Sanjay Purohit, Founder CEO, iProf India, speaks exclusively to Thinking Aloud, on the way ahead for education in the digital era.
TA: The online education marketplace is becoming bigger and more diverse. How big an opportunity it is for young entrepreneurs?
SP: With 400+ million learners & acute shortage of good teachers, the massive demand of eLearning is inevitable; it will only become bigger from here. In fact, e-learning has seen the steepest growth in the recent past in terms of adaptability due to higher penetration of Tablets, Smartphones.
However, it’s a tough nut to crack, paying for digital content is not something that Indians have accepted, and they expect everything on net to be free…therefore the monetary growth is steady but slow, so young entrepreneurs in edtech space should be innovative but patient.
TA: What are your views on cloud based learning? Will it be the next big thing in the online learning space?
SP: Cloud based learning is the technology behind the new eLearning which gives students access to content from anywhere in the world, which makes it highly scalable. In fact cloud based learning is the reason of massive growth in e-learning users. Students can learn anytime from anywhere at their own pace. So yes, it is the next big thing considering the penetration of internet in terms of availability and affordability.
TA: How big a role does big data play in the process of eLearning?
SP: Big data plays a very critical role in the process of e-learning, since e-learning is not limited to students viewing videos sitting at home on their PC’s. It’s way bigger than that, students now access content across multiple devices like, PC’s, tablets, Smartphones and have different behaviors on different devices.
e-learning companies capture different data points across different devices of users based on their learning patters, test scores, Geo location etc. Big data helps in processing these data points and recommend relevant study material to students that can make their overall learning much more effective.
TA: 2015 was the year of mobile, the space will only get bigger in 2016, what are your plans to leverage the mobile sector with regards eLearning?
SP: Yes agreed, in fact this pattern was clearly visible from 2014 and being the innovators in digital education delivery. iProf had already launched our mobile application in Dec 2014 and now has more than 1.8 million installs at Google Play Store. Since mobile is a personalized way of learning anytime, anywhere, we had customized our learning packages to small / sachet level packages wherein students can learn any topic / chapter of their choice on the go with minimum internet requirements.
We analyse the learning behavior of students and based on the data points captured, we do product enhancements
TA: We have been hearing a lot about gamification of eLearning. Will online courses become more fun & interactive in the coming months?
SP: As mentioned, learning is a process and outcome is critical. When we learn from doing interactive stuff, we retain more. Gamification will surely help students to retain more. However, it is vital for the creators of such games to bring concepts application and ensure the learning happens, not just a games.