Market-oriented education is the need of the hour. The fast changing trends within the business market have forced the global universities to transform their curriculum to adapt to these changes, failing which might result in a lower ranking for these universities.
In this era, technology, business, and education, all three go hand-in-hand. No one can either deny or neglect this fact. As technology continues to make strides, the education sector in general and the higher education institutions in particular are facing harsh competition among themselves. The race is certainly on!
Is Education a Service or a Commodity?
This is a burning question these days. It is a fact that education is essentially a service, but in these times, it is being treated as a commodity where many institutions see it as a business.
There is a unique dimension to the concept of education-as-a-service. With the unprecedented increase in the cost of higher education, there has been a paradigm shift in common man’s thinking and the urge to acquire education. Now, most people tend to attend online courses that have become cost-effective and offer easily accessible content—unlike the traditional practice of confined education based on books—much affordable for students and adults alike.
Education on Cloud
Have you ever thought of getting education on Cloud? (And by Cloud, I mean on the internet.)
Now, this is slowly becoming a reality. This is what the trend is. While offering secure data management mechanism, cloud technology has become the go-to option for aspirant education institutions that are looking for complete overhaul of the current education system. And in simple words, they call it educational transformation.
I am sharing an image that displays the key components of educational transformation strategy on cloud.
Moodle on Cloud
Moodle is currently the undisputed leader in providing distance learning and online learning facilities. It provides a diversified range of disciplines and subjects including Engineering, Social Sciences, Computer Sciences, etc. for millions of students. One of the best advantages of Moodle is that it offers an entirely interactive and collaborative online classroom environment. Not only students, teachers can also use it to their advantage as well.
Plus, hosting on Cloud is a smart decision. You host on a dedicated server where you are in control. A cloud infrastructure is a scalable one. This means that you can grow the size of your school according to the influx of students. Plus, the data is safe as cloud hosting offers daily backups which are saved on an offsite location.
The magic of Moodle
Each one of the universities boast to offer career-oriented online curriculum that caters to the professional requirements of students, who are forced to pursue their education online due to some reason or other unknown circumstances.
The sole reason for having a learning management system such as Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment (MOODLE) is to inculcate the very essence of distance learning. Through this, teachers can engage students at risk, adult learners, working women, drop-outs, and other such individuals who aspire to complete their education, but their chances are hampered due to social, financial, or other similar problems.
Some eye-catching statistics for Moodle
Moodle is more than just the leading, highly organized and managed online learning system, with more than 83,000 user-base websites. It offers learning support to 70,696,570 users with more than 7.5 million online courses and 1.2 million teachers. With ever-increasing, highly interactive, and supportive community members—entitled to share their ideas, codes, and opinions—Moodle has already made its mark and it continues to gain popularity within the industry.
Look at the statistics which are officially quoted by Moodle.
These are impressive numbers and the story does not end here. USA, Spain, Brazil, UK, and Mexico are the top users of Moodle. One of the best advantages of Moodle is that it supports multiple languages. Here are some graphs from the same page.
Advantages of using Moodle
Moodle facilitates teachers to streamline their routine tasks. Let it be classroom management, online course development, designing and keeping a track of students’ assessment reports, checking daily tasks submitted by students, and other related activities that fall under the job description of subject specialist teachers. The interactive mechanism working behind Moodle helps teachers to provide real-time feedbacks, while remaining engaged with their fellow students and colleagues.
This is why one of the biggest educational website on the internet, OpenLearn from The Open University, has a learning environment made on Moodle.
This shows Moodle has made staggering progress since its inception in the year 2002. The success story continues till today. The ongoing trends within the online education industry are also a testimony to Moodle’s authority within the industry. Are you thinking to launch your own learning platform?
Stop! Do consider some of the major factors highlighted in this blog before making any final decision regarding your learning management system.
Adopt New Business Model
Technology is the new business language. Technology has now become an integral part of the global education sector—primary, secondary, and higher education. Therefore, you as part of an educational institution need to focus on adopting new technological model or more precisely – a business model that supports seamless delivery of education for your online students—customers to sound more correct in terms of business language.
