Perspective Education

Ensure uniformity and quality

One of the main problems being faced by e-learning today is the lack of standardisation of courses. Each e-learning company follows its own set of rules, curriculum, and evaluation. As a result, there is no uniformity in the education provided. A standardisation of online content is the need of the hour to avoid disparity in education across disciplines.

While this is also required in primary education to ensure uniform learning, it is extremely crucial for high school and college education because this is where career building happens.

Standardisation implies common elements will be implemented similarly in all the modules of the curriculum. This enables interoperability between platforms from different suppliers, reuse of technology-based learning content across multiple environments and products, and ensures compliance throughout the industry. It also enables content to be independent of technologies, systems, and devices.

Need for a governing body

There is an urgent need to set up a nodal body to look into the working and standardisation of e-learning content. Not only should it ensure uniformity of curriculum across companies, but should also approve content that enables students to stay on a portal rather than swap platforms in search of solutions. Apart from ensuring credibility to a particular portal, it will also ensure continuity in education when students move to e-learning from a regular classroom.

The other primary job of the nodal body is to ensure quality of content for online courses for higher education and college education. One of the key reasons for the success of global online education providers is the strict standards for content quality. We have to emulate that model in India.

One of the major impediments in quality classroom education has been its high cost, which leads to affordability issues. The regulatory body for e-learning should ensure that education is made accessible and affordable for all by keeping the costs to a minimum. At the same time, financial help in the form of scholarships, EMIs, and discounts should also be provided.

Another advantage of the e-learning model is its higher geographical reach. Since online learning is not restricted to any particular location, it will enable students from remote areas to access standardised quality content. This could provide solutions to the demand and supply gap in education.

Another important factor is to see that content and curriculum are both upgraded and updated regularly. With modern technology entering the education space, the inclusion of Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are needed to upgrade e-learning solutions. At the same time, regular links with the industry are required, especially for technical courses, to align the content with the developments. To make a mark globally, e-learning companies should follow best practices from the best in the world.

Therefore, apart from providing standardised quality content, India also requires a regulatory body to ensure one uniform standard for e-learning.

The writer is Chairman, Ampersand Group

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2020 6:07:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/standardisation-of-content-is-the-need-of-the-hour/article32821143.ece

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