Case Study: Practicing Video-Enabled Learning in a Higher Ed Institution

Case Study: Practicing Video-Enabled Learning in a Higher Ed Institution

February 5, 2017 | EdTechReview

When we talk of video enabled learning and teaching, the idea is to integrate videos and associated technologies to make learning better and efficient for students.

Integrating videos doesn’t complete the task and may require some other functions as well. To dig deeper into this trend of learning, we discussed the practice with IFIM Business School, Bangalore which is one of the prominent business schools in India, with a history of more than two decades. Like most progressive education institutions, IFIM is constantly on the lookout for ways to better learning and aims to equip its students with the best of learning environment and its faculties with advanced teaching tools for providing and creating a comprehensive knowledge environment to enhance student learning.

In a recent interview with EdTechReview, Mr. Sanjay Padode, Secretary, IFIM Business School shared why and how they chose the solution offered by Impartus, the one in all solution with many features that helps institutions with all the needs of video-enabled learning and teaching.

Problem/Challenge

Sanjay Padode, Secretary, IFIM Business School during the interview shared that “A great institution is created by its faculties. It is necessary that there is collegiality within the faculty and they gel well. Today we need educators who are more learning-driven rather than being teaching oriented and our challenge is transition faculties to being more learning-driven rather than being teaching oriented. It’s a fact that in today’s times students are much more learned. They are smart and quicker. The faculties therefore have to understand and appreciate this change and try to use tools that can help them bridge the gap between what they want to teach and what the student wants to learn. What’s important for a faculty now is not to teach what they know but to facilitate learning in a way that it aligns to curriculum objectives.”

Amit Mahenseria, CEO at Impartus during the interview with EdTechReview team also shared that “The challenge faced by their institution was one of the administrative one, where to retain and acquire the best faculties to the school were becoming really difficult. They had been working towards enabling teachers to become learning oriented rather than teaching oriented for the benefit of the students. Their plan to better themselves aligned totally with our mission to improve experience for institution’s stakeholders by planned integration of videos.”

After spending time with them we understood that the major challenge that IFIM grappled was acquiring students for the postgraduate course initiated for the executives. New-age working professionals aren’t in favor of quitting jobs or taking sabbaticals to attend degree course in institutes. They needed a solution that would attract the executives and simultaneously figure out a flexible way to make higher education more feasible for them. The administrative team at IFIM was also looking for a solution which could offer live streaming of their Saturday course to students who needed to attend the class remotely from areas outside Bangalore, as well as record the course for regular MBA students to access during the week, exactly for what Impartus had created their solution for.

I think being in the education system, one of the key priorities for educators is to progress with the changing times and ensure that they provide students with the right learning environment.  With technology penetration, the education system is in the process of an overhaul. Therefore, it is essential to shed teaching oriented techniques and adopting ways, which would facilitate customized learning needs for students. Teachers need to know what they want to teach and that must be parallel with how the students want to learn.

Impartus: The Solution

Impartus implemented a number of innovative features to meet IFIM’s needs. This video enabled learning solution became an integral part of IFIM’s academic process. Post implementation, IFIM witnessed increase in demand from students for accessing lectures post classroom hours. Impartus solution also proved out to be a great support for faculties. Faculties noticed increased classroom interaction from students, as they no longer have to focus on scribbling notes. Students are more participative during the class hours and there is also an improved faculty student engagement.

“The Impartus platform has enabled me to teach more effectively.  We are using this video technology to engage students in and out of the classroom, and to serve more students with existing resources”, says Dr. Gunjan Mohan Sharma, Professor & Program Head, IFIM.

“We are trying to implement Impartus solutions across all our classrooms and integrate it under our Learning Management System so that all classroom sessions are available to students for anytime and anywhere access”, adds Mr. Sanjay Padode.

Impartus video solution also worked out well for working executives too, who were inclined to pursue postgraduate courses with IFIM. Impartus implemented a Live Chat Feature that enables the students to interact online while viewing the course via live streaming. This helped IFIM address the issue to provide course access to students in remote locations. IFIM was also able to monitor attendance of virtual participants.

Dr. Gunjan Mohan Sharma, Professor & Program Head, IFIM says, “We have a pool of individuals interested in pursuing this program but their only limitation is they’re not from Bangalore. They’re not physically present in the location. So I think this solution has definitely helped us overcome that challenge. At an institutional level, it has helped us convert that opportunity. At a student level, it has helped them to freely access the classroom at a time and place convenient to them.”

Results from the practice:

Started on an experimental basis, Impartus video-enabled learning solution just with one classroom in 2014 at IFIM brought some very positive feedback from students and faculty. IFIM added Impartus’ video-based learning platform to another classroom in the spring semester of 2015. Students can access the learning platform over the IFIM intranet or online with any web browser or Android mobile device. IFIM is extending the Impartus solution to their regular MBA Post Graduate Program. By spring semester of 2016, Impartus will provide support for IFIM’s entire campus, including 24 classrooms and the school’s auditorium, and will be fully integrated with the school’s new learning management system from Desire2Learn (D2L).

