There is likely to be an explosion of demand for learning and e-learning in India, (and the other BRIC and CIVET economies), but India is unusual for having such an evolved e-learning industry. Indeed we would argue the Indian e-learning industry supports a development capacity far in excess to present domestic demand levels.
Demand and Supply
It would therefore be easy to conclude that there are limited opportunities in this market for US and European e-learning and learning technologies vendors.
The Indian market is likely to emerge led by the provision for education and life long learning, with the learner taking greater responsibility for learning, with some state support.
Accordingly we believe the demand for e-learning in India and other emerging economies is likely to be huge, and will quickly outstrip the potential supply base to develop the required content.
Mobile is the new accessible
The market will be heavily mobile orientated, no surprises here then, and will have a real orientation towards open content.
ICT resource centres in the communities of India will also play a huge role, but the ability to provide one to many streamed virtual classroom courses will be an important component of delivery.
What of MOOCs?
The MOOC movement is obviously well placed to service one part of this market at present, but will need to evolve rapidly.
In many ways the corporate e-learning projects so often developed by Indian e-learning companies for their international clients will not be suitable for this new market. The Indian market will be massively driven by education and life- long learning, with a strong focus on the provision of vocational skills.
Opportunity for Europe and the US
It is in this space that UK e-learning developers and UK and European institutions have a competitive advantage.
We too often forget how successful the UK’s National Learning Network (NLN) materials were in developing vocational educational e-learning materials. This was an e-learning project truly ahead of its time, and rather sadly underused in the UK.
The opportunity is for UK e-learning developers and UK education institutions is to partner and provide integrated e-learning services blending open content, with premium content and providing accreditation and certification services. The missing element is an organisation on the ground that can access the learners.
It’s not all about the technology
Whether it is branded a MOOC or a lifelong learning service or indeed an e-university is less consequential to the provision of e-learning materials that are available, curated and accredited with a provenance to allow users absolute choice and flexibility to assemble their own learning programmes and learn with their own aspirations and desires in charge.
It will be the provision and skillfull curation and accreditation the vast library of materials that UK e-learning providers and institutions are able to offer in partnership with the local service providers.