Education

Survival of the fittest

With the ever-increasing use of online learning management systems and customisable tools, reaching individual learners is becoming more feasible   | Photo Credit: Pixabay

‘Ed-tech’ is not a new word any more. An increase in digitisation during the pandemic, constant innovation in providing unique services, and an ever-evolving consumer base has given the sector a big boost.

India stands second only to the U.S. as far as growth is concerned. Between January 2014 and September 2019, more than 4,450 ed-tech start-ups were launched in India. However, 25% closed down as only 4.17% were able to raise funds. One reason is the failure to plan and customise solutions according to the customer base. Online classes are simply administered without taking into account a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses.

Personalising learning to cater to every student seems nearly impossible. However, with the ever-increasing use of online learning management systems and customisable tools, reaching individual learners is becoming more feasible. Two areas that are specifically gaining more traction are adaptive learning and augmented intelligence.

Customised learning

The need for customised learning solutions arises from the fact that educators want a platform that can do just about everything for them. Existing platforms or solutions are not built to suit the needs of any one customer, school, or learning style. This is where a custom technology solution comes to use.

There has been a recent shift in focus from ‘What we want students to see’ to ‘How can we intervene more rapidly to provide timely extension and remediation?’, which means learners are placed at the centre of the entire process. Schools want to customise instructions to meet the individual needs and interests of students while making them accountable for their own learning.

What better way to do this than customising the learning platform for adaptive learning? Needless to say, customisation at this level will need intensive planning and attention to detail.

For example, if Nathan has problems with additions in maths, pre-recorded material and pre-set worksheets won’t help him understand. Instead of just continuing with the syllabus, what he needs is a mentor who will help him solve his problem in real time and facilitate learning.

Not all children absorb material at the same speed, as every child’s learning style and capability varies. Skilfully customised mentoring will allow teachers to personalise their lesson plans to meet the needs of individual students and allow the latter to learn at a pace best suited to them and thereby reach their potential.

It won’t be wrong to conclude that platforms that offer students customisation and options of learning will be successful rather than those with a rigid ‘one-size-for-all’ approach.

While self-paced learning through pre-recorded video offers flexibility, a student doesn’t have the opportunity to ask questions on a real-time basis.

Hence, there is a need for platforms that allow greater interaction and more feedback between a student and their tutor.

The writer is Founder and CEO of GuruQ


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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 8:40:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/why-customisation-and-planning-are-key-for-edtech-companies/article33702355.ece

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