The solution aids the learning and teaching in multiple ways. Impartus’ video enabled learning solution helps educators in providing the best of teaching by helping them with the right and informative resources. Here’s what the solution has to offer:

– Lecture Capture

Impartus is wonderful platform that has many features & lecture capture is one of the core features. It enables automatic recording and delivery of live lectures. With quality recording of video and audio, users will have distribution as well as content security.

– Video Bookmarks

User can mark segment of lecture and make it as a single video and mark it as bookmark for future use, while watching a lecture. All this can be done in just few clicks; users can also make playlist of bookmarked videos.

– Searchable Videos

Taken videos can be tagged by teachers and educators alike, the system also auto-tags using intelligent algorithms. Tagging makes the video discoverable and searchable.

– Post-Editing

Post-Editing is an alternative feature. If post-editing is allowed, teachers will be able to edit manually unwanted content from the video before lecture. The lectures are circulated to the learners only after the teacher is done with the editing.

– Analytics & Reports

A huge range of perceptive reports are created based on analysis of usage, performance data behavior of users. Users can also customize the accessibility of various report levels as per organization’s guidelines and requirements.

– Content Management

Impartus enables organizations in building, safeguarding as well as handling a multimedia content such as eBooks, audio, video, and notes in a user welcoming way. It also offers the capability of targeted, seamless, and safe sharing of all every type of content.

Some other renowned institutions on their portfolio include:
  • IIM, Bangalore
  • Symbiosis International University, Pune
  • VIT University
  • KMC Manipal
  • BITS Pilani
  • NIT Surathkal
  • Anna Universities
  • PES University
  • Shiv Nadar School
  • Laureate International Universities
  • Bharathi Vidyapeeth University
  • Army College of Medical Science

Know more about Impartus here.

I believe edtech sales should be similar to sales in any other sector which should start with understanding the need of the customer unfortunately which is not the case as per our talks with edtech startups. We cannot deny the fact that to make it happen institutions need to open up as well as edtech startups and companies need to change their approach. What has your experience been doing B2B sales in education? Share with us in the comment box below.

 

Connecting classrooms to spread the good word

Connecting classrooms to spread the good word

February 6, 2017 | Business Line

 

B2B start-up models are enjoying growing faith among entrepreneurs and investors because they tend to become profitable at a faster rate than pure consumer-focussed businesses.

B2B start-ups typically rely on a strong product and the power of partnerships, which in turn seems to help them be conservative on spending, and even remain lean while pursuing growth. And in what seems to be a balanced combination of commercial growth and social impact, edu-tech start-up, Impartus Innovations is gunning for wider reach even in rural or inaccessible parts of the country, besides currently setting up teams in international markets.

‘Social good’ canvas

Amit Mahensaria, Co-founder, Impartus Innovations, says, “There are brick-and-mortar universities that may be hundreds of years old, and online players like Simplilearn, Udacity, Coursera. We know the pain points of traditional universities that have to compete. We’re the video platform through which institutes can serve their students.”

While language barriers and Indian languages should eventually be catered for, video-based learning can potentially benefit learners in conflict-torn or remote areas of India where teaching and other infrastructure is limited. Impartus is keen on connecting schools so that students from any part of the country can benefit from the same content. One key bridge to that reality would be to work closely with State governments.

“Just one hour of teaching by a software developer here, for example, can benefit 20,000 students when classrooms are connected. We’re already talking with State governments in Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Jharkhand on this,” Mahensaria shares.

Staying trim

Having raised under $5 million from Kaizen Private Equity a couple of years ago, the company is “well-funded for the India plan”. Impartus claims to have 75 per cent of video-learning market share in India and aims to achieve breakeven in India by this year-end; it is already “profitable on individual accounts”. With markets such as Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore looking promising, Impartus has incorporated a subsidiary in Hong Kong.

Mahensaria is aiming for at least 50 per cent of the company’s revenues to come from international markets in the medium-term. Currently at a headcount of 80 employees, he also intends to keep the company lean while growing commercially. “We don’t burn money. Ours is a traditional model where we prove our product for sales. But we’re a product company and we have global ambitions,” Mahensaria says, adding that he hopes to raise a round of large ticket funds in some months to help with improving video-learning in all ways possible.

Impartus’ broader game plan, though, is to personalise learning: the platform will make data-led recommendations relevant to the individual learner rather than aggregating data on classrooms.

