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Full-Stack Digital Solution- The future of Indian Education System

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Black swan events compel change. COVID-19 has pushed us to change how we live, engage, work, and it has even affected the way we learn. With a lockdown imposed overnight and a directive to maintain physical distancing, everything pointed towards the only contact we had left with the world: the Internet. Parents had to acknowledge that education for their children, which was up to this point accepted as something that could happen only in a physical classroom, needed to go online. Thus, in a matter of days almost all educational institutions moved online with virtual classrooms, online examinations, webinars, and video meetings.

Full Stack Digital Solution

The shift from the physical to the virtual world realised by the danger of Covid-19 is so revolutionary in education that even three years of pondering would not have accomplished what it did in less than three weeks of the lockdown. But now, we need to look beyond online learning and leverage technology to provide a complete solution for the education system. A full-stack digital solution will not only include online admissions (online entrance examinations) but also online learning, online proctored examinations, online assessment and delivery of results.

Online Learning

The idea of e-learning is not new but its reach and growth are to be evaluated in the Indian context to expand its utility. Online portals, without a doubt, connect the divide that the pandemic has created in our society today. From being only an extra tool used in distance education to being the one-stop search for the entirety of a learner’s needs - be it a lecture by a professor in a classroom, a training with participants from all over the nation, or an enormous network exchanging information and ideas through an open online course - online learning platforms provide an interesting yet basic solution. The biggest challenge for any learner today is not “what to learn” but “how to learn efficiently”.

Online Examinations

Nobody knows how long the social distancing norms will need to be followed but as long as it is in order, Internet-based online exams with an online proctoring solution will become the norm. Given that this is the new normal, availability, versatility, and security make virtual examinations and online proctoring the need of the hour and the future. Many educational institutions like IIT- Bhubaneshwar, Cochin University of Science and Technology, IKGPTU, NITIE have chosen to conduct examinations online and few among them have just begun conducting examinations online. In India, there have been various cases of paper leaks and loss of answer scripts, erroneous assessments, and delays in result declaration. With the introduction of technology, institutes will now not only be able to hold entrance and university exams immaculately, but can additionally manage candidate validation, conduct tests, and keep an eye on candidates using advanced online proctoring methods.

Online Proctoring

What precisely is a proctoring tool? Simply put, it’s an application used for exam invigilation or monitoring. By using cutting-edge technologies like AI & ML for biometric validation and efficient monitoring, we can screen candidates appearing for an online examination all through the test duration and thus, maintain the sanctity of exams. Several features like recording keyboard handwriting, checking toggling of browsers or screens, monitoring consistency of face, voice and background noise, webcam recordings, audio-video analytics are some ways of ensuring that the entire proctoring process is precise, accurate, and secure. If the proctor suspects dubious activity, he/she can alert the candidate and even disable the test. BML Munjal University, IIM Sambalpur, and AIMA-MAT are some of the institutions that have opted for online proctored exams. 

Online Assessment

Online assessment (e-marking of answer scripts) eliminates the chances of errors and loss of answer scripts as they are securely uploaded on a cloud platform. The system alerts the evaluator in case any segment has been missed making the assessment thorough and error-free. This also decreases the odds of postponement in the declaration of results. Besides, it monitors every student’s results and evaluates their progress over time.

Barriers and Advantages of a Full-Stack Digital Solution

The online education system can only function to its fullest where there is a dependable IT infrastructure. Not many schools & universities have a decent quality IT-enabled education system with reliable high-speed Internet connectivity and a rigorous security framework. To use technology effectively, even faculty needs to be trained for technology friendliness. The present disruption in the education sector will prompt a change in the perspective of the learning process. The education system should also concentrate on creative career options as we see a complete change in prospects.

Up until now, educational institutions never considered the possibility of a fully digital university with an all-inclusive curriculum for teaching and learning. Courses were often delivered in a blended in-person & virtual classroom method. A digital university stack enables learning, examinations, assessment to be digitized with robust secure processes. With digitized frameworks in place, learning becomes an experience and universities transform. This results in improved outcomes with increased student placements, stronger alumni networks, a wider global reputation with enhanced reach for the university & the students. The digital university thus becomes an agent of change that transforms traditional universities by streamlining processes for greater results.

Today's efforts to improve access to a full stack digital solution will serve the students of this nation for a very long time to come, connecting the noteworthy gap that India has encountered in imparting education to its learners through the years.

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