Digital platforms have become ubiquitous in learning. How do we differentiate the value of our learning experience as we enroll for online courses? In this Skill Story, V. Vaidyanathan, CEO, Classle, takes us through their evolving digital learning ecosystem that is not just a virtual classroom for learners, but a happening hub for skill development, knowledge acquisition and connecting talent with the industry. Let’s read on to see what is attracting learners, teachers, industry experts and recruiters to Classle.
Combining the power of the digital and the social
Learning is life long, it is not always transactional; it could be informal or with a value added purpose. Classle enables people to learn at their convenience and ease. And, technology plays a crucial role in facilitating our learning ecosystem. We are also exploring various ways of adapting technology to suit Indian conditions and infrastructural constraints, especially while addressing the learning needs in rural areas.
We have a technology-enabled network of cloud campuses. Any stakeholder, it could be an individual or an organization, can create learning content. This could be any of the two kinds of learning interventions – one, digital course with all the pedagogic elements, and the other is a ‘livebook’, for additional learning with rich media experience. Currently we have around 2300 titles and 400000 users. This caters to a wide range of learning content from High School Board syllabus to spirituality, music, dance, painting, photography.
Skill based learning
The skill oriented learning model is broken down into three steps: one, getting an awareness about what exactly that skill is, how to appreciate it, what problems the skill solve. Next step is know-how where we show and tell the learners by giving various details. And then, the do-how or the practical part of it. We use a blended or hybrid learning approach that integrates technology with face-to-face learning.
Classle offers a number of courses addressing the skilling needs of various segments, and the titles are increasing by the day – solar technology, mobile phone and laptop repairing, welding, carpentry. Besides exposing learners to a host of topics, this also helps the industry and training partners in directly authoring the courses on our environment, whether they wish to create a complete course, additional learning assets, recruitment filter points or advertisements – it could be look at in any number of ways. This is particularly useful for training industry and the recruitment industry since they deal with large number of people to be skilled and trained.
Tracking the learners
We believe in capturing the learners path as it gives valuable insights and feedback on content. If there are 10 videos, instructing about a particular concept, we track the learners’ progress, preference and movement – then we roll it into a data warehouse, put it through analytical model, through which we will be able to assess, almost as if they had a personalized training. So, for the same skill we will be able to rate the person as per his or her abilities.
How we are unique
We are building an ecosystem based on our technology enabled platform to invite learners and other stakeholders. What we found was anybody in this space, who wants to use technology, they need to create the entire stack starting from instructional material, all the way to selling it. So we took out the technology part or any upfront cost. If you are a good educator, just put your course on the livebook, we take care of the sales and marketing.
We lend pedagogical support for designing and developing the content – course outline, lesson planning, timing the course etc. And we them help with instructional strategies like simulations and gamification, we set up analytics which is used as feedback to help them stay on course. It includes the assessments – both formative and summative.
How Classle model works
For example , a retired general manager of nationalized bank, has created a course on banking, starting from concepts to how banking happens in different places. If someone wants to add to the topics , they can, like a course on micro finance. They can monetize the course or offer it free. For monetizing, we use the publishing model. It’s on the lines of pricing a book and not the price of very specialized training session. There are three components to monetization: author/publisher gets the royalty, earmark percentage for sales and marketing, and there is a percentage that we take for hosting and other services.
Rural enablement and distribution
Our courses are not only responsive; they work online, offline, whether you own the device or not. Actually, most of our innovation went into the delivery formats. Our challenge was to make it work in Indian conditions. We have a simple device, when you use it even in a remote area, the access speed will go up by 25 times. This enables access in places where network is almost non-existent but still you can have a full-blown learning experience. It can also be projected on a TV for community learning. For individual experience, the person can just own a thumb drive. Rural enablement and distribution and keeping the cost fairly low are top items on our agenda.