When Technology Meets Education

When Technology Meets Education

November 10, 2016 | The Economic Times

Edutech companies are filling the industry-academia gap by helping individuals and graduates from B-schools through their specialisations in emerging areas

Every year, tens of thousands of students graduate from Indian B-schools, but most struggle to find jobs commensurate with their education. The industry-academia gap is increasing by the day. According to a recent Assocham study, a whopping 93 per cent of B-school graduates are unemployable. The global demand for new-age skill sets in digital and big data analytics are largely unmet by traditional B-schools which leaves students in a perennial fix. That said, these unmet skill sets offer a huge opportunity to edutech companies to bridge the widening industry-academia gap.

Many edutech companies have been quick to realise this opportunity and have, in fact, partnered with B-schools to fill the gap. For instance, online education platform Coursera has partnered with Indian School of business (ISB), Hyderabad to offer specialised courses on emerging markets, business technology, and investment management. Interestingly, last year Coursera also launched a six-week online course on happiness in partnership with ISB — based on the premise that money can’t buy happiness.For Coursera, India is its second-largest market as well as one of the fastest-growing, with over 1.7 million users from India out of a total of 22 million users. “Our Indian learner reach has grown by a whopping 75 per cent over the past year. Technology skills are in huge demand and one-fourth of Indian enrolments are in computer related courses,” says Nikhil Sinha, chief business officer, Coursera.

Coursera, in fact, believes that it is in the early stages of disrupting the traditional MBA education by providing it online which offers students the flexibility of time, and that too at a fraction of the cost. Under its two innovative online degree offerings — the iMBA and the masters in data science launched in 2015 and 2016 respectively — in collaboration with the University of Illinois, students are taking classes at their own convenience, without having to quit their jobs, and at a much lower cost. “We believe that online, scalable, flexible degrees will soon dominate the world of graduate professional education,” says Sinha.

Online certification training provider Simplilearn offers structured training programmes in some of the key domains relevant for management professionals. “With our master’s program, our aim is to serve working executives who face skill gap, but do not have the time or accessibility to opt for a full-fledged MBA course,” says Kashyap Dalal, chief business officer at Simplilearn. “We offer a variety of master’s programmes taught by global industry experts that cater to the needs of management professionals in areas such as digital marketing, data science, project management, agile-scrum master and quality management,” he adds.

To reach out to more, Simplilearn is talking with a few leading B-schools to offer its curriculum as part of their program, especially in areas such as digital marketing and big data. “I believe, the main problem faced by educational institutions in areas such as digital marketing and big data is that the industry changes so fast that every three to six months the curriculum has to change too. Simplilearn has experts from the industry who are building and updating the curriculum very frequently. We can therefore help B-schools and other higher education institutions offer learning that is up to date and in areas where maximum job growth is happening,” says Dalal.
Singapore-based online education company Emeritus Institute of Management offers management education programmes in collaboration with three top-ranked business schools — MIT Sloan, Columbia Business School and Tuck at Dartmouth. “The management courses cover topics across business acumen, leadership, strategy and innovation, design thinking, negotiation, digital marketing, etc.,” says Ashwin Damera, executive director, Emeritus Institute of Management.

While currently Emeritus does not have any tie-ups with Indian B-schools, it sees a huge opportunity in the country. “In India, the quality of education at higher levels has not been aligned to the requirements of a global economy. The country does not have adequate professional education bandwidth to cater to demands for managerial talent who are capable of handling the challenges of an economy undergoing major economic transformation,” says Damera.

B-school Initiatives
Most B-schools are aware of the prevailing industry-academia gap and are working to address the issue. Bengaluru-based IFIM Business School has tied up with more than 60 companies and about 100 corporate mentors so its students can experience real business issues during their coursework. “This has helped us reduce the gap between industry and academia. We have also entered into agreements with companies such as IBM, Jigsaw Academy and FLIP to help us strengthen our academic content and make it relevant for the industry,” says Sanjay Padode, secretary of Centre for Developmental Education Society, IFIM Bengaluru.

The college has also partnered with edutech companies such as Desire2Learn for its learning management system; Campus Labs for its students information system; and Impartus for its live classroom-recording solutions. In addition, it has partnered with Harvard Business Publishing for its e-learning and simulation content; Microsoft for its Office 365 solution; and Facebook@ Work (Workplace) to help students and faculty maintain social communities for learning. “The edutech support provided by these companies has helped in enriching the learning experience of our students and has helped us enhance our efficacy of academic delivery,” says Padode.

A few months ago, Manipal Global Education Services partnered with Coursera, which would offer “curated educational content” to Manipal Global’s over 1.5 million active learners and alumni community. This will allow Manipal learners initial access to more than 60 high-demand specialisations and certificate programmes from Coursera’s leading university partners.

More recently, in October this year, Manipal Global Academy of Data Science was launched in Bengaluru which offers programs in data science and will culminate into a PG diploma from the university. Simultaneously, the academy would also offer short-term certification programmes for corporate learners.

