Swizly’s 2018 Predictions for Higher Education
The past year has witnessed a sustainable growth in Ed tech. As technological and data-driven decisions dominate the era, these technological advancements show no signs of slowing down. This leaves Higher Education institutions to rethink the way they deliver their programs and knowledge to the upcoming generations. The increase in technological reliance in all industries is encouraging universities to adapt or they will be graduating minds unfit for tomorrow’s job market.
The Swizly team developed a set of predictions we expect to see in the Higher Education industry.
Prioritizing the Student Experience
Years have proved that minds aren’t structured in the same way. The one-size-fits-all educational approach has left many feeling not good enough or incapable, pushing them to opt out of a tertiary education or dropping out. The increasing rate of college and university dropouts puts high expectation on higher ed institutions in keeping and ensuring the graduation of their attendees. How can universities increase their retention and graduation rates? Simply by prioritizing the Student Experience. This can be done on two levels. The first level focuses on the student’s academic standing, which can be ameliorated by the use of data analytics. Data analytics provides a way to monitor individual performance of each student and to highlight the level of assimilation. The second level goes beyond the classroom and focuses on the student’s actual campus experience through clubs, societies and events participation.
Adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Classroom
People who belong to Generation Z are known to be the most comfortable and the fastest adopters of the latest technologies. Keeping them entertained, while constantly challenging their minds, has proven to be an effective way to increase their attention and subject retention. AI can pinpoint areas where the curriculum can be improved. It is also adaptive to students needs and learning pace. In short, AI can tell you which information should the students be exposed to and at what time. It can also suggest ways to develop linking points across the duration of the course.
Altering the Institution Ranking Systems
Academic reputation, grading system, students per faculty ratio and research, are the main criteria Higher Ed institutes are evaluated on for rankings. In 2018, we expect to see a shift in the areas universities and colleges are evaluated on. We expect to see rankings being developed based on student life, student engagement, campus life, campus engagement, and program personalization. These rankings will promote the student experience inside universities rather than just reputation and research achievements. Accordingly, universities and colleges will be promoting an image of the home they offer students and not just their academic attractiveness.
Increasing the Number of Online Courses and Programs Offered
During the last few years, universities have been implementing blended courses programs into their curriculums. A shift towards this method of education is in surge due to the increasingly rapid nature of life. The latter has increased the attractiveness of online education as it allows a more flexible learning process, unlike the traditional one. Increased competition coming from online programs and certificates offerers, like Coursera.com, Lynda.com, Udemy.com, led colleges and universities to introduce online based curriculum to satisfy an ever hard-to-please generation. It also has opened the doors for universities to have a greater reach and be available for international students wherever they are.
Implementing Virtual Reality (VR) in the Learning Process
Providing a 360 view of the situation, VR can be a great training tool in different domains. In the medical field, a VR experience can portray any medical condition, to a medical student, that leaves a deeper print than reading case studies from textbooks. In the art division, VR allows students to build immersive stories. A simple web portal allows them to transfer their work to headsets and experience a feedback that is more alive. This also applies to many other domains, where limitless is just the beginning. VR allows higher education institutes to bring a complex matter to life, while also making learning practical and not just theoretical.
Progress has different paces, but 2018 will see many of these changes implemented in Higher Education.