CrackVerbal CEO Arun Jagannathan explains what is needed for effective transition from classroom teaching to technology.
Someone once told me that learners can broadly be bifurcated into two categories: the AGs and the BGs.
BG stands for Before Google. This generation was probably born before 1995 and typically grew up in a pre-liberalised India. Their parents advocated the benefits of frugality and any new invention was probably too expensive for them to afford. This generation learned best in a classroom environment with a book in their hands.
AG stands for After Google. This generation really has not known a word before the ubiquitous search bar. They probably don’t recollect a childhood without mobile phones and the Internet. Instant gratification is not a positive – it is just a hygiene factor. This generation learns using videos, games, and the Internet.
Now, a lot of educational companies are thinking - is classroom delivery model dead? Can I not satiate an AG generation student with classroom delivery?
The answer is NO!
Classroom is still alive and has its place.
The problem is just that a lot of BG-focused educational companies have found it very hard to move or adapt to the AG generation. However, through my experience of running one of India’s largest GMAT and GRE test prep and admission services company, I have realised that the transition is easy if one remembers the following 3 rules:
1) Rule of Now:
If a student wants to study, he or she wants to do it at a convenient time and place. This means you cannot expect a student to “wait” for a batch to begin or the course to be delivered. The faster you are able to get them started, the better it is to sustain the momentum.
One of things we do at CrackVerbal is also have a mix of online and classroom. This means there is some instant consumption during the weekdays before the student joins a classroom program.
2) Rule of Personalisation:
Today a student doesn’t want to sit in a class and have a faculty deliver a one-sided monologue. Even if it is a class with a lot of discussion – most of it that is taught is generic. The student today wants the course / schedule / plan tailored to meet his or her needs. The more flexible you make learning – the greater the chances of success for the student.
At CrackVerbal, we have a study plan that can be changed from 1-week to 3-months. We also have a personal counselor for the students, along with a team that is available in person, on the phone, and over email to meet specific queries that students might have.
3) Rule of Focus
Though the Internet brings its own benefit, there is a huge problem. Students today are not able to focus while studying because the biggest source of distraction is right in front of them: their laptops and their mobile phones. They want a way by which they are able to get some discipline into their schedule. Here is where classrooms are a huge hit: a student voluntarily surrenders himself to the discipline only a classroom environment can bring about. After all, if everything can be learned online – then why have schools in the first place?
CrackVerbal has a modular batch schedule that allows students to attend any session without losing track or requiring background. Inside the classroom, the faculty has a tight script that keeps the entire session so engaging that one cannot compare it to just “sitting with a book” or “watching a video”.
In my opinion, therefore, it is important that classroom educational players understand the changing trends and prepare for a world of AGs. It is important to remember that online and mobile are here to stay, and so classroom education has to evolve. But classroom education per se is not going away.
This is an issue that has been discussed a lot recently but somehow the VCs have steered the conversation around an online-only world. The real educational institutions such as the Harvards of the world are not going to become redundant just because someone has put the videos online. Classroom delivery just needs to adapt to the changing demographics to stay relevant to the students in 2025 and beyond.
About the author:
Arun Jagannathan is the CEO of CrackVerbal.