Hybrid learning is the new normal: Sahil Chalana, Collegedunia

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The advent of homeschooling startups and augmented & extended reality is one of the most significant innovations in the education landscape. The adoption of these technologies is still in the preliminary to the intermediate stage, shared Sahil Chalana, Founder, Collegedunia with Sheeba Chauhan of Elets News Network (ENN). Edited excerpts:

Tell us about your achievements in terms of ‘Innovation in Education’ in 2022.

For Collegedunia, innovation in education is about giving its user the best answers in the least time. It is transitioning from a college classified portal into a user-first intelligent admission assistant. Collegedunia retained its top position for best user experience with almost 22 per cent better bounce rate and average engagement than its nearest competitor. This has been achieved by tailoring the page experience per user behavior, recorded via click streams. Our position as India’s most prominent college review portal strengthened, and we added around one lac reviews in 2022. Sentiment analysis of the college reviews has given excellent summaries of pros and cons, saving users from reading multiple reviews.

How will futuristic technologies transform education in the year 2023?

Education in the year 2023 will be majorly impacted by virtual content. Students can select the best mode of education for themselves, and the institutions will build their capabilities around it. A student studying at an average college in a city can be trained with a case study being taught at Harvard. Augmented and Virtual reality can sustainably prepare students for real-world scenarios and hybrid learning is going to be the norm now. Collegedunia has detected an increasing trend in the sessions for short-term courses as online learning keywords have increased by 31 per cent since 2020.

What innovations accelerated growth in the education landscape in 2022?

The advent of homeschooling startups and augmented & extended reality is one of the most significant innovations in the education landscape. The adoption of these technologies is still in the preliminary to the intermediate stage. Yet, the kind of experience such tools offers has set the path for more immersive learning for students. As an admission help platform, Collegedunia has tested many models to provide the best chat experience for user queries. This feature will likely go live by the mid of 2023.

What is your mission and vision to impact the paradigm shift of the education arena in the year 2023?

Our mission is to be more user-centric and transform Collegedunia into a collaborative self-help portal for all educational needs. We are pivoting towards building student communities where users can provide and receive help from peers, alums, and subject matter experts. We also aspire to be the fastest portal to send admission notifications.

The education arena in the year 2023 will shift towards experiential learning and will try to research its newly found mode of content delivery. Institutions will have to offer more electives as a greater number of students will start to look away from the traditional approach of a fixed curriculum. Already, institutions like IIMs have started offering up to 100 electives in their flagship two-year degree programs. Collegedunia will play an increasingly prominent role in helping the students make the right decisions.