Higher education is one of the sectors that has witnessed a radical transformation ever since the Second World War. The digital revolution has ushered in newer ways of learning through online education, making it more accessible and affordable to a larger populace. Currently, while the mission of higher education institutions is to develop employability skills and make students career-ready, several universities and colleges have used technology to automate many internal processes so they can focus on providing a better learning experience. As technology continues to spearhead positive change, we examine how this impacts the higher education segment in 2022 and beyond.
Technological advancement and upskilling go hand-in-hand. For instance, those slow to the transition will find the skills that were once in-demand five and 10 years ago are now redundant. This makes it even more important for educational institutions to stay ahead of the curve and equip students who are entering the job market with relevant, updated skills. Institutions need to focus on adding new skills and provide the necessary tools for students to become employable or for advancing their learning progress.
COVID-19 accelerated the changes that were expected to happen in the next decade, remote learning is one of them. At its core, the practice of blended learning requires institutions to provide the same experience and learning to students learning on campus or off-campus. A student in the classroom or one joining remotely expects same learning experience, and learning delivery need to adjust to these new demands.
While blended learning has become the norm for higher education institutions and cost of learning especially higher education continues to scale up, students look for value in their experience and return on investment. As students spend a significant share of time and a large amount of money for their education. They ought to consider the learning experience, outcome and true value to the funds spent. Colleges and universities have to adapt to retain and attract new students under the new demand of return of value on the student experience.
Technology has a pivotal role in bringing the above changes within Higher Education. Following are the seven technology trends that support these transitions:
- Student experience and Learning progression
With the help of technology, faculty can monitor, evaluate, and assist each student’s learning progress personally. Every institution, such as the EdTech revolution program, must implement these learning tools. Learning becomes more accessible, efficient, and adaptable to the needs of each learner as a result of this. Such digital learning methods facilitate collecting a wide range of data on the learner’s behavior, particularly during learning activities. Completion time, video views, group discussion activities, and test results are measured metrics. This type of measurement is helpful in feature engineering, which relies on machine learning techniques. Experts claim that the algorithm can link learners’ specific behavior concerning their learning performance. This outcome is used to determine the overall efficiency of a machine code.
- Skills engine- micros to develop employable skills
It’s crucial to acquire relevant analytical expertise if you’re looking for a career in technology. Technology is one of the most crucial disciplines that a student may need to prepare for or address critical difficulties in the workplace. Unfortunately, the absence of Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills may dissuade efforts to employ e-learning to bridge the digital divide if ICT literacy is not managed or addressed.
- Utilize Internet of Things (IoT)
Building a platform based on Internet of Things (IoT) for higher education is significant in today’s times. The structure of an online management platform aimed at streamlining operations such as implementation of test result inquiry, online teaching, and attendance monitoring has become increasingly important in educational research. An IoT gateway that combines standard network facilities with the smart classroom architecture based on IoT technology, will enable both students and professors have a seamless experience.
- Metaverse, MR/AR-based integrated learning tools
There is no doubt that Institutions with superior digital infrastructure and the most knowledgeable people capabilities will emerge as leaders. We must strive to go beyond online education by building a “metaverse” that facilitates the operation of classes and produces an immersive learning experience that encompasses all aspects of campus life while leveraging cutting-edge digital technologies. These trends will enhance students’ learning with tools and applications like AI and mixed reality. For example, institutions can utilize AI to provide a blended experience for biology students. Students learning about the anatomy of a frog can use AI to receive the same experience and learn on campus or remotely.
- Create Data-Driven culture for students
Institutions are still under mounting demands to analyze and answer for how their people, programs, and assets perform as the higher education marketplace becomes more competitive. As a result, organizations are expected to respond to stakeholders (Students, Researchers, Faculty, administrators) needs quickly, identify and anticipate trends, and evolve and grow as a single entity.
Advanced data analysis helps institutions to intervene as needed to keep the learning process, avoid student drop out ratio, become more efficient in leveraging all resources, and streamline their operations by actively ensuring better leaning environment and educating student faster.
- Building the Shift to the Cloud
By migrating to the cloud, higher education IT leaders could streamline and embrace new platforms (such as video conferencing, learning management systems, and digital libraries) or tools (such as online chats and team collaboration software) to enable learning available anyplace anywhere and anytime. Entertaining ways to offset extraneous scalability needs, we considered bringing on an external managed services partner who understands how to combine current academic IT systems with a new cloud solution or SaaS-powered digital tools.
- Develop privacy and information security strategy for students
Cybercrime is challenging, continuously developing, and potentially disastrous to a higher education institution; it necessitates a deliberate strategy. Cybersecurity differs from either IT or business operations because it is hostile, reactive, and asymmetrical. Therefore, cybersecurity initiatives should complement and be tightly connected with the institution’s overall strategy. Inefficient resource usage and increased institutional risk stem from a reluctance to think and act strategically.
Lately, higher education institutions both research or academic focused cyberattacks have become more highly prevalent. The cyber threat to higher education is considerable, and it’s only going to get worse in the near future. Meeting the challenge, academic institutions necessitates strategic thinking, which must be driven by cyber security-specific strategic thinking and highest importance for the governing body level.
As we have seen in the last 24 months or so, during the COVID, the transmission of knowledge needs no longer be tethered to a university campus. Instead, technological advancements have helped make education far more accessible and prompted educational institutions to re-examine their role within a networked society.
The article has been written by Dhana Kumarasamy, CEO, Fulcrum Digital