NSHM is the first college in eastern India to receive E-Lead certifications.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced brick-and-mortar institutes to embrace online education at a short notice.
A perfect blend of traditional and digital education must be achieved for the future. Higher education should focus on understanding the user and enhancing user experience. In other way, learner-centric education is the key.
The overall market for online education is projected to reach $350 billion by 2025. Whether it be language apps, virtual tutoring, video-conferencing tools or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage during the pandemic.
Online learning platforms have been reaping the benefits of this shift. Coursera is reportedly valued at 1 billion and shares its revenues with top partner universities. Udemy recorded more than 400 per cent rise in enrolment between February and March 2020. Then, there is the growing list of degree-providers. For instance, there is Udacity’s nanodegrees (spanning three-four months involving 10 hours per week) and edX’s micromasters (roughly equivalent to one semester of a full-time master’s programme).
The focus is likely to gradually shift towards proven skills without any particular bias towards the source of certification of those skills. A case perfect for private institutions. Because, unlike their public counterparts, private institutions do not sustain themselves on tax-payers’ money.
E-Lead, in reference to the globally revered QS’s India chapter QS-iGauge, is defined as E-Learning Excellence for Academic Digitisation. E-Lead certification has a verification and validation process for the preparedness of institutions to conduct online teaching and learning that involves assessment of performance metrics.
The present holders of E-Lead badges in India are majorly private higher education institutions, which are likely to be more able providers of blended education in the days to come compared to government-aided institutions. This is the time for private higher educational institutions to excel by blending offline and online education.
NSHM scores high on this count and here’s why:
Continuously operates and calibrates LMS (Learning Management System)
Invests in authoring of content and counts even wastage as return
Experiments with new blending models and implements “choices”
Does not shy away from 4.0 technologies
Inducts higher-education attributes of the National Education Policy 2020
The fact that NSHM is the first college in eastern India to receive E-Lead certifications, individually, for its Kolkata and Durgapur campuses, is evidence of its future-proofing initiatives. It has also scored full marks in the QS’s assessments for each of its campuses.
The author is a former scientist of CSIR. He had joined NSHM Knowledge Campus as academic head in 2002 and is currently chief, strategy and impact, at the institute.