Where Is Higher Education Heading Next? 3 Major Trends For 2022

Where Is Higher Education Heading Next? 3 Major Trends For 2022

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1. Students Will Expect Convenience and Flexibility

While many institutions were ready for online learning to some degree, the rush towards eLearning exposed issues such as course quality, pedagogy, and equitable access. The latter is a challenge globally, in both developing and developed countries. While exposing learners to a fully online learning environment might have been 

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1. Students Will Expect Convenience and Flexibility

challenging at first, there’s a degree of convenience and flexibility that eLearning offers that a large percentage of students will now expect. Simply put, learners now expect choice between in-person, hybrid, and online. According to a report from educational research body Bay View Analytics, 73% of learners “somewhat” (27%) or 

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1. Students Will Expect Convenience and Flexibility

“strongly” (46%) agreed they’d like to take some of their courses in a fully-online format in the future. Additionally, for face-to-face courses, 68% of learners said they’d like to see increased use of digital materials or resources. Regardless of course modality, an increase in the availability of digital resources for all courses will now be expected by learners. 

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1. Students Will Expect Convenience and Flexibility

Offering students access to eLearning options and/or digital components to classwork is a trend we’ll see throughout 2022.

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2. You’ll Need Higher-Quality Online Courses

Course quality will be a theme higher education institutions must continue to address throughout 2022.  Learners now expect a higher standard of online course design as part of any teaching and learning experience. While some institutions have on-the-ground learning designers assisting in the effective development of online courses, 

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2. You’ll Need Higher-Quality Online Courses

many others have been playing catch up. Financial resources are a big factor in whether an institution can hire instructional designers. Some institutions have been able to succeed by hiring a strong instructional design team to quickly put together great content for students. Others have had to rely on faculty and just hope 

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2. You’ll Need Higher-Quality Online Courses

they get it ‘right’. But the reality is that educational content has to be properly adapted to eLearning. Otherwise, student engagement and results suffer greatly, as faculty struggle to transfer the in-person learning experience to online successfully. Now is a good time to start calibrating the online learning experience to meet learner expectations. 

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2. You’ll Need Higher-Quality Online Courses

If institutions have not been doing effective online instructional design, they’ll quickly discover a higher cost associated with meeting that need.  Additionally, institutional branding is now defined just as much by the quality of the online teaching and learning components as by the quality of physical classrooms or campuses.

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3. Overlap Between Traditional Degree-Based Learning and Skills-Based Learning

2022 will also see a trend towards mixing traditional degree-based learning and skills-based learning.  There will always be learners that seek to pursue the traditional degree-learning programs. However, other cohorts of students will look to complete skills-based learning that allows them to enter the workforce quickly or enable 

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3. Overlap Between Traditional Degree-Based Learning and Skills-Based Learning

career progression opportunities in a cost-effective and short time period. As a result of this, higher education institutions will likely start investing a greater proportion of their budgets into delivering skills-based learning and career development programs that reach a larger cohort of students.

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3. Overlap Between Traditional Degree-Based Learning and Skills-Based Learning

The coming educational landscape will be based on distributed, accountability-based learning, where learners earn proof of competency in different areas.  While the outcome of that education may not be a full diploma, a mix of digital badges, a collection of certifications, or micro-credentials will allow students 

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3. Overlap Between Traditional Degree-Based Learning and Skills-Based Learning

to go from ‘learners to earners’. They’ll be supported by a ‘lifelong learning journey’ mentality that companies are beginning to adopt and credit more.

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