Education is at the heart of any learning experience, and as a society we have laid out pathways for the learners at various stages of one’s life. Learning is a never ending process, and education helps the learners embark on a path filled with self-enlightenment, and to understand the depth and technical know-how of any particular field of interest to the learner. Since our childhood we have been imparted knowledge, skills and even values which we are expected to adopt as best practices. We have been following an instructor-led approach and I personally recall the time when I was pursuing education in my schooling days. It was nonetheless filled with knowledge, fun and collaboration amongst peers, and of course loads of other memorable and awesome experiences in my journey throughout. But at the same time, now that technology is here at our disposal, why not make the maximum use of it?
It is human nature to keep on evolving and optimizing existing processes and systems in place, and with the technologies and innovations taking place, it becomes quite necessary that old practices give way to new ones while keeping the best practices intact or upgrading them effectively.
Below we have mentioned 4 major problems plagued by the Education industry at large, and what we can do to solve them:
- Solving the Skills Gap and Low Retention
Technology, as it stands as of today, has come a long way forward and there is tremendous promise that it holds in the future as well. Education industry is foreseeing a considerable gap when it comes to making students industry-ready, and there are now separate courses to fulfil those specific needs as well. There is also a problem of retention rates which are considerably low for the traditional training methodologies, like the face-to-face training. Therein lies the opportunity of providing an enhanced learning experience, one with efficient mix of cognitively enhancing and learning-by-doing methodology.
Just to give a perspective, India would need more than 500 million skilled workers by 2022 so as to cater to the demands of the growing economy. And with a limited workforce entering the industry of around 15 million youngsters yearly, more than 75% are considered to not be job-ready. This rather gives a grim picture, and at the same time provides a great opportunity as well. And the Government of India has several ministries for this purpose which are working tirelessly to solve the challenges at hands, and have in fact established special councils such as the NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) for this purpose. Vocational trainings are again being promoted through various initiatives being implemented across different levels.
And it would be a proud moment for us at Simulanis to recall some tales of glory as well. Having worked with the Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council, an umbrella body of the NSDC which is working closely with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, we were able to launch India’s first VR-ready skilling centre which was powered through our hardware suite termed as the Simulanis Dexter, and a 30-module PharmaVR software suite which will train the skill-seekers on the practical aspects of working as a Machine Operator and Production Chemist.
- Keeping Content Up-to-Date
Apart from the retention and skills gap problems, the education industry also faces the challenge of keeping the content up-to-date owing to the advancements in research and development. If technology is leveraged, we can see a big fundamental shift on how the content would be consumed and shared, one which is verified, peer-reviewed and universally accepted, apart from keeping it up-to-date at all times. With the use of technology and with the ongoing digital revolution, the process to update the course content in various setups could become a breeze, and is also evident from the way e-learning industry is progressing. Similarly, having training modules in AR and VR with easily updatable content, even when there are complex environments to play, with the use of a pool of digital assets created for the same purpose, the technology can surely be leveraged and we foresee some exciting times ahead.
- Promoting Learner Morale and Motivation
Conventional trainings are taken as more monotonous, lacking newness and interactivity when it comes to engagements. It is not self-paced and is rather just taken as a formality wherein the teacher-student connect is missing at different instances during the training, because of the exhaustive nature of the pedagogy.
- Visually understanding the Complex Problems or Scenarios
It would not be difficult to realize that not everything could be taught or well-explained in a classroom setup. Considering now that we have technology at our disposal, we can make use of it effectively and immerse the learner in knowledge-filled environment altogether.
The learners need visually aided tools and packages to support their knowledge curve, and visual detailing is more so required in complex processes and concepts, wherein a simple gamification model could come in handy, or even an interactive video with step-by-step interactive assessment module would solve the purpose for the learners at large for that matter. After all not everything could be covered in text-based inputs. Users require the know-how, and the ‘learn-by-doing’ methodology could give them more power to increase their retention manifold while simply being able to unravel the concepts behind the complex processes. 3D visualizations and virtual reality environment mimicking the real-life scenario in a plant setup supported by audio and in-built text features, among a host of other things, would solve the training challenge in various plants, as an example.
This is where technology can be leveraged, and with use-cases of AR (augmented reality) using SARAL concept for instance, VR (virtual reality) with game-based learning concepts, and MR (mixed reality) using a well-balanced combination of AR and VR, the learning experience could be enhanced significantly.
You may be contemplating if there is a 5th area which needs attention in the Education sphere, and where technology can come in handy. Well, there is! However, it didn’t make our Top 4 list. But no matter where we put it, it does have a big impact on all the other areas. It is ‘cost-reductions’, and definitely with every optimization process and advancement taking place in the human evolution, we have become more conscious in our efforts to reduce the costs significantly for the users, and so is the case with current technologies. AR and VR training for instance provide huge cost benefits to the companies using them in their L&D process.
So, to sum it up, technology can be leveraged in all the above mentioned areas. And if you need to get a training module created for your workforce in AR, VR or MR at unbelievable prices with just the right ingredients to enhance their learning process, do get in touch with us, we would be happy to help.
Gaurav is an MBA Candidate (class of 2020) at the Management Development Institute, Gurgaon.
Gaurav likes to take challenges in the field of Marketing and Sales, and likes to go an extra mile in every project that he undertakes. His specialty is in Digital Marketing (DM) and he takes key interests in creating relevant content, both technical and non-technical. He has considerable experience in SEO, SMO, PPC and other core areas in Digital Marketing.