As we look forward to 2023, it’s time to look at some of the online education trends that affect college students! Here are eight interesting online learning trends in higher education that have emerged since the pandemic.
1. Increased Flexibility
Although online learning was technically a thing before 2020, it was much less prevalent than it is today and many online courses left something to be desired. With COVID-19 and the changes since hybrid and online learning opportunities have made leaps and bounds!
Students have more choices than ever when it comes to how and when they learn in college. And as technology and colleges responded to the demands of 2020, the experience of online learning has only improved. Students today can take advantage of digital resources that weren’t offered even a few years ago!
In the classroom, too, students can experience this advanced eLearning technology.
Online learning programs will only continue to expand in the coming years.
Another exciting trend that started a few years ago and started taking off recently is Micromasters. These online courses allow you to work towards a certificate similar to a Master’s, but ones that take much less time and money.
Micromasters are available through several colleges and in a wide variety of topics including business, IT, and more. More options are expected to be offered going forward, too.
3. A Bigger Focus Skill-Based Learning
Colleges have