The online education space in India is a rapidly expanding sector. So much so, it is estimated to grow from four billion dollars in net worth to $40 billion by 2017-18. Most of these education portals are centred on exams like the IIT-JEE, CET/AIPMT, and foundation courses like math and science for younger school students. “Digital education is the next big thing after the e-commerce success story. It is already booming and a lot of students have accepted and appreciated technology&’s advent into education, making learning more systematic and oriented than it has ever been,” said Aditi Avasthi, CEO of Embibe, one of the ed-tech portals.
With nearly half the population of India below the age of 25 years, coupled with the increasing penetration of the Internet and mobile devices, the online medium plays an important role in meeting the challenges with regard to access and personalisation. Embibe&’s story began with Avasthi&’s personal experience that shaped her outlook while still in her teens preparing for the then IIT-JEE exam. Her passionate conviction that technology and data science can bridge the gap in education has led to the inception of Embibe.
Traditionally, performance has mostly been evaluated on accuracy and conceptual knowledge. However, the lack of depth in this regard is actually one of the biggest reasons of underperformance. Students today don’t really understand why they lose marks since there is no feedback given to them on critical exam techniques and the behavioural aspects of preparation. This is one of the platforms that involves students, parents and mentors towards collaborating on marks improvement.
As for improving upon the students’ problem-solving behaviour, she explained, “Our analytics engine identifies one&’s weaknesses around exact conceptual problems and gives them a chance to fi things. It has been designed to capture critical performance metrics like speed, accuracy, time management, attempt planning and stamina. We are now taking the next step to scale content to cover every ‘fixed time, variable learning’ education requirement from primary to postgraduate studies.”
The data generated through online consumption will reveal true stars both in teaching and performing and not just stars created through marketing. Regarding the role of ed-tech start-ups in the education system, established coaching classes across the country strive hard to train students academically, but have not been effective is their ability to give every student a personalised plan to crack the exam. The Right to Education Act mandates a student-teacher ratio of 33:1 for effective teaching. Despite that, this ratio can be as high as 1,000:1.The result is a one-size-fits-all training module. Ed-tech start-ups ensure quality learning on a massive scale. It has gone a step further and made parents and teachers a crucial part of a student&’s preparation process.
Learning has become adaptive as well as gamified to engage students by making it enjoyable. Such portals leverage data to track each performance and give personalised feedback that caters specifically to understanding their strengths and weaknesses, automatically ensuring they improve their scores. When asked about the ed-tech platform&’s potential to revolutionise the education system in India, Avasthi said, “We at Embibe are sure that an intelligent recommendation engine for kids can revolutionise the student&’s approach in the emerging markets. The serious growth of online education will be directly proportional to the availability of quality products.
Education is important and too viscerally sensitive to sub-optimal solutions.”