Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Interview with Rajeev PS, Blobeo: Innovators in E-Learning Series

Making effective, collaborative expert instruction and mentoring readily available is an ongoing challenge. Welcome to an interview with Rajeev PS of Blobeo, a new entity dedicated to facilitating the process of bringing together industry practitioners and those seeking practical knowledge.

1.    What is your name and your relation to eLearning?

My name is Rajeev PS and the Co-Founder of Blobeo.

I began my career in software and have progressed a lot. During my journey, I attended various trainings to acquire new skills, I learned many skills with help of my mentors and I have been a mentor to various developers as well. Of my entire career, I have noticed that my learning was effective when it was with a mentor than online reading or online videos or attending training. I heard the same thing loud from my mentees as well.  Then I took a step back and analyzed and found that there are two major reasons why this was the only effective way.

a)    One was because the online reading and videos were not interactive and didn’t hold my attention for long
b)    The other key reason is because my mentors were real practitioners where as the trainers in most of the cases were only teachers but not practitioners.

So I realized that my learning would have been quicker and effective if it was from a real practitioner who can offer me an interactive course. I wanted the same thing to happen to billions of people in my situation and up-skill themselves effectively. That idea motivated me to co-found Blobeo.

   Blobeo is built just with the vision to help every one learn a new skill or up-skill themselves effectively.

2.    What are some of the problems that need to be overcome in eLearning right now?

The traditional eLearning gained momentum primarily with its on-demand and self-paced nature, anywhere- anytime flexibility and its very low cost.  However, this poses the key questions:

1.    How many of them who register for eLearning courses really get to complete it – not more than 10%
2.    How effective is the learning experience? – Not really, as it is not interactive and engaging
3.    How much value I am getting? – Very minimal as the courses are more theoretical in nature and more of a canned content which is prepared to fit a variety of learner segments and interests
4.    Is it better to hear some real experiences from an expert/practitioner? - Makes a lot of sense as most of them are looking to apply the learning in their real life situations at work
5.    Is the quality of instructors being considered seriously? – Very limited visibility about instructors and in many cases it is not very significant as there is not any personal interaction

The next wave of online learning is starting with a mission of addressing the above concerns and Blobeo is founded to lead this change.

3.    What is Blobeo? What does it look like? How does it work?

Blobeo is a market place for learners to connect with instructors who offer interactive live online courses. This is a platform to learn from a verified expert who is an industry practitioner in his or her own area of specialization. No matter your age or profession, Blobeo provides a powerful open online eLearning environment for you to learn.

Any individual can design and offer a course on Blobeo, provided their qualification and experience in the subject can be verified. Blobeo's intelligent profile verification uses LinkedIn and other social platforms to validate an instructor.

If you love to share a piece of your wisdom, this open platform enables you to uncover your hidden tutoring talent and make it as a key income source. You will also connect with enthusiasts in your profession and outside, thereby building your personal brand.

Blobeo is more than teaching or learning online, it also establishes a ‘connect’. It is a blob for your future - next dream job, research programs, career guidance, homework support, technology advisory or even start-up mentoring.

4.    What is the ultimate goal?

Blobeo is established with a vision to take the online learning to the next level to make it more engaging, effective, serious and thereby meaningful.  With Blobeo, we will shift the eLearning to outcome-oriented and value-based learning.

5.    What makes Blobeo different?  How can it beat the competition? 

a.    Blobeo will focus on online live interactive courses than the traditional recorded eLearning classes
b.    Unlike the traditional eLearning marketplaces where wisdom is “sold”, Blobeo will help establish a connect between the learner and his instructor where the wisdom is shared and not repeatedly “sold”
c.    Blobeo will bring more discipline to the learning process by combining the benefits of traditional eLearning like flexibility and availability with lively, interactive and engaged learning

6.    Why not just use Skype for personalized tutoring and/or live coaching? Why does one need an LMS?

Skype or a similar tool is only a technology enabler for the learning process while Blobeo will take you through the 360-degree aspects of any individual’s learning process.

Blobeo will also have a robust technology platform for live audio, video, content sharing, collaboration and even recording.

7.    How do you assure quality?  How can you utilize social media?

The key aspect of an eLearning marketplace is the quality of the instructors and the courses they teach. Blobeo’s primary focus is to ensure quality. Blobeo’s intelligent profile verification uses LinkedIn and various other social media platforms to validate an instructor and also his expertise in the area where he or she is offering the course. In addition to this, there will be a 360-degree review and feedback mechanism to consistently monitor and improve the performance of the instructors and quality of the courses.

8.    What are your plans for the future?

Blobeo is built just with the vision to help every one learn a new skill or up-skill themselves effectively. The key aspect of our future plan is to facilitate connecting the desire with knowledge across the boundaries. We realize that each region/country is rich in wisdom and expertise in certain unique areas. There is a great opportunity to facilitate a greater collaboration in the education and up-skilling, which will benefit a larger population, and for better humankind

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