Digital video usage has been on the rise for years in India, but 2020 offered new opportunities and challenges for video content creators, especially educators. Over 43% of online video in India is learning or education-based, and online course creators such as Classplus and Meritnation have seen a meteoric rise in video consumption.
Our discussion panel with Classplus and Meritnation provided a lot of great insight into the challenges and opportunities for online learning platforms in India. JW Player offers robust and user-friendly customization tools that make it easy to publish instructional content for students and teachers alike. Learn more about our solutions for online course providers & instructors here .
Here are some of the key takeaways from our recent webinar about the growth of online learning , specifically with online learning providers in India.
Key Takeaways on the Growth of Online Learning in India
1. The pandemic has made a huge demand for eLearning and online learning providers
The rapid onset of video usage and consumption by consumers . According to an April 2020 report by Google , 1 in 3 Indians watch video with an average daily watch time of 67 minutes. Of those videos watched, 43% are focused on online learning content.
As we noticed among our network of digital media and publishers, there has been a spike of video plays by over 40% since the pandemic. With more people adapting to digital learning, there’s been a huge demand for educators to provide online video content.
2. Moving from a teaching model to a learning model
Online learning providers have a unique need to provide important, educational content in a meaningful and engaging way. CTO at Aakash EduTech Rahul Lodha says, “It’s very important that we’re able to personalize the learning experience and how we engage. So when we’re doing a live class, how the students in a live class are engaged within the 1 hour time period. Student engagement is very very challenging. A lot of people are getting it wrong. We’re not getting into the root cause of why a child isn’t willing to learn.”
With the right tools, and working to develop new content strategies to provide students with their own necessary tools to learn, online learning providers can have a large impact on how education continues to evolve.
3. Every student learns at a different pace & technology needs to be customized
Teaching online, whether it’s a special interest focus or online education, requires educators to pay attention to student needs. While in physical learning environments educators can easily engage with students and adapt accordingly, a digital classroom adds a new challenge. Providing video on demand (VOD) technology for students, though, also provides an opportunity to teach in a more customized way.
Online learning providers are finding that students are interested in learning at their own pace. That requires an online video player to include playback customization tools such as player speed. According to Bhaswat Agarwal (Co-Founder at Classplus) and Rahul Lodha (CTO at Aakash EduTech), controlling and customizing video playback speed is a key need for students, whether it’s playing at half-speed or 1.5x to more rapidly watch content.
4. User experience is the key to keeping customers
While playback speed is an important technical feature needed by online learning video providers, the user experience is equally important. Accessibility for a video player so that it’s available no matter the delivery platform the student may have access to: iOS, OTT, and/or all mobile/desktop devices.
Lodha says, “It’s very important that during the native experience (the experience of watching the video) the player should not come in the way of the content. A good native experience helps a lot of users to be immersed in the content.”
“The user experience has to be smooth from the very first frame,” Agarwal adds. If a user exits the online learning video or app, do they come back to the same place within the video when switching between apps? What happens when a video is paused and starts back up again? User experience is an essential part of making online education videos accessible for every type of student.
The simpler the product and more intuitive, the easier it is to retain students and continue educating. Other UX factors to consider include the experience of forward and rewind, a double tap on the player to skip forward or backward X seconds, and other small UX features common within other video players.
5. Self-study is one of the biggest modes of learning
More people are using online video players to learn not just basic K-12 education, but also skills, crafts, and hobbies. In India, with 43% of all online video consumption education-related, there’s a need to provide more and more content focused on online education. Online learning providers are finding that some students prefer to learn at their own pace (and video speed, even), so self-study and on-demand learning is important to provide.
“We try to help students find their own learning journey, and self-study is one of the biggest modes of learning. Every child is a self-learner,” Lodha said. ““JW Player’s analytics comes in very handy for that.” By knowing what students are watching and when, where their video drop-off rates are, and what’s being clicked, future courses and seminars can be developed with that rich, in-depth analytics.
6. Content protection is very important
For any educator, their lesson plan and expert knowledge is often the key to their brand’s success. As Lodha acknowledges for Meritnation, “We invest very heavily in content and content is key to our brand.” Therefore, protecting that content through DRM safeguards.
Geo-blocking is another useful tool for online learning providers that need to be able to control view access based on the user’s geographical location. Often used by sports publishers, gaming companies, and premium OTT providers, it’s also useful for educators dealing with regional test prep differences.
7. Technological solutions are only as successful as bandwidth and accessibility
A key component for online educators such as Classplus and Meritnation is making their platforms accessible for each and every educator across their target audience. When working with video content, bandwidth is an important consideration. Considering students learning from home or remote, rural locations may not have the same bandwidth capabilities, technological partners need to account for full accessibility.
If settings are changed within an online video player that may affect data usage or an end user’s bandwidth charges, those need to be accounted for in the complete user experience.