BLOG

Resources for Educators
& Professionals

 

5 Trends in Higher Education to Watch

by  Jones & Bartlett Learning     Jun 1, 2022
5TrendsinHigherEducationtoWatch_blog_1200w630h

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world as we knew it upside down. Higher education facilities, much like other organizations, scrambled to find ways to remain operational. Technology played a huge role in this process and, also important to consider, the pandemic will have lasting effects on higher education that won’t be reversed.

As a result, colleges and universities must adapt to fit society’s “new normal” and continue to prepare for the unexpected. Going forward, here are five trends to watch as higher education forges a path forward in a post-pandemic world.

 

Hybrid Teaching and Flexible Learning are Here to Stay

Over the past two decades, technology has steadily become more advanced in higher education. In the 1990s and early 2000s, distance learning consisted of students borrowing recorded VHS tapes and sending assignments in by mail. Fast-forward and distance learning became the norm – and will continue to be so. What will be different is how educational facilities adopt new technology and combine it with traditional approaches to learning.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities largely had to shift to hybrid teaching models without much warning. Most were not prepared for this move, but through trial and error, found ways to transition both students and instructors to new formats successfully. There’s little doubt, looking to the future, technology trends in higher education will continue even in a post-pandemic world. Professors will be giving in-person and online lectures, students will participate in classroom meets and video conferencing, and other hybrid methods used in classrooms will continue to have a prominent place in learning.

Students and staff continue to expect more elasticity in the higher education experience, especially regarding flexible course options. According to Salesforce, students expect 50 percent of their courses to be online, while 46 percent of staff anticipate a higher degree of remote work in the “near future.” Furthermore, 48 percent of staff said their institutions have invested in new models emphasizing flexible learning options.

 

New Additions of Sophisticated Technology

It became clear throughout 2020 that technology was “critically important to keeping teaching, learning, research, and administration going,” says Susan Garjek, a vice-president at Educause, in an interview published in EdTech Magazine earlier this year.

Going forward, it can be expected higher learning facilities will use more augmented and virtual reality technologies, advanced learning management systems (LMS), along a rise in sophisticated videoconferencing platforms. Most certainly, educational institutions will be building more robust networks to support these – and other – technological additions.

 

Healthy Buildings and Campus Experiences

The practices associated with promoting good health will be concepts colleges and universities will continue to be very conscious of in the future. As a result, maintaining healthy, clean, and sustainable buildings will be a high priority. Various technologies, including enhanced HVAC systems and UV lighting, will be experimented with and successfully integrated. Other initiatives, such as outdoor Wi-Fi and benches, are undoubtedly here to stay. Outdoor learning spaces where professors take classes out to open-air areas are expected to be an ongoing trend.

 

Remote Exams

The pandemic created significant challenges for college classrooms regarding tests and assessments. Online proctoring filled the void, but it did raise privacy issues. Going forward, educators are likely to continue exploring software solutions that aren’t invasive or violate student privacy (or find ways to mitigate those issues with current applications). Alternatively, educators may devise new ways to assess students that don’t involve traditional tests. Many will seek to launch other innovative online exam strategies.

 

Support for the Wellbeing of Students and Staff is Paramount

The wellbeing of both students and staff is a top challenge identified by the Salesforce research. The social distancing and quarantine measures necessitated by the pandemic created severe feelings of isolation for students and staff. Salesforce’s survey found 75% of students and 73% of staff had difficulty maintaining their wellbeing.

The year 2020 was tough on college students and, for many, this led to anxiety, emotional stress, and health concerns. An August 2020 report from the CDC stated survey respondents, aged 18 to 24, reported 25.5% said they had been suicidal, 25% said they increased substance use to cope, and 75% said they’d felt “at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom.”

Other reports indicate that faculty and staff are feeling burnt out due to longer work hours and fewer days off. Between the need to immediately turn to online delivery modes and fearing furloughs and layoffs in institution budget cuts, this created high levels of stress and exhaustion for employees. Trying to support struggling students also added to their emotional overload.

Higher education facilities will be turning an eye towards prioritizing mental health support for students, faculty, and staff, along with destigmatizing the stereotypes surrounding mental health and well-being.

 

Moving Forward

If nothing else, the pandemic of 2020 taught higher education that institutions must be prepared for the unexpected. The future of higher education in 2021 and beyond will look a lot different than it did even in 2019. Everyone has learned that unexpected or completely unanticipated events can happen that necessitate them to pivot. While the pandemic may continue for the next several months, even if it ends by the time 2021 is over, the effects from 2020 and 2021 will linger for some time to come. Many changes will be made now to expect the unexpected to avoid the chaos the pandemic created for the higher education community.