The relationship between management schools and the industry is symbiotic. As the economy grows, the need for industry-ready management graduates will increase. But skills in emerging areas such as digital, big data, and analytics seem to be missing from the traditional curriculum of most B-schools, which calls for more partnerships with the industry — both edutech companies and corporates — to fill the gap. It is the best way to fulfil the growing need for supplementary training and assessment programmes among both students and faculty.

Industry-oriented management education delivered on-demand is a sunrise industry, which is set to become much bigger. There is a plethora of opportunities for anyone who wants to get into this space.

And You thought Edtech Startups only Taught Students

And You thought Edtech Startups only Taught Students

November 10, 2016 | The Economic Times

Education technology cos have created tech that can track teacher performance and offer them appropriate advice to help them teach better

Raji Sarath has been teaching English on e-learning platform Vedantu for just over six months. In these six months, the Kerala-based teacher has taught students not just in India, but also from countries like the UK, Canada and the UAE. The experience has been a learning curve for Sarath as well, as Vendatu tells her on how she can constantly keep improving.

“We get a monthly feedback and also immediate feedback from students. There is a comparative analysis with other teachers on the platform. It says how many hours I have taught as compared to others, among other things, and I also get to know where I stand among the fraternity,“ said Sarath. While education technology companies have focused on making students learn better or finding a good tutor for them, they are also recognising the fact that `teaching’ tutors to teach better is as important.

Vedantu has come up with an algorithm that takes into account 26 parameters so as to give a comprehensive feedback to a teacher. “For example, if you are teaching on a (virtual) white board, the algorithm can infer that this way is the most efficient way to use it and will then broadcast to other teachers saying, this is the best way,“ said Vamsi Krishna, CEO, Vedantu.

Similarly, other startups have created technologies that can track te acher performance and give them appropriate advice.

“We give two sorts of feedback -child-level feedback and concept-level feedback. Each teacher will benchmarked against other teachers,“ said Vineet Dwivedi, CEO, flipClass, a startup that connects students to tutors.

Impartus Innovations, a video-based learning platform, which captures classroom lectures that are made available to students for anytime re-learning, also has tools for teacher improvement.

“When we started, we had in our minds that until teachers benefit from our technology we will not be helping students. For many institutions, the biggest problem is teacher improvement,“ said Amit Mahensaria, cofounder of Impartus Innovations.

The startup’s technology can tell teachers when they were off topic, whether the students were interested, etc. Though there is initial resistance from teachers on being video-graphed, they do come to accept it when they see the benefits.Impartus’ platform is being used in the Indian Institute of Management and PES Institute of Technology, both in Bengaluru, among others.

The feedback does not just go in the form of raw numbers. It is rather in the form of progress boards and visually appealing representations. “We avoid giving raw numbers. Visual metres and progress boards influence teachers better,“ said Amruth BR, CEO of teacher assistance and training platform GuruG.

Taking learning to screens, across the globe

Taking learning to screens, across the globe

October 28, 2016 | Business Line

In times when MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) enjoy favour across the world, even full-time postgraduate degrees are being offered online in markets like the US and UK. However, what’s been missing in India is the delivery of high quality teaching to students in a way that they can access lectures even outside the campus.

Education in India

Higher education in India is still campus-based with some institutes offering distance learning as an alternative. With Impartus Innovations reportedly already helping more than 75 institutions in the country deliver teaching via video, many students enrolled at these institutions can access the company’s flagship product Lecture Capture on a range of devices.

Amit Mahensaria, co-founder of Impartus Innovations, says: “We’ve moved from zero to 75-80 per cent market share in India, but even that is small considering the larger base to tap is more than 10,000 institutes.”

Advantage institutes

Impartus has institutions paying a subscription fee on the basis of number of classrooms enabled with its solutions.

IFIM B-School, for example, has reportedly made investments of about a crore, in supporting infrastructure, including solutions by Impartus.

The institute’s relationship with the company is well over a couple of years old, according to a Sanjay Padode, Secretary (Centre for Developmental Education), IFIM B-School.

“Around 27 of the institute’s classrooms are enabled by video-based solutions. We’ve received higher enrolments from students outside the city, but beyond the impact on admissions, benefits are seen to be higher in the learning aspect of it all,” Padode shares.

He adds that while students don’t have to take notes anymore, they can also access the same lessons or modules taught by other teachers; they can also view old lectures before they choose an elective.

R&D partnership

For over two years, Xerox Research Centre India (XRCI) has been “developing technology for learning platforms” in its research lab.

According to Manish Gupta, Vice-President and Director, XRCI’s partnership with Impartus is still in early stages and the three-year agreement on a revenue-sharing basis is “reasonably open ended” in terms of R&D undertaken.

“We were focussed on the engineering education side of things, but on a quick survey of players in the higher education space, Impartus stood out. They already had a presence in institutions across India, while we’re strong in areas like machine learning and other unique capabilities,” Gupta says.

