Paradigm Shift in Higher Education

The unprecedented situation created by the global pandemic has put the spotlight on the education system. Most of the institutions of learning are moving to online platforms, and the focus has shifted to Digital Technologies in Education. The world is forging a new paradigm for learning.

The Pressure on the Indian Education System: As per AISHE portal of MHRD, in 2019 India had 37.3 million students enrolled in higher education, in 993 universities, and around 42,000 colleges and 10,700 standalone institutes of higher learning. Our current gross enrollment ratio from school to college is only 1:4, and this number for tribal areas is lowest at 1:7.

As per World Bank the world is in a learning crisis due to the poor quality of education. The current education systemin India is also failing to cope with the demands placed on it. 90% of the Indian universities are below par. How can we provide quality education within our limitations?

Tech in Education: Embracing technology to teach is the opportunity and the answer for the way forward. Technology in teaching has greater reach and here to stay. We in India leverage this push provided by technology to address the limitations of the pandemic. A session on zoom has a greater reach than a traditional classroom lecture. Online-classes and recorded courses will build on the current system. This will bring more quality control and outreach.

Online education is a paradigm shift towards blended education. Going forward, use of artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality will bridge the gap of synchronous education environments. EdTech will be data-driven, will use immersion technology, video content and allow for personalization and adaptive learning.

Skills vs Degrees: Degrees are not going to be important. Learning specific disciplines will lose focus. We will see cross-discipline, inter-discipline learning aligned to individual’s focus and needs. There will be close integration between academia and industry. As things change rapidly, every organization will be a learning organization. Corporate India is beginning to feel obsolete – it will need to help the employee to figure what to learn.

Self-Directed, Lifelong Learning:  We are evolving from specific degrees in specific time-frames to lifelong learning. Learning will be in blocks as when the individual requires it. The boundaries between discipline will blend and students will redefine their own purpose-driven program. Our understanding and expectations of what education is, will change accordingly.

People are by nature curious, with a desire to progress. The next generation of students will be self-directed. It will be the responsibility of the learner to be able to define their own path. This will lead to a focus on the accountability and responsibility of the student.

Our job as educators is in inspiring and keeping curiosity alive.

To know about how IILM is incorporating technology for virtual classroom delivery and inclusive education, please visit our website –

VISUAL THINKING – For taking the first action on your design ideas


Imagination and Association

We are not linear thinkers. While our reading and writing is linear, but out thinking and assimilating the world around us is multi-dimensional – its full of ideas and images and is constantly evolving.
As designers, we all need to be able to put our thoughts down on paper. For every design exercise we gather a lot of information. Being able to put this knowledge on paper in a visual exercise frees the thinking and helps begin engaging in the design exercise and this is a continuous process.
If we look at the research material on great thinkers and philosophers such as Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Edison, Charles Darwin, they all use a combination of images, words, and diagrams to record and explore their ideas.


Diagrams Graphically Construct our Knowledge

Diagramming can become an essential tool for working in a team. It enhances creativity and problem solving, gives value to our ideas, and organizes thoughts. It frees the mind and helps us excel at what we do, by enabling us to better structure our thoughts, and to express our ideas more clearly. The evolving diagram becomes a vehicle to take us from our unresolved state to a more organized state. In the process we learn to analyze the information that we collect and represent it for discussion in a clear structured manner.

Diagrams are a visual thinking tool that helps us put our thoughts down with color, words, lines and rhythm. Whatever we need to think about more effectively and exercise our imagination. They help us to organise our thoughts. Its an image with network of associations.
Visual diagrams help in problem solving, creativity, management and scheduling. Once having put these thoughts down in a diagrammatic manner, it helps to be structured and confident in sharing, developing and creating concepts. It allows continuity and development in your work.



Tools for Diagramming

Use all the tricks and of the trades that a graphic designer would use for creating an advertisement: Lines, images, visual metaphors, colours to convey ideas. Remember that it is not a drawing exercise but rather an effort to convey ideas, and, importantly, to stay focused on the message:
• Free-form, as well as geometrical figures to segregate your thoughts
• Linear graphics to make connections within the thoughts.
• Colour provides intensity and focus for visual retention
• Various Fonts and sizes of the letters
• Words and short-hand notations to clarify our ideas
• Thinks of images to reflect our ideas
• Construct associations to enrich this visual diagram
In short, diagramming allow us to better convey our ideas. Seeing everything interrelated in one place gives a comprehensive picture.



Some tips for effective diagramming:

• Begin small
• Make sure there is a theme or a concept
• Don’t make it too neat, allow flexibility to develop/grow
• Categorize and isolate ideas
• Make connections between these thoughts and ideas
• Use visual metaphors
• Sequential content for timeline development