Remember that you have a diversified population at your disposal—distance learners, house wives, drop-outs, unemployed personnel, retired officials, working mothers, minorities, at-risk students—which needs to be educated, trained, and at last included into the mainstream of professional fields as per their choices. The targeted segments play a vital role in making your business model work.
This is where the notion of imparting market-oriented knowledge comes into play. You need to develop a business model, ably supported by technology to cater to the needs of all those involved and concerned. One of the best practices is to opt for latest technology in accordance with business model. This can be achieved through proper market research, in collaboration with the leading consultants, who must help you devise an attractive business strategy for addressing the needs of aspirant online learners.
Moodle offers you with all the prerequisites of a highly innovative, yet comprehensive business solution for universities and high schools as it supports all kinds of mobile platforms.
Apply “Customer for Life” mentality
Customer is the king. Let it be a product-selling business, or a service-offering business—this philosophy holds true even today.
It may seem to be somewhat irrelevant to the education sector. However, education has a business model where it needs to generate funds to keep the operations going and due to this fact, students are like customers. I hope the air is clear now.
It is also a fact that understanding a student’s (customer in this case) psychology is really challenging. In order to attract more students, you need to win their trust with an aim to turn them into advocates of your school for life. Word of mouth plays an important role when it comes to distant learning.
With Moodle, there are opportunities for universities and institutions to materialize their dream of retaining a large number of online students, while providing niche facilities and services that suffice their needs in developing a sound professional career around their education.
Imagine a situation, where a student wants to get admission as a sophomore in an online class, with an aim to get a professional degree in Engineering. Moodle offers a variety of subjects related to the discipline of Engineering, facilitating that student to pursue and complete the due course of studies, in the meantime, finally graduating to get a good professional job after four years. This is just an example of how Moodle can help universities to retain students for four complete years of academic journey. The online platform, embedded with user-friendly features, offered by Moodle is just perfect to entice a student to remain hooked up for most of his academic life.
Go for Agile Product Development
I am going to ask you a tricky question here. Is education a product? Yes, it is. I know I am treading on thin ice here, but educational content pretty much acts like a product.
For using online education platform as a product, you need to develop new ideas while remaining updated about the concepts related to the subjects offered on the educational web portal. It means that the teachers available need to work continuously to write and update new content in order to impart latest knowledge about the concept and the subject. Faculty members cannot continue to write for life. This is where the practice of sharing valuable ideas of the faculty members comes into play.
Teachers should be entitled to share their ideas on online education forums. One of the best advantages that a learning management system, like Moodle, offers is the facility to interact, collaborate with their fellow workers and other subject specialists—leading to harbor an ever-lasting partnership. With the combination of novel ideas, universities can upgrade new content on their web portal.
Another viable option for higher education institutions is to have a partnership with other businesses and agencies that support the cause of making online education affordable and accessible to each and every individual around the world. If you are running or managing an online education system, then remember to give value to these partnerships with service providers because they are serving your cause. The partnership will benefit your online education setup in manifold, while closing the existing gap between traditional and non-traditional educational practices.
Stay focused on your students
If you own an online educational platform, you need to satisfy your students. In education, bad word is like a death sentence. This is why online Moodle school should try to keep focus on the needs of the students. You cannot have your school offline for hours. Neither you can host it on a shared infrastructure as you never know what kind of websites are hosted on the server.
The question is how to do that? It’s easier to say than done. This is where the concept of career counseling comes into play. Online educational institutions have a key role to play when it comes to youth employment. Higher education institutions need to invest in services that add value to the portfolio. Providing counseling can be one of the ways.
These institutions must also facilitate students to interact with experts and professionals so that their career progression leads them into the right direction. Moodle is just the perfect platform to get engaged in a fruitful conversation and interaction with the leading professionals and experts, who will be more than happy to guide and advice talented students regarding their career employment.
The current practice in educational governance does not seem to support the notion of Education-as-a-Service, due to short-sightedness in connection with the policy implementation within the available higher education framework.
With the ever changing marketing trends, there is an urgent need on part of higher education industry to come forward with ideas and policy initiatives in order to facilitate quick and robust decision making to cater to the needs of current generation of students in order to help them face the daunting challenges looming ahead in near future.
On other hand, continuous funding from government and related parties will improve the situation, leading to more employment opportunities, eventually helping education sector make vital contribution in economic progress.
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