What’s already possible on Lecture Capture, thanks to the deal with XRCI, is automatic indexing so that students find the lecture of their choice; XRCI’s software reportedly also identifies sub-topics. Mahensaria claims that Impartus has enjoyed growth of 100-200 per cent per annum, as well as month-on-month growth of 10-15 per cent.

Meanwhile, IFIM B-School’s Padode sees that teachers are motivated to make lectures interesting; students get to give their feedback on lectures.

Funding

Impartus received Series A funding of more than $4 million from Kaizen Private Equity after bootstrapping the company for more than a year.

The funds are being used for further product development, international expansions, and sales and marketing.

“In Kenya, an untapped market for us, we’re working with a channel partner. We’ve started marketing in South East Asia and East Africa. In Malaysia, we’re investing heavily because we’re also looking at the country as a base for strategic investments in the larger region. But at the moment, more than 90 per cent of our revenues come from India,” Mahensaria reveals.

This Startup Is Using Video To Bring Quality Education To India’s Masses

This Startup Is Using Video To Bring Quality Education To India’s Masses

October 26, 2016 | Forbes

There’s an old adage that says the more things change, the more they stay the same. Amit Mahensaria and his cofounders are determined to prove the saying wrong, at least in India’s edtech space.

Mahensaria, Manish Kumar and Alok Choudary are the founders of Impartus, a Bangalore-based video learning company that has raised $4.1 million from Kaizen Private Equity. Impartus is a video learning platform that allows teachers to expand their reach beyond geographic constraints and enables more students to access quality materials.

“When I was student 15 years back, I used to go into the classroom, learn from teachers, and have to photocopy notes after,” Mahensaria said. “Fifteen years later, it’s still the same.”

But the education industry in India and throughout Asia is slowly changing. Mahensaria, Impartus’ chief strategy officer, and his cofounders are doing their part to move it along.

“Videos are going to come into the edtech space in a massive way,” Mahensaria said. Impartus’ primary service at the moment is lecture capture, enabling instructors to record, annotate, and distribute their lectures quickly and broadly. The technology provides students in remote areas or second-tier campuses to access quality materials, a critical issue in parts of India.

Literacy rates are particularly bad in rural communities, with only three out of four eighth graders being able to read grade 2 materials. School enrollment among 6-14 year olds is strong, but the quality of education is low and enrollment drops substantially among older students, according to a 2015 report from the ASER Centre. Those who make it to the college level recognize that they are often receiving poor quality educations, Mahensaria said. They’re then faced with the choice of dropping out of school or moving to a city with better university prospects.

“There’s already the problem of having few quality teachers, so I thought, ‘How can I take their lessons to the masses?’” Mahensaria said.

Impartus is working with a state government in East India to connect more than 3,000 schools to Impartus’ platform, 80% of which are in rural and violence-prone areas. The objective is to bring quality lectures to people in these areas via teachers who speak the local language and can use Impartus to enhance their courses.

Teaching the teachers

Before bringing lessons to the masses, however, Impartus needed to get teachers to use the technology. Teachers are often wary about new tech platforms, viewing them as burdens rather than opportunities to streamline their workloads, Mahensaria said.

“They are apprehensive of technology. I think, for this, edtech companies are more to blame than teachers,” he said. “In India, software is booming, everyone wants to be software developers. A lot of these software developers, including us, with no background in education, created software solutions for for teachers. A lot of these edtech companies with virtually no background in education developed software solutions, sold it to management, and pushed it to teachers, which was not really serving the teachers. It was increasing the work of the teachers.”

Mahensaria and his cofounders failed with a previous attempt at edtech for this reason.

“I realize this is a lacuna for us — our DNA is not in education,” he said.

Before Impartus, they launched a learning and school management systems that allowed students to submit assignments and administrators to track attendance, learning outcomes, and other metrics. However, the approach was too broad and missed the mark on educators’ needs, Mahensaria said.

“The problem was that we were trying to do everything that a school needs and were not doing anything the best,” he said. “Also, we were developing the products from a developer’s perspective and not from the perspective of the actual pain points of customers.”

But they learned from their past mistakes and built Impartus with teachers in mind. That’s why Impartus requires minimal set-up and maintenance. Programmed cameras are installed in classrooms, and they operate based on the lecture schedule. The cameras switch on and off automatically, capturing lectures that are edited by a computer program as soon as the class ends. Lectures can be live streamed to students who study at other campuses or cannot attend in person, and they’re also available for watching later.

With $4.1M funding and 2,00,000 hrs of classroom lectures, Impartus Innovations is helping 37,000+ students and faculty members in India

With $4.1M funding and 2,00,000 hrs of classroom lectures, Impartus Innovations is helping 37,000+ students and faculty members in India

August 30, 2016

A number of students find it difficult to keep up with the materials introduced in classroom lectures. The standard lecture format was comprehensible to only few students, leaving others perplexed. Three friends ‑ Amit Mahensaria, Manish Kumar, and Alok Choudhury – faced the same problem. They struggled to get hold of the classroom lectures while trying to take down notes in college.

