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The Likely Impact of Covid-19 in Shaping the Education Industry

The Likely Impact of Covid-19 in Shaping the Education Industry

The Likely Impact of Covid-19 in Shaping the Education Industry

By Admin / May 19, 2020


In the immediate context, Covid-19 has impacted our lives in ways thought unimaginable just a little while ago. It has brought in its wake nothing short of bloodbath to our lives and livelihood. Will Covid-19 be a watershed event for the way we live, the way we earn our livelihood, even the way we learn/teach? Some might say it's too early to answer the question. But the changes are most likely to be nothing short of cataclysmic.  
 
Take education for instance, education that supplements school, college and university learning. Not that primary learning (k-12 and higher education) is going to be impacted any less. Online education is going to change, for the better. Pre-Covid-19, online education was only supplemental - brick and mortar learning was central. Covid-19 has violently shaken up the status quo. Roles are likely to change for the teachers, the institutes, the learners. 

Once operations resume, there will be issues with sustainability of coaching institutes. The establishment expenses, coupled with the dwindling number of learners, as well as low margins, will take their toll. Simulation-based, platform only, ed-tech players will see an increased adoption. Online learning will see exponential growth, being the only way left for students and service providers alike. The catchwords will be digital content, technology, and delivery capabilities. Trainers' time will increasingly need to be utilised for e-content development and e-training delivery. Emphasis will be on ramping up digital resources, leveraging e-learning platform to achieve target-based learning, empowering self-study tools (like Study Guide to know what to do and when, Test Generator for tailor-made requirements, Challenge Zone, Quiz Zone, and the like) for the students (keeping remediation both accessible and sustainable), and digital aids for the teachers, targeting effective delivery and assessment online. 
So, how is the exam prep going to be like in post-covid times? Students are increasingly gravitating towards live classes, no doubt. But, in the immediate context, the learning outcomes remain far from integrated and the delivery remains lopsided. So much so that students miss live classrooms, the brick and mortar type. Both the recipients and the providers are probing in the dark, trying to find the way out. 

It is time now for the coaching centres and the students to get more demanding. The learners look for value additions on top of a type of home delivery of content - both teaching and testing. Focus is going to be increasingly on effectiveness, on value added service, on ERP support that includes promotions, leads, attendance regulations, fee management et al. 


If you are a student, look not for fragmented learning, not even for a sum of fragmented parts, but for an integrated program that includes audio-visual aids, book learning, practice exercises topic-wise, strength-weakness analysis, remedial learning/testing - personalised trainer-like, simulated assessments, peer comparison and so much more. Look for target-based learning, for empowering self-study tools, like Study Guide, Test Generator, Challenge Zone, Quiz Zone and so much more. Of course, you can get them all under one umbrella @TCYonline.com. To take a simple but apt analogy, let us take the example of diagnostic tools for medical treatment. It all begins with those simple diagnostics, the x-rays, the MRIs, and the like. What do they all do? They help the medical expert pinpoint and address the problem. The diagnostic tools with the educationist are different. But they all achieve the same result - address the problems and lead the student to success in the immediate and the successive exams. Equipped with the tools, such as the Study Guide, Test Generator, the Challenge Zone, the Quiz Zone, even the student feels empowered to crack the exams and taste success. 

Covid-19 impact on Edu-tech Industry
 Let's also take a look at the whole canvas of education industry in post-covid times. Some of the projected changes may look unimaginable today. Yet, there should be not an iota of doubt that we are steadily but surely proceeding towards the scenario given below, starting with changes at the micro level, going on to the macro:
1. All or most of the testing, whether for placements or for admissions, is sure to go online. This trend has been visible in the pre-covid times also. But the industry will go the whole hog into online testing immediately now. So, adieu to paper and pencil tests now! 

2. Even among online tests, the need for social distancing will herald a trend towards 'test from home' on the lines of 'work from home'. This may seem rather far-fetched today, but is a distinct possibility in none-too- distant future. The stakeholders involved will find ways to proctor the exams without human involvement, so that the test is as good under controlled conditions, as it could be in the most secure environs of examination hall. 

3. There is going to be a move towards greater objectivity in testing. The long answer type questions are hard to evaluate without human involvement. And human involvement of this type is sure to become a dispensable commodity in post-covid times. So, let us all brace up for MCQ type objective testing at all levels and in all spheres. 

4. Even where it is highly desirable to test the examinee in a subjective manner, ways will be found to make the testing and evaluation rather standardised so that evaluation is free of human intervention and the inherent human biases. Some of the exams at the international level have already delved into machine evaluation even for such subjective (long-answer type) questions. 

5. If there is going to be objectivity in testing, the same is going to be true of education delivery as well. Where the lectures are largely monologues today, much of which goes over the heads of the listener (student), they are going to be much more objective, to the point, and interactive now. Now that the audience will be sitting in the virtual classrooms, nobody will have the ear or the patience for unnecessary detail that will be deemed as noise. For the virtual classes will be supported with and governed by power-point presentations and audio-visual aids that allow for little divergence from the topic. So, adieu to classroom sessions with all that boring detail, and welcome to virtual classrooms with crisp, interactive sessions. 

6. With classrooms within the primary institutions of learning, viz the school, the college and the university, adopting ways of learning hitherto considered the exclusive domain of supplemental education, there's going to be increasing convergence between the two. It seemed until the other day that the primary institutions of learning are focused on graded learning and those of supplemental education at competitive learning. The difference, whether it exists on the ground, or in the student's mind, is surely going to disappear in the post-covid times. 

7. There also is going to be greater integration between tutoring and testing. Right now assessments are not considered to be at the core of learning. They are rather thought to be supplemental, aimed primarily at certification of eligibility, rather than as a means to impart and regulate. There surely is going to be a move towards tutoring-testing-remedial tutoring-evaluation cycle, which puts assessments at the core of the learning activity. Feedback, analytics, remedials, doubt sessions are all going to be part of this overall teaching-testing process. All the tools of learning - the books, the lectures, the audio-visuals, the companion, classroom, mock tests, the doubt sessions, the remedials - all flow naturally from one to the other. 

8 With the preponderance of online, integrated tutoring-testing-remedial, student time will be better utilised. No time lost in commuting from home to the institution of learning, convenience of time of studies et al. No sacrifice of work hours, no tight-rope balancing between work and learning. 

9. There also will be better utilisation of teaching resources. No time lost in commute. No limit of student intake due to constraints of time and place. Recorded lectures to take care of abstentions and doubts. 

10. The rural-urban, the metro-non-metro divide, will gradually disappear, because online tutoring/testing doesn't differentiate between students separated by geographic locations, or, for that matter, between any other socio-economic divides. 

11. The education industry that is hugely fragmented as of now, will consolidate gradually as the competition heats up and drives out fringe players. The fewer players left are fitter, leaner and meaner, as they would have been tested through fire. These few players do not need to be standalone entities, but are more likely to be a network of smaller players under one umbrella, that makes them all viable. The free interplay of market forces would also bring about dramatic improvements in the quality standards. Education is turned into a freely tradable commodity. In the market place, there are education providers and education consumers. The market decides who gets what chunk of the pie. They say competition does everything -- pulls up the quality standards, and drags down the prices. Wait for universal online education to do all this to the education industry. 

12. Will it be a surprise then, if education turns global in true sense, and gets delivered universally at the global scale? 

All this, and more, lies in the future, post-covid. For now, the mantra for success, for any student is, do the online exam practice in a focused, integrated manner. Go to the exam well-equipped, rather than with blind, unfocused practice. 

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Last updated on : Nov 27, 2020