James Thorley established the Asia-Pacific (APAC) business for Turnitin in January 2016. He has a proven track record in leading and motivating multi-national teams to implement strategies, maximise opportunities and exceed targets. Under his leadership, Turnitin has expanded into new regions in APAC and seen significant revenue growth.
With over two decades of experience across varied industry segments, Chaitali Moitra has served at the helm of various organizations and steered institutions to excellence in key success metrics – in both a financial and strategic growth capacity. Chaitali is well recognized as a leader in Business Development, Marketing and Learning. She has served in leadership positions at Genpact, HarperCollins Publishers, The Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Global University Systems, and Macmillan Education.
Education institutions in India shifted towards virtual learning settings and leveraged remote learning tools to tackle the challenges and uncertainties triggered by the pandemic, which forced the closure of schools. These learning technologies ensured there were reduced losses in learning and more students could access quality education despite the crisis.
The National Digital Education Architecture has outlined a framework for the educational ecosystem, facilitating educators to achieve the goals laid down by The National Education Policy of India 2020 (NEP 2020). This offers a scope for Indian institutions to develop content and delivery that meets international standards, empowering them to step on an upward growth trajectory.
As economies reopen with caution amidst waves of new COVID variants, and the education landscape witnesses the need for expert and robust technological support that can lead the way towards a sustainable and scalable learning environment, the following trends are expected to reshape the education ecosystem in India and the region in 2022:
Rethinking the approach towards assessments in virtual environments
To make up for lost learning time for students and universities during the pandemic, online education was accelerated and managed to gain stability but conducting assessments in virtual environments was still a matter of concern. It has been a challenge to ensure that within virtual education settings students are submitting their best original work with honesty and that the learning outcomes successfully create individuals who grow to become original thinkers in the long-term.
Post-pandemic, educators are rethinking about how they approach authentic assessment and if the assessment that they’re delivering is a true test of learning. Emerging from traditional education models built around standardised term/ summative annual exams, educators and institutions are now more inclined to explore modern assessment, feedback and integrity tools that can solve existing concerns.
Technology to drive quality education
Exams have been conducted through the pen and paper method for centuries and with the digital learning shift, there is a significant opportunity for universities to accomplish greater efficiency by shifting a considerable portion of assessments online through lower stakes formative tests. Digital tools are equipping educators and students to work in a cohesive and integrated manner to ensure learning requirements are met and exceeded.
With the right technology at their disposal, their focus can be shifted from being not just teachers but facilitators and enablers of quality engagement with students, with an ability to judge whether students are receiving effective, ongoing feedback and if learning outcomes are progressing in the right direction. Expert technology can enable online educators to enhance learning outcomes and uphold academic integrity, providing them with much-needed support to meet desired high standards even in hybrid learning settings.
Varying levels of hybrid learning models will be here to stay across different regions
Exploring hybrid learning models will lead to higher incorporation of technology into workflows with the aim of increasing student engagement over the short and long-term. Traditional education models can learn from fully online universities about their distinguished approach and the techniques followed by them to ensure student engagement and motivation.
Within hybrid environments, educators can maximise face-to-face or in-person aspects where they are most meaningful, such as scientific lab activities, group discussions or similar components. But for other aspects of learning like assessment, digital tools can offer the required speed and efficiency.
AI will play a key role in the education community in the coming year
By best utilising advanced tools and AI, educators can accelerate the speed and accuracy of physical grading and transform it into learning both in offline and online environments. AI empowers educators to drive efficiency, and improve insights and analysis, supporting educators to become better at what they do and engage more with students.
In an online environment, AI enabled tools encourage educators to rethink their starting point on framing assessments as to what can be the best method of assessment to deliver the desired learning outcomes and knowledge. They can balance security and academic honesty with student learning experience with simple practices such as designing test questions in a way that makes it harder for students to resort to collusion.
Increased attention to create a real culture of integrity for the overall academic community
Besides researchers, an increasing number of institutions are also laying a code of conduct while realising the need for academic integrity practices, and are opting for it. The same needs to be further strengthened to ensure that students understand why thinking with integrity is important when completing assessments and/ or research work.
Integrity in assessment occurs in two ways, student integrity in submitting their best original work and also integrity in the setting of the assessment itself. It is important to assess if it is pedagogically sound to test the learning of students and if it enriches meaningful and practical knowledge for their future, after university and into the workplace. To ensure learning outcomes are met and student skills are built with their future development in mind, it is key to create a real culture of integrity for the overall academic community with essential policies and honour codes encompassing everyone including students, teachers and institutions.
Technology to propel higher education forward and upwards
The NEP 2020 has laid down a structure for secondary education with the government placing high emphasis on formative assessments which are ‘assessments for learning’ rather than summative ‘assessments of learning’. The former can be a powerful tool that prepares both students and teachers for upcoming learning plans and saves teachers a lot of time, makes instructions more targetted and effective.
The influence of technology in higher or secondary education depends on the learning objectives and assessment of higher order thinking skills like analytical, psychometric skills and similar. It is essential to explore dynamic and useful methods of taking assessments forward based on how education pedagogy is being formed across various subjects in colleges. This brings about the realisation that conducting only final, summative examinations are not sufficient and continuous evaluation of learning outcomes is important even in the secondary education sector.
For secondary school teachers in particular it becomes crucial to make a clear distinction between high stakes summative testing for the masses and carefully formulated assessments designed by teachers. It is important that teachers understand the intent, design and impact of both types of assessments to gauge where each of them should be used.
Growth opportunities in 2022 for education in India and Asia
Although adoption of technology is progressing rapidly post-pandemic, there will be increased awareness to analyse the present environment’s readiness and accessibility for new technology before any implementation. Strategic technology emerging in the new year within the education segment will pave the way for sustainable growth. Especially when all of its core features and capabilities are optimally and effectively utilised based on the institution’s requirements, technology will act as an enablement for educators to facilitate enhanced learning.