Education Trends that Matter to Students
As educators, it’s important to understand how these factors are changing the way institutions approach higher learning, and that includes finding novel ways to engage prospects, support current students, and retain top academic talent.
1. An Emphasis on Real-World and Continuing Education
Colleges and universities have a long-standing reputation for being institutions of academic learning, but as demand increases for more hands-on educational options, they are offering courses, degrees, and certificate programs that provide students with practical and real-world experience.
Part of this demand is arising because of the increasing competitiveness of the workforce, and adult students are looking to hone skills that can be used in the workplace or learn new ones that can be applied to different career paths.
In turn, this demand for real-world education is translating to colleges offering flexible learning options that accommodate working students, diploma courses that focus on specialized training, and non-traditional certification that demonstrates that students are qualified to function in a variety of workplaces.
For example, think of the way organizations offer alternative credentials that show students have the skills necessary to accomplish specific goals, such as creating and managing a successful Facebook marketing campaign, for instance. Many colleges are similarly offering these types of alternative certifications.
Furthermore, this demand has also led to the adoption of specialized technology offerings, including things like virtual reality being implemented in the classroom because this allows students to immerse themselves in lifelike lab simulations, which is especially important in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or STEM fields.
2. Technology and the Internet Are Vital
A key way that technology is making waves in education is through mobile learning, and nearly 50% of educational organizations have adopted the use of mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets) to improve the in-class experience and increase collaboration among students and educators outside the classroom.
Not only that, but these techniques can also be used to provide students with audio and video feeds or recordings of lectures, which makes things like distance learning more accessible and achievable, and allows remote students to attend and participate in classes in real-time.
3. Students Expect Learning to Be Fun and Engaging
Similarly, everyday technology is also changing student expectations in the classroom, and this means more educators are turning to things like video and gamification (turning coursework into a game that can include elements like play, points, and levels) to engage students and make the learning process more exciting.
After all, what student would want to sit in a lecture hall for three hours and listen to a professor talk when another institution is offering things like interactive learning experiences, audio-visual aids, and fun-based instructional strategies to teach the same material?
One major way that video technology is changing schools for the better is through flipped classrooms, wherein students are responsible for consuming course material on their own time and can then use class time with the instructor to focus on assignments, coursework, and guided discussions.