Aashay Khandekar for Indian Express writes: Due to online education’s ability to provide personalised solutions and better results to students, traditional classroom teaching will take a back seat, according to Mark Dorman, president, McGraw-Hill Education. Dorman recently attended the Annual Vice Chancellors’ Retreat at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER).
He spoke in detail about how the ‘Campus of tomorrow’, which was the theme of the retreat, would be.
“It is hard to imagine a future without online education. The technology in itself doesn’t provide a solution. However, well researched and proven content, coupled with deep understanding of how students learn and technology, shows tremendous improvement in the students’ output,” said Dorman.
The role of an instructor as a substitute for teacher in online education, also goes much beyond theoretical teaching, according to Dorman. “Most teachers assess their students in one way. Instructors, on the other hand, powered by artificial intelligence, which finds the strengths and weaknesses of each individual, can address individual needs,” said Dorman.
He gave an example of McGraw-Hill’s Assessment and Learning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS), an artificial-intelligence assessment and learning kit, which uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and doesn’t know in a course.
When asked about the feasibility of online education in a country like India, where the students number in the millions, Dorman said that due to growing access to internet and the pace at which youngster adapt to technology worldwide, it wouldn’t be an issue.
He also said that many teachers are embracing the role of instructors due to reduced administrative time, increased effectiveness of lectures and greater student confidence and retention rate. “As per our research, there is a 20 percent increase in the pass rate after the adoption of online education and the dropout rate has decreased by 35 percent worldwide.”
In his presentation at IISER, Dorman talked about how McGraw-Hill’s online education system Connect operates. “For most students in the world, irrespective of their nationality, the schedule is the same. We’ve studied this schedule closely to bring the faculty, students and the coursework closer, helping everyone to accomplish more in less time. In India, we’re operational at IIM Kolkata and the institute has seen a gradual shift in the preparedness of the students. They’re more active in discussion and get better results,” said Dorman.
Dorman’s claim was supported by local teachers too. “Considering the complaints of parents and students about the deteriorating quality of education and teachers, the switch to online can be refreshing. It can throw some light on the inadequacies of our teaching system and bring necessary changes to it in the future,” said Prakash Pawar, lecturer at Savitribai Phule Pune University.