E-learning in Asia is on the rise: CDN is key to ensure stable and secure user experience

E-learning in Asia is on the rise: CDN is key to ensure stable and secure user experience


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E-learning in Asia is on the rise: CDN is key to ensure stable and secure user experience

By Evelyne Kuo, Content Strategist, BaishanCloud

Fri 26, 02 2021

Accelerated by COVID-19, the online education industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in China, Southeast Asia, and India. In China, the online education industry’s user base in 2020 has increased by 46% to over 400 million users. In this region, the time spent on online education has increased 60% during the pandemic. This trend encourages more learners to take courses online and more people to become instructors for online classes, as physical distance is no longer a barrier.

Based on the chart above, the market size of online education in China has been rapidly growing, from 70 billion yuan, roughly US$10 billion in 2012 to an estimated 543 billion yuan, approximately US$80 billion in 2022. The market will grow 8 times bigger within 10 years.

Since the pandemic started, the user size of online education in China has increased almost 50%, from around 230 million users in June 2019 to 420 million in March 2020, with the utilization spiked to 46.8%. While the user size in June 2020 dropped down slightly since the COVID-19 situation was stabilized in China, the user size is still relatively more extensive compared to previous years. Based on the research done by Statista, the online education market will continue to expand. Now is the prime time to get into the market and establish a leading position in the industry.

Aside from the growing e-learning market in China, Southeast Asia and India are two other emerging regions that are focusing on online education.

Impacted by COVID-19, remote education in Southeast Asia is on the rise too. Many Southeast Asian governments imposed complete closure for all educational institutions and turned to home-based online learning. The barriers, however, posed other issues for both the instructors and the students. SEAtongue stated that the absence of eligible digital infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges during this transition. Based on the research from Statista, only four Southeast Asian countries recorded an internet penetration rate of more than 80%, and some of the people don’t even have advanced digital devices.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the Indian government allowed universities to offer fully online degrees for the first time. This could reshape education delivery in the country. At the same time, the government is working on improving the new national education policy. “By 2030, India is set to have the largest working-age population in the world. Not only do they need literacy, they need both job and life skills,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said. The new policy encourages institutions in India to develop their own online programs locally and recognize programs and credits from foreign institutions. The policy proposed that some foreign institutions may even be invited to operate in India — which the country has long resisted. While the new education policy may increase the education level within the country, few institutions have staff who are experienced in launching and delivering online classes. “It’s a high-focus market for us. We’re thinking about how we can serve the market better. We see online education in India as a large opportunity.” said Raghav Gupta, managing director of India and the Asia-Pacific region for Coursera.

However, when encountering a considerable amount of traffic, there are some issues in latency and delivery that online education platforms and content providers should be aware of. Some of the online education industry’s pain points include unpredictable network latency, distributed lecturers and students, multi-directional communications, and audio and video lagging.

User interaction with the content, the instructors, and the peers are key to online education. When the learning process is transitioning into a virtual format, it is critical to provide a real-time platform with interactive features that mimic the in-person environment. Live streaming platforms focusing on online education in China and Southeast Asia have invested a ton of resources in optimizing virtual learning experiences in a relatively short period of time.

“Your voice is breaking up” or “Your shared-screen is lagging” are probably some of the most common phrases we have heard in the distributed online learning setting. Similar to the gaming industry, the unpredictable online learning environment for the instructors and students is the prime variable in the live streaming workflow. Inconsistent content experience can lead to inconsistent learning results. Additionally, audio also plays a crucial part in learning and communications. Lacking or overlapping audios can lead to disengagement and directly result in a negative learning experience.

Because of this, most of the live streaming platforms in China, Southeast Asia, and India are experimenting with real-time streaming protocols and the newest streaming codecs, trying to bring the online learning experience to the next level.

What are the solutions? With the knowledge in a real-time communications protocol, high-efficiency video, audio encoding, and distributed network, BaishanCloud CDN can help solve the issues stated above and improve the online learning experience.

BaishanCloud has a globally distributed edge network covering 6 continents with direct connectivity with over 400 Points of Presence (PoP) to provide online education platforms with stable performance and service quality in the global market. To further guarantee its service and assist online education’s rapid expansion, BaishanCloud has a team of senior technical experts to provide 24/7 on-demand support and troubleshooting. With advanced streaming engines for encoding, transcoding, and optimized routing, BaishanCloud provides one-stop streaming services, enabling you to focus on creating educational content while relying on BaishanCloud to deliver a superior online learning experience to end-users in China, Asia, and beyond.

BaishanCloud is a leading global data service provider specialized in cross-border content delivery and edge security in China and Asia. To get more articles on trendy topics related to cloud delivery, streaming best practices, edge security, cloud technology in China and Asia, please visit www.baishancloud.com and subscribe to the BaishanCloud newsletter.

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