Back in 2013, the trio sensed a huge potential in the education sector when the market was in a nascent stage. Addressing the very problem became their explicit vision which led to the foundation of Impartus Innovations in December 2013.

Prior to starting up, Amit, an IIT Delhi alumnus, worked in the finance and education sector for more than a decade. Manish, an IIT Delhi graduate, worked with Citigroup as a technology professional and developed various approaches in software solutions. Alok, an IIT Madras alumnus, in his 12 years of experience designed everything from circuits to chips to algorithms to software.

Solving the issue

Bengaluru-based Impartus provides video-based learning solutions which enable educational institutions to capture, edit, and distribute classroom lectures. Its flagship product ‑ ‘Lecture Capture’ ‑ captures the lecture sessions, which include vocal lectures by educators, PowerPoint projections, black/white board writings and students’ responses.

It also allows students to stream the videos online through its web- and app-based platforms across devices, thereby automating the entire process and saving the expense of extra manpower and support staff.

“We record classroom lectures for the outside-the-classroom learning sessions or during exam preparation. The same can be live streamed to students across the globe, enabling institutions to connect to multiple campuses real-time”

says Amit.

Impartus Innovation helps teachers to reconnect with students after classroom hours and share more inputs on a given topic by adding notes, links and other related material to the videos available online.

Bootstrapping

The trio bootstrapped the venture with their personal savings and by borrowing funds from their friends and families. During their initial journey of hardships, they learnt that no matter how well-structured the plan is, the actual requirement of money will be more than what you have budgeted for.

Once the cash crunch period was over, the unwillingness of academic institutions and professors to deploy the video technology emerged as another challenge. They had to wait for hours to meet the principals of schools and colleges for an initial meeting and months to get an answer.

The meetings involved educating institutions about the concept of lecture capture and how videos in classroom can improve learning. In some cases, Amit says, university IT administrators are concerned that this may create an additional maintenance burden.

To mitigate these concerns, Impartus provides a complete end-to-end solution, including hardware, software, and extensive customer service. It delivers the Impartus solution to customers via the cloud (SaaS) using the web-browser on their computers, laptops or mobile devices.

Fortunately, IIM-Bangalore and PES Institute of Technology expressed interest, which further validated the idea of Impartus and helped to on board more number of institutions.

Today, Impartus Innovations has more than 70 institutions in the higher education sector of India. Some of the institutions include IIM-B, Shiv Nadar School, PES University Bangalore, IFIM Business School Bangalore, Anna University Chennai, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management Pune and IIIT Bangalore.

The company claims to have catered to more than 2,000 faculty users, 35,000 students across 600 classrooms and has recorded 2,00,000 hours of classroom lectures.

Recently, Impartus entered into a strategic partnership with Xerox Research Centre India (XRCI) to improve students’ engagement through efficient video search and navigation, including multimodal topic extraction which will offer contextually relevant content to supplement educational videos.

Funding and expansion

Last year, Impartus Innovations raised $4.1 million in Series A funding from Kaizen Private Equity, an education-focussed fund. With a team of 80 people, the company has presence across India and is planning to expand to Asia Pacific market (Greater China and South East Asia) and East Africa. It generates revenue from B2B sales and on a subscription basis from universities/institutions. It claims to be growing at a rate of 100-200 percent year-on-year.

Over the next few years, Impartus aims to serve distance-learning academies and corporate enterprises that seek to provide personalised and cost-efficient employee training.

Few startups have emerged in the video learning space in the last few years. Kolkata-based interactive education platform, Zeroinfy.com allows students to buy video lectures made by teachers. Hassan (Karnataka)-based Ignus introduced tablet-based coaching, which records the classroom sessions of the professors and display the same in the tablets.

Bengaluru-based cloud-based solution provider LinkStreet uses video for learning and collaboration. It has raised an undisclosed investment in Series A funding led by Faering Capital India Evolving Fund.

According to India Brand Equity Foundation, India holds a very crucial place in the global education. It is estimated to have more than 1.4 million schools with 227 million students enrolled. When it comes to e-learning, India is considered as the second largest country after US.

How Videos Can Be Game-changers In Education?

How Videos Can Be Game-changers In Education?

September 16, 2016 | Business World

By Amit Mahensaria, Co-founder & CEO – Impartus Innovations

Videos are also being used as a powerful teacher improvement tool, allowing educators and administrators to constantly improve on the quality of education

If we observe the new breed of schools in India within our surroundings, one thing we will notice is how most, if not all of them, are trying adopt technology. We would seldom find any pre-school today sans an interactive-white-board (IWB as the toddlers fondly call them) or any well equipped high-school without any smart-boards. Educators are agreeing to the fact that including interactive modes of learning while teaching in classrooms is enhancing student learning across levels. Of all the interactive learning methods, videos are gaining faster popularity both among learners and educators as videos create a platform for contextual learning. Wikipedia defines contextual learning as the process, which involves the presentation of information in a way that allows students to construct meaning, based on their own experiences. This automatically translates to better understanding of contents and concepts.

