Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-Founder and CEO, Next Education India

Beas Dev Ralhan is the Chief Executive Officer of Next Education India Private Limited, a technology-driven education enterprise, headquartered in Hyderabad. Beas co-founded this educational organization in 2007 along with Raveendranath Kamath, an IIT Kharagpur alumnus. Prior to Next Education, Beas worked as an entrepreneur, investment manager and consultant for around a decade in firms such as FreshPixel India Pvt Ltd, Retort Software India Pvt Ltd, PartyGaming LLC, and Infosys. In recognition of his immense contribution to the K–12 education segment, CII (Southern Regional) bestowed upon him the ‘Emerging Entrepreneur’ award in 2015. He also received the Indian Education Leader award at the 7th World Education Summit, 2016. Under Beas’ leadership, Next Education has also begun to secure a foothold in Bangladesh and Middle East and is now looking at expansions in Africa.

 

 

Students in India have always been exposed to a generalized curriculum. Although the conventional teaching-learning model lacks resources and is not well-equipped with the latest technologies, it is prevalent in schools due to convenience. But the 21st century India has witnessed a lot of transformation in terms of the vision of education. With increasing awareness among parents and educators on the dynamic nature of modern workplace requirements and the ineffectiveness of the factory method of learning in meeting those, the idea of personalized learning is getting gradual acceptance in society. The advent of artificial intelligence is helping us realize this dream. Hence, AI-powered adaptive learning is being considered as one of the finest tools of personalized learning for students.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive learning is an educational system tailored to computer-based algorithms to orchestrate the interaction with the learner and deliver customized resources and learning activities to address the unique needs of each learner. The application requires a thorough understanding of a learner’s ability and knowledge state. To attain that understanding, it accurately quantifies the learner’s knowledge of different topics through Computerized Adaptive Tests (CAT). The computerized test starts with asking a learner a mid-level question. Based on the response, the difficulty level of the questions in line gets modified. The application is powered by a large pool of questions drawn from data collected over the years, and the difficulty level is determined by the number of students who have answered the questions correctly.

Adaptive assessments are designed in a way that they stop when a certain level of score precision or psychometric degree is met. The entire process is much personalized as different examinees face different number and variety of questions to reach the precision point. This helps it provide accurate scores in less time than standard fixed tests prevalent in India. Learners get to focus more on in-class activities peer learning and interaction. Furthermore, examinees can continue practicing and get questions of varying difficulty levels every time they take the test.

In terms of self-learning, AI-powered adaptive tests give a thorough understanding of a learner and their skill level and accurately quantify their knowledge on different topics. Based on the feedback, the machine can automatically direct the learner to a learning path that is most suitable for them.

Apart from helping students, adaptive test reports enable teachers to analyze class performance with respect to global test-takers and identify gaps in learning. It helps them to compare students’ scores on the basis of previously recorded statistics.

Instructors can receive detailed insight on a student’s mastery across grade levels, rather than within a specific grade level which can help them design personalized learning paths for every learner. Next Education India Pvt. Ltd., India’s leading education solutions provider, offers Adaptive Assessments for chapter-wise and full syllabus tests for CBSE Maths and Science for grades 6–10. Students can test their ability to solve chapter-level problems and all-around knowledge state via this test. The assessments are also available for a free trial on LearnNext, a self-learning solution by Next Education.

A cost-effective alternative to tuitions in India

Implementing personalized learning in India is not a simple task. Witnessing a positive outcome in that arena requires qualified educators, an ideal student-teacher ratio and financial resources. Since few schools in this country are equipped with such facilities, parents try to help their children with personalized attention through private tuition classes, which are not budget friendly. Thus, replacing private coaching classes with adaptive learning can be considered a better supplement to formal education because it helps students avail quality education at affordable prices. Since the lack of financial resources, is no longer an inhibition to personalizing learning, a positive outlook and a desire to be able to deploy this new learning strategy are, required. Additionally, increasing use of the Internet and digital system in recent years has improved access to digital education, thus bringing the advantages of adaptive learning to remote areas of the country.

Adaptive learning diminishes learning gaps. Since every learner is unique, their understanding of situations and academic concepts are different. Effective use of adaptive learning can bridge such a gap. With the help of adaptive tests, teachers can figure out the specific challenges that each student faces, and can work on those to iron out the problematic areas.

The ‘one-size-fits-all’ method of learning in India leads to poor academic performance in students who are unable to match the set pace and those who find it too tedious to challenge their intellect and abilities. Adaptive learning ensures that students are engaged in learning, which proves to be more effective when students learn things in a way that interests them the most. Adaptive learning provides learning materials with the difficulty or knowledge level suited to the current estimate of the student’s proficiency. Therefore, it acts as a morale booster, since the chances of discouragement or boredom are reduced.

Thus, the teaching-learning methods at school can be supplemented with adaptive learning. Going forward, this can be a cost-effective replacement of tuition classes to supplement formal learning that will enable students to be technologically skilled and equipped for modern workplaces. Moreover, with the plans of the Indian government to establish a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and develop a national AI portal for the advancement of education, the day is not far away when adaptive learning will be accessible to everyone.

 

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