The state of higher education in India holds a lot of scope for improvement and this probably would be the right time to pull up the socks.
“There is need for universities to gear up and take course of action in order to not lose the monopoly of awarding degrees”, says Vikas Gupta, MD, Wiley India. The problem lies in the challenges faced and the gaps unfilled. Still, most universities are not being able to produce job-ready workforce. And more people are picking the online education as the benefits they reap give them more opportunities as compared to the traditional degrees. Again the reason is the lack of skilling.
Academic institutions are not being able to contribute much in solving the problem of unemployment by not updating to the need of the hour in terms of disciplines taught to students along with not skilling students enough to be ready for the industry needs. To make sure, universities don’t lose their value and continue to thrive in the digital age; it has become necessary for certain things to be updated. The institutions need to opt for new-age education models in order to remain relevant in the coming times.
The following points from our conversation will help you get a better insight into the solutions that can be of help:
1. Motivate Faculty to use EdTech Tools in Classroom
The educators must include technology in their classrooms and cultivate the habit of including technology in their pedagogy to make learning student centered and efficient for all. The traditional profile of a student has been upgraded. It is no more a student from school enrolled in a full-time course to complete a degree. Students today expect more than that. They are looking for customization and flexibility. Technology caters to both these needs. Also, with tech in hand teachers can help students with personalized learning. Without edtech in action, it would be very difficult to implement personalized learning as digital content and adaptive learning software can provide resources and content as per individuals’ needs but in real time educators doing the same would be a nightmare.
2. Curriculum-creation based on collaboration between institute and industry
Now this is one big step but also an important one. Industries and institutes working hand in hand will help make the youth job ready by preparing and skilling them as per industries needs and expectations.
Curriculum must be in accordance to prepare students for the ordeals they are going to face when they will be in action. So industry’s inclusion in the curriculum can benefit students as their input will help towards better learning of the course and making students industry ready. By doing so students will be exposed to the world of emerging technology and help them stay industry relevant. “Skills such as problem solving, analytical thinking ability, contextual decision making is one of the most sought-after requirements of most industrial organizations”, says Vikas Gupta.
The involvement of industry at different levels can enhanced the learning of the students along with developing industry specific skills. Also, students can obtain industry-based training right after they complete their degrees if they meet the predefined eligibility decided by institute and industry.
This collaboration of the two can benefit in the following manner:
- Designing of more relevant curriculum
- More placement opportunities
- Strengthen practical skills of students
- Upgrade the student with current technologies
- To provide industry ready employees to industry
- To conduct industry specific research at institute
- Reduce recruitment cost for industries significantly
- To conduct collaborative research
3. Flipped Classroom/Blended Models
Flipped classroom model is necessary in order to make sure education is imparted efficiently and is being effective. This again requires use of technology for learning. However, when we speak of flipped classroom, we see it as an innovative solution to the unmet challenges of traditional education. These classrooms make good use of technology. For instance, using video technology, students digest content at their own pace and use their time in the classroom to attack difficult problems. This provides the best of both worlds and also creates practical instances to foster face-to-face collaboration. The true essence of this method is its focus on students, who go from passive receivers to active participants in their own learning.
4. All learning needs to bidirectional, social and affordable
The true benefit of all these much needed changes will be reaped if the education continues to be bidirectional, social and affordable. If all the cost of these changes is transferred upon the tuition fee of the students, then again we come back to square one as students do have the option to go for the reasonable MOOCs. Also, diverse cultural background and family provisions impact education attainment of students so this must be worked upon. To make sure learning checks on all three parameters mentioned, regulators must appreciate online as a viable medium of learning and probably work around and provide a forward looking education ecosystem.
Education today is at the heart of the future industry 4.0 and civilization, and learners will be at the center of the future ecosystem in Education 4.0. It has to empower learners to pave their learning paths as it is characterized by personalization of learning experience. Education 4.0 must provide the learner with complete flexibility to build their own future.
Increased innovation in teaching methods; demand for an improved higher education experience and availability of better learning opportunities supported by technology have been the major impetus for this shift toward personalization. Technology has made personalized learning both approachable and dynamic. Without educational technology it would be impossible to meet the future expectations and needs of the education 4.0 and that of a learners’ too!
In conclusion, Vikas Gupta says, “We live in a world that’s being shaped by technological advancements by the minute. The first steps towards tackling the winds of change and bracing against the waves of automation is to embrace it. By restructuring the curriculum of our educational institutes, we take a step towards making this feasible.”
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