pattern post-COVID-19?  

Learning will become more personal and continuous. Adoption of e-learning will help us overcome the supply constraints of high-quality teachers and space/capacity limitations of a classroom. Simultaneously, learning can be designed for each individual, based on their current capability and the desired improvement, instead of teaching large groups of people at an average level. 

I also feel that the onus on learning will shift to the individual. Particularly, amongst professionals, it has been the accepted view that the employer (corporate) invests in training. That responsibility will now move to the professional – we will have to build our skills to remain competitive in the job market. 

Do you find the platform prepared to fight with such a situation in the future and ensure continued learning? 

The GlobalGyan platform was designed for such a situation – making high-quality learning content available to large numbers of professionals, without the limitations of time and distance. We are continuing to invest in both content and technology development to expand our offerings. 

At the same time, we are, in a way, channel-agnostic. We focus on the desired outcomes and based on the organization/learning culture, we design learning programs that are suitable. Technology tends to play a big role but is just the means to achieve learning goals. 

Do you think online will be the default mode for education in India? Are we ready for this transformation?   

Online cannot be the only or default mode for education. Learning will require multiple modes for it to be effective. When a corporate team goes for classroom training, they are not just learning some skills, but also building relationships and learning from each other. While the skill-building can be shifted online, the need for people to engage with each other will not disappear.

Similarly, a school is not just about teaching six subjects for an exam; students learn values, discipline, collaboration, competition and so much more. E-learning will work wonders to improve the quality of knowledge transfer, but it will need a strong complement from other modes, including learning by doing.  

Professional or executive education is better prepared for this transformation, but at the school and college level, it could take a few years to build the infrastructure & content, and also discover the fine balance between online and physical. 

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