Stay Connected

Categories

Clear

Search Blogs

Featured Posts

5 Trends in Higher Education to Watch

by  Jones & Bartlett Learning     Jun 1, 2022
5TrendsinHigherEducationtoWatch_blog_1200w630h

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world as we knew it upside down. Higher education facilities, much like other organizations, scrambled to find ways to remain operational. Technology played a huge role in this process and, also important to consider, the pandemic will have lasting effects on higher education that won’t be reversed.

As a result, colleges and universities must adapt to fit society’s “new normal” and continue to prepare for the unexpected. Going forward, here are five trends to watch as higher education forges a path forward in a post-pandemic world.

 

Hybrid Teaching and Flexible Learning are Here to Stay

Over the past two decades, technology has steadily become more advanced in higher education. In the 1990s and early 2000s, distance learning consisted of students borrowing recorded VHS tapes and sending assignments in by mail. Fast-forward and distance learning became the norm – and will continue to be so. What will be different is how educational facilities adopt new technology and combine it with traditional approaches to learning.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, universities largely had to shift to hybrid teaching models without much warning. Most were not prepared for this move, but through trial and error, found ways to transition both students and instructors to new formats successfully. There’s little doubt, looking to the future, technology trends in higher education will continue even in a post-pandemic world. Professors will be giving in-person and online lectures, students will participate in classroom meets and video conferencing, and other hybrid methods used in classrooms will continue to have a prominent place in learning.

Students and staff continue to expect more elasticity in the higher education experience, especially regarding flexible course options. According to Salesforce, students expect 50 percent of their courses to be online, while 46 percent of staff anticipate a higher degree of remote work in the “near future.” Furthermore, 48 percent of staff said their institutions have invested in new models emphasizing flexible learning options.

 

New Additions of Sophisticated Technology

It became clear throughout 2020 that technology was “critically important to keeping teaching, learning, research, and administration going,” says Susan Garjek, a vice-president at Educause, in an interview published in EdTech Magazine earlier this year.

Going forward, it can be expected higher learning facilities will use more augmented and virtual reality technologies, advanced learning management systems (LMS), along a rise in sophisticated videoconferencing platforms. Most certainly, educational institutions will be building more robust networks to support these – and other – technological additions.

 

Healthy Buildings and Campus Experiences

The practices associated with promoting good health will be concepts colleges and universities will continue to be very conscious of in the future. As a result, maintaining healthy, clean, and sustainable buildings will be a high priority. Various technologies, including enhanced HVAC systems and UV lighting, will be experimented with and successfully integrated. Other initiatives, such as outdoor Wi-Fi and benches, are undoubtedly here to stay. Outdoor learning spaces where professors take classes out to open-air areas are expected to be an ongoing trend.

 

Remote Exams

The pandemic created significant challenges for college classrooms regarding tests and assessments. Online proctoring filled the void, but it did raise privacy issues. Going forward, educators are likely to continue exploring software solutions that aren’t invasive or violate student privacy (or find ways to mitigate those issues with current applications). Alternatively, educators may devise new ways to assess students that don’t involve traditional tests. Many will seek to launch other innovative online exam strategies.

 

Support for the Wellbeing of Students and Staff is Paramount

The wellbeing of both students and staff is a top challenge identified by the Salesforce research. The social distancing and quarantine measures necessitated by the pandemic created severe feelings of isolation for students and staff. Salesforce’s survey found 75% of students and 73% of staff had difficulty maintaining their wellbeing.

The year 2020 was tough on college students and, for many, this led to anxiety, emotional stress, and health concerns. An August 2020 report from the CDC stated survey respondents, aged 18 to 24, reported 25.5% said they had been suicidal, 25% said they increased substance use to cope, and 75% said they’d felt “at least one adverse mental or behavioral health symptom.”

Other reports indicate that faculty and staff are feeling burnt out due to longer work hours and fewer days off. Between the need to immediately turn to online delivery modes and fearing furloughs and layoffs in institution budget cuts, this created high levels of stress and exhaustion for employees. Trying to support struggling students also added to their emotional overload.

Higher education facilities will be turning an eye towards prioritizing mental health support for students, faculty, and staff, along with destigmatizing the stereotypes surrounding mental health and well-being.

 

Moving Forward

If nothing else, the pandemic of 2020 taught higher education that institutions must be prepared for the unexpected. The future of higher education in 2021 and beyond will look a lot different than it did even in 2019. Everyone has learned that unexpected or completely unanticipated events can happen that necessitate them to pivot. While the pandemic may continue for the next several months, even if it ends by the time 2021 is over, the effects from 2020 and 2021 will linger for some time to come. Many changes will be made now to expect the unexpected to avoid the chaos the pandemic created for the higher education community.

Tags

Clear