How blended learning is enhancing student experience?
Many recent scientific researches have indicated that using video in classrooms improves learning. A UCLA research states that people generally remember 10 per cent of what they read, 20 per cent of what they hear, 30 per cent of what they see, and 50 per cent of what they see and hear. This concludes to the fact that audio-visual teaching techniques are the most powerful. It is also the reason why most Montessori schools use a mixture of visual, auditory, demonstrative approaches to teach various subjects.

Progressive educators are starting to utilize multi-sensory teaching methodologies, including video to facilitate offline or classroom learning, as videos have been shown to drive greater knowledge retention. As an audio-visual medium, video finds multiple pathways of seeding information in brain. Students readily embrace new technologies like video and are also able to retain information gathered in classes better and longer.

Videos are becoming a favourite among learners because it enhances self-paced and anytime anywhere learning. Because video is a blend of many kinds of data (images, motion, sounds, text) packaged to arouse a student’s interest, learning becomes more personalized and the learner has a greater control in the manner he absorbs information. Additionally, content could also be tailored to suit students learning capabilities. Thereby, the student is able create a deeper learning experience for himself as he is able to view, evaluate and replay content and understand better.

Video as a tool to increase teacher effectiveness
Videos are also being used as a powerful teacher improvement tool, allowing educators and administrators to constantly improve on the quality of education.

According to a study titled ‘A game changer – Using videos to achieve high performance in the classroom’, 91 per cent educators felt that simply filming their instruction would help them improve their practices. 85 per cent of school leaders said that using video in observations would help them provide more meaningful feedback to their teachers.

Administrators and educators feel that through solutions such as lecture capture they can potentially transform teacher performance and ultimately lead to higher student achievement. Concepts such as ‘flipped classrooms’ are being effectively tapped by teachers and help promote greater teacher-student interaction. Thus classrooms have become more interactive and learning doesn’t remain limited to classroom hours anymore.

Videos could transform education in emerging markets
Emerging markets are one of the most explosive areas of growth in education and in countries like India, Kenya, South Africa, and Malaysia there is a growing hunger for quality education. In most of these countries, parents and governments are unable to provide young people with quality education, which would make them rightly skilled and future ready. To top it, growing population in these regions add another roadblock for basic education rights of children. High student-teacher ratio, lesser interactive classrooms all lead to low quality of education in these regions.

Adoption of online teaching methods such as video-based learning could be the answer to most of these challenges as videos could be used as a learning tool even outside of the classrooms and may help overcome the issues of overcrowding schools and colleges. Usage of videos can also help these geographies access quality education.

Conclusion

2015 Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) released by Pratham shows that over the last decade, basic learning levels for children in elementary school in India have remained low. Only about half of Class V children in rural India can read a simple Class II level text. It says that at least half of all Indian children – close to 100 million – are at least two to three years behind grade level.

This eventually has a cascading impact on students entering the higher education institutions.

Adoption of technology will do wonders to our students and greatly enhance the quality of learning too. Integrating videos into the learning management systems of our existing educational institutions could help address the quality and learning gap the nation currently faces. But this would only be possible when education practitioners along with policymakers of our country come together and strongly advocate technology adoption in the current education system. This could also mean working towards setting up a robust Internet infrastructure in the country. With technology becoming ubiquitous in our lives, it has become imperative for the education sector across markets to expand its methodologies to incorporate the newest advancements like its being done in the west.

Collaborative Learning – The new charm of student’s community

 

Collaborative Learning – The new charm of student’s community

Feburary 15, 2017

By Gurpreet Singh Sachdeva

In the recent era, many Edtech companies have launched their education products but not many of them are focusing about how education can be inculcated faster with collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Collaborative learning has become very important in contemporary education. It enables students to explore and discover new cognitive dimensions by inducing critical thinking through discussions and notes sharing. It also shapes up their social interaction skills, promoting student-professor and student-student interactions. The more students interact, the better they can follow a team approach to problem-solving, yet maintaining individual accountability to create new content.

Students need more and more access to multi-dimensional solutions for their problems. Hence, it is important to have a threaded discussion where many subject matter experts around that course, lecture or a topic can share their ideas. This would increase student’s depth, retention, and a quest for knowledge.

Universities and colleges in India are certainly open and want to adopt this in the modern education but they do not have a pertinent platform for that. And therefore students are pulled more towards Quora and Stack Overflow where they are lost and sometimes distracted from the relevant problem.

