HYDERABAD: It has almost become a norm for a majority of technology professionals to improve their skills to stay relevant and dodge the scare of layoff but, of late, several techies in the city have been looking beyond online courses to stay in demand. The latest — blended courses or hybrid programs, a mix of online and classroom training, have taken the frenzy among the techies of the city who are, especially, interested to learn complex subjects like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Big Data Analytics.
This, according to techies and facilitators, will bridge the gap in easy understanding of complex concepts by clarification of doubts through a classroom teaching methodology. For G Akshai, an associate director of an MNC in health care sector, who completed an online study course from Coursera and other online educational platforms, felt there was a vacuum when it came to clarification of doubts about online courses. “The research to be done and to understand the concepts of online curriculum, especially ML, was that I had to extensively rely on Google and watch several tutorial videos. There is no feedback either,” said Akshai who is doing a one-year PG course in Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning through blended learning.
Many of the online courses are promoted to have self-learning as a key factor but when it comes to diving into new technologies, it does not always work as learning abilities differ from person to person, observes Mohan Lakhamraju, founder and CEO of Great Learning. “For students to learn robust topics which are challenging and complex, there needs a guidance from experts and an effective way to do so is to blend learning with online and classroom teaching.
The physical presence of a professor interacting with the student and a proven curriculum is always advantageous to clarify doubts that arise in online learning,” Lakhamraju said, adding, “Through our research, we understood that the pre-recorded videos module magnifies scepticism among students which does not make people students to be confident in what they are learning.”
Education entrepreneurs are not convinced about the blended learning module and still feel that online learning will continue to dominate the way tech professionals learn. “In today’s life, many people don’t have the time to attend traditional classes, especially, IT professionals who are already working and cannot be physically present,” said Vineet Chaturvedi, co-founder, Edureka. But, several reports suggest the course completion rate in online courses or Massive Open Online Courses is low due to shortcomings which include efficacy of learning module.