The medium of education and learning in India has undergone a paradigm shift, from classroom teaching model to technology driven model. India’s online education market is the second largest in the world. As per a study conducted by KPMG on “Online Education in India: 2021”, the valuation of online education market in India stood at USD 247 Million in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 1.96 Billion mark in 2021, expanding at a CAGR of 51%.

There are majorly 5 categories of education with potential for significant online adoption: Primary and secondary supplemental education, Test Preparation, Reskilling and online certifications, Higher education & Language and casual learning.

Source: “Online Education in India: 2021”, KPMG,

Reskilling and Online certification courses is the largest category and has seen massive growth in the Indian online education industry, driven by professionals with a preference towards online trainings for skill enhancement. Presence of a large working population coupled with increasing requirement of skilled workers, is instrumental in the prominent growth of vocational education in India.

In a recent survey done by Linkedin Workforce Confidence Index Research, the goals of online learning for India’s workforce are as follows:

Source: “LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index Research: 2020”, LinkedIn,

A survey findings of 2323 respondents.

With the incidence of COVID-19 pandemic, the two major areas of online certification have emerged, i.e. pre-recorded tutorials and live interactive classes.

Pre-recorded lectures or Asynchronous Classes

Online courses are delivered asynchronously where students learn on their own schedule (self-paced learning) without any real time instructor. The course content – lessons, pre-recorded video lectures and tutorials can be access by the students enrolled in the course at any time, as long as the course is active and available.

Advantages of pre-recorded lectures are:

  1. Flexible Course Timing, Location and Pace: This form of training presents a massive advantage for individuals looking to no timing restraints or deadlines.
  2. Cheaper than Virtual Instructor-led Training: Most self-paced courses are more affordable than their instructor-led counterparts as they are delivered asynchronously.

Live Interactive Online Classes/ Virtual Instructor led learning (ILT): / Synchronous Classes

It is an interactive platform for learner and professor lecturing in real-time. Learners could ask questions in the live lectures at the same hour. Lectures are also recorded for later reference, or for students not able to participate.

Pros of Live Online Classes Cons of Live Online Classes
Highly detailed and immersive courses, customised classes and tailored approachThis course method is always more detailed and singular, which is good for a single subject that requires very in-depth training   Costlier than self-paced but cheaper than traditional learning: Virtual instructor let learning tries to bridge the gap between traditional and self-paced learning an is costlier comparatively
Industry-specific concepts with regular updates: The learning points featured in such a course are usually updated alongside emerging technology and concepts   Scheduling and Time management: Synchronous learning is disciplined and requires sincere attitude  
Less subject area research than self-paced learning   Most classes get extended: Time consuming: Being an interactive platform, constraints of timing cannot be added
Better completion rates (Enrolment to completion ratio): People register for online courses but do not tend to finish them. Martin Rodiguez Jugo, director at IE Publishing says, 12%-15% completion rates are due to interactivity   Efficient Moderators are required: Moderator has to find various touch-points for instructor as well as learner to enhance the learning experience keeping technical glitches aside  
Engaging Class: Learn from peers and instructor alike: Learning is improved when students have interactive and engaging classes. Students get opportunity of sharing knowledge and peer learning   Contingent planning in case of class cancellations.  
On spot doubt clarification: As learner and instructor on same platform at the same time, it is convenient for learner to solve the doubt in the same hour  
High level of concentration: According to World economic forum, an individual learner retains 20%-50% more material when taught online.    
Handholding by Instructor – Mistakes analysis: Homework and solutions checks: Immediate feedback by mentor facilitates improvement in learner on regular basis and impart better understanding    
Intellectual intimacy, Networking and friendships through seeing each other on screen, talk in real time, group assignments, in class activities and breakout rooms as oppose to solitary learning offered in self-paced learning    
Improved class dynamics: When people without borders join and share their perspectives and experiences, the class dynamics improve. This format has all the benefits of regular traditional classroom without leaving one’s home and there are no back rows, one can’t get away    

According to International Mentoring Group, “Self-Paced learning is more akin to learning the basics of a subject area. It excludes human interactions and is more suitable for highly self-motivated learners or people preferring to take their time and sort things out themselves. Live Online Classes, on the other side, is for serious learners and it offers a portion of relevant knowledge at a stable learning pace. As well as essential human interactions.”

Online education will continue to gain popularity among prospective learners including students and professionals driven by aspects such as easy and on-demand access to contact, self-paced learning opportunities and interactive & modular means of learning.

A large percentage of the population see reskilling as a necessary for career profession and job role changes, creating consistent demand. According to study of KPMG, an average user signs up for two or more courses a year. These numbers are expected to see a multi-fold increase in the post COVID 19 scenario.


  • Srishty Jain, Co-founder at CoLLearn
  • Purvi Agarwal, Business Development Associate, CoLLearn
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