Impartus 3.0 release in its entirely new user experience has introduced this platform in the contemporary model of teaching. This has enabled students to post a query related to a topic, course or a lecture thereby initiating the discussion. The question gets automatically tagged with the topics and is notified to subject matter experts who could post the answer or a comment to further explore the intent of the question.  Students can also manually add or edit topics to make it more relevant and consumable.

Both professors and students can follow topics. They can post their own questions, respond to other posted questions and upvote already posted answers. By these activities, students earn points and can become star students. Besides topics, students can follow other star students and professor and can get notifications on their posted content.

Another critical feature in this release is to provide a free knowledge vault called “Backpack” to each and every student and professor where one can store course-related contents (Notes, Lecture clips, additional videos and documents)  that can be accessed anytime anywhere.

Impartus is strongly committed to constantly providing students better ways to collaborate and share knowledge using the best of technology for the better education in future.

Impartus Achieves Unprecedented Growth in the Second Half of 2015

 

Impartus Achieves Unprecedented Growth in the Second Half of 2015

January 12, 2016

Appoints Sandeep Aji as CEO and Hires Chinmay Joshi as Head of Operations to Support the Next Phase of Expansion

Bangalore, India – January 12, 2016 – Impartus, a provider of innovative video-enabled learning solutions that drive better outcomes for the higher education sector, today announced that its sales results from the fourth quarter of 2015 were up by nearly 3x over any previous fiscal period since the company was founded, increasing its install base by 50%.  Impartus also achieved a number of important milestones in the latter half of 2015, recording over 100,000 hours of video at 50 universities.

Impartus’ growth has stemmed largely from demand in the Indian higher education market, where the growing population is starting to outpace physical classroom space, making it difficult for universities to accommodate potential students.  Higher education administrators are eager to find technology solutions that enable them to serve more students with existing resources.  Impartus helps universities to overcome numerous logistical challenges while boosting the academic performance of students.

In order to position for its next phase of growth, Impartus has taken steps to bolster its leadership team.  The company has appointed Sandeep Aji, formerly Head of Products, to CEO of Impartus, and has hired Chinmay Joshi as Head of Operations.

“Impartus achieved an unprecedented level of growth in the second half of 2015, under the leadership of Sandeep Aji,” said Amit Mahensaria, Co-Founder, Impartus. “Based on this outstanding performance, we are delighted to promote Aji to CEO of Impartus, to lead our rapid global expansion in the coming year.  We also welcome Chinmay Joshi to our team as Head of Operations.  Together, Aji and Joshi bring the kind of collective experience and drive that Impartus needs to seize a leadership position in the global market for video-based learning platforms.”

With nearly 25 years of experience in managing product and business development for imaging and software companies, Sandeep Aji will continue to focus on R&D and Business Development, building upon Impartus’ current video-based learning product suite to create an industry-leading cloud-based, contextually relevant platform for higher education. Before joining Impartus, Aji served as Director of Marketing and Engineering at Intersil, where he oversaw the development of products for mobile and consumer market. Prior to that, he held Director and Senior Management positions at Aptina, inSilica, and Sun Microsystems. Aji holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Pune and has done graduate research at University of Cincinnati in Distributed computing. He also holds a number of original patents in the industry.

As Head of Operations for Impartus, Chinmay Joshi will spearhead operations and support functions in India and internationally.  An IIT-Bombay and ISB-Hyderabad alumnus, Chinmay comes with 10+ years of rich experience in Operations, Client Management, Supply Chain, Sales & Project Management. Prior to joining Impartus, Chinmay has been in leadership roles in LivSpace.com, where he ran the supply chain unit, as well as Hindustan Uniliver, Asian Paints, and Cadbury India, where he was instrumental in launching Dairy Milk Silk, a premium chocolate brand. Having tackled his first managerial position at the age of 21, Joshi was one of the youngest managers in India.

“Impartus is clearly the place to be for smart, energetic professionals who want to make an impact on the Indian education sector,” said Sandeep Aji, CEO, Impartus.  “We believe that education is something everyone should have access to, and we are deeply dedicated to ensuring customer success.  We’ve assembled a team of experts who are committed to achieving our goals every step of the way, from product development all the way through to exemplary customer service. I am very proud of this organization, and thrilled about the opportunity to lead it into the next phase of expansive growth.”

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About Impartus

 Impartus provides innovative video-enabled learning solutions that drive better outcomes for the higher education sector. The Impartus product suite offers easy, seamless integration to help educators extend learning experiences outside the classroom and provide relevant content to a diverse body of students around the world. Founded in 2013 by a passionate group of IIT and IIM alumni in India, Impartus has the necessary expertise and infrastructure required to provide global support. The company has achieved market leadership in India and a strong presence in a number of developing countries, including Malaysia and Kenya. Impartus is headquartered in Bangalore, India, with offices in India, Malaysia and San Francisco, California. The company is funded by Kaizen Private Equity, India’s premiere education-focused private equity fund. For more information, please visit http://impartus.com/.