How to make higher education more interesting and simpler than ever before

How to make higher education more interesting and simpler than ever before

Education is meant to enlighten, ignite the imagination, create well-rounded citizens and a happy and prosperous society. It is meant to serve a loftier purpose than merely preparing students for careers that reward them financially. While preparing students for careers is one reason why education is essential; in India initially, financial reward as a result of education was meant to be secondary to creating young men and women who could change the country for the better.

Students face these challenges

Today most students study only to earn a degree which drives them to prepare for exams only when exams approach. Studying in this manner is not conducive to real learning and most who study in such a manner just scrape by and pass. They don't get good marks and certainly don't learn much. Because such students are driven only by the desire to earn a degree, they don't do justice to themselves or society.

Making matter worse is the fact that such student's sole aspiration for earning a degree, namely, finding a job, remains unfulfilled because upon graduation they don't have skills that make them employable.

Hence they have a degree they thought would make them employable, but it doesn't, and they don't learn much. Consider that 90% of Indian engineers don't have skills that make them employable. While there are plentiful jobs, such engineers don't have the skills to do them.

In addition to not having the necessary skills to do their jobs, a majority of graduates also lack real interest in studies. They don't enrol in college to learn, rather only to earn a degree and get a job. However because they only study close to exams, they don't learn much and aren't employable.

However, students aren't solely to blame. Much of the infrastructure used to teach students is shoddy and hasn't kept abreast with technology. Students also learn little because they cram during exams and don't learn regularly throughout the year as they must. Further making things difficult for students is the fact that not all colleges, despite being affiliated with the same university and offering the same degree, provide the same quality of education. Hence students studying for the same degree in different colleges get a disparate education.

Thankfully, there are solutions

Perhaps the best way to awaken student's interest in learning is by creating a learning platform that is as much fun as social media. It would be wonderful if students spent as much time with their books as they do on social media. On average they spend approximately 2 hours using social media, many spend considerably more.

When there is a learning platform as exciting as social media, students will use it and spend the time wasted on social media in constructive learning. What makes such a platform ideal is it will encourage students to learn throughout the year instead of only when exams are close or during exams.

Such a platform shouldn't only be accessible to students; rather teachers must also be able to use it. The platform will encourage learning because students will be able to pose challenging questions and to each other and teachers. The free exchange of ideas on the platform will lead to superior learning outcomes for every student who uses it. Furthermore, students and teachers who use the platform won't be bound by time or their physical location because like social media, they can log on the platform anytime they like from wherever they are.

From the minds of students engrossed in such a platform the idea that studying is something that must be done in spite of its dreariness will evaporate. Hence they will enjoy learning, something only a rare few do today.

A learning platform that makes such learning possible isn't fanciful; rather it is grounded and possible using existing gamification technology. The gamification technology behind such a platform will not only make learning fun but also ensure that students develop a healthy sense of competition and the desire to win.

A gamification powered platform that replaces social media with learning is the need of the hour to improve the skill sets of millions of Indians enrolled in college. Such a platform when it is widely used will restore education to its proper place in society remaking it into a process that creates responsible, well-educated citizens capable of making society a better place.