Online education is an idea whose time has come.
By Rajiv Agarwal
Online education was earlier seen as a low-priority experiment for institutions. But now that institutions have been forced to go online, both faculty and students have to adapt to this new model.
Of course, there will be resistance from both faculty and students when comparing online to physical classrooms. There has always been resistance to adapting new technologies—be it laptops and digital books, or digital delivery of cases.
Of course, the current technologies may have shortcomings. Eventually, newer companies would offer newer capabilities to enhance the online experience. Students and faculty will eventually embrace this. Institutions will realise that online allows them to retain their best faculty, by offering them better control over their schedules to plan their activities and research. Institutions will also be able to reach out to a wider range of students. They may also question the need for huge campuses, hostels and faculty working areas, since all these can be divested and investments made in making the infrastructure for online more efficient.
But whatever may happen, things are not going to be the same again. The question is, how prepared are we? The game is just beginning and the current education stakeholders are the key players.
(The author is professor, Strategy & Family Business, SPJIMR. Views are personal.)