Wednesday, January 19, 2011

e-Learning's making NEWS & not for no reason!

“Pearson gets hold of Tutorvista (a Bangalore based online education firm)” read the headlines of today’s Economic Times. The company was started in 2005 and in 5 years time its value has increased to more than Rs 577 crores. This takeover is a clear indication that the online education system in India has grown huge and has enormous potential which the foreign investors and venture capitalists are willing to tap. This huge market has made it essential for us to understand the potential of e-learning solutions.

The e-based learning system was pioneered by Stanford University during the 1960s. The early e-learning systems had replicated the autocratic teaching styles of the professors. From this we have come a long way where e-learning is not just a method of teaching but that of knowledge sharing.

e-based learning systems started as an integration of computers into classroom teaching environment. The use of presentations and online search to more thoroughly understand the subjects was very innovative and the whole system blended so well into the traditional classroom education. Time constraints and accessibility to classrooms which had computers were persistent problems then. Information technology provided the solution by creating a model of e-learning where there was no need for a physical classroom to be present. Students get study material, presentations, and video lectures online and all that is required is just an internet connection. The various e-learning tools created by companies also include examinations to test our competency in the subjects and have given rise is what is called as Virtual classrooms.

e-learning, though naturally suited to distance education, has evolved to become interface where knowledge is shared. The online streaming of educational videos captures not just the theory but several different approaches to handle the subject. Blended classrooms, where both the physical tutor and online tools are used to teach, have become commonplace. The actual challenge in e-learning is to make the Virtual learning environment as interactive as possible.

So has e-learning revolutionised the distance education (correspondence) courses? What is the impact of e-learning in India? How big is e-learning market in India and what are the reasons for its growth? Follow our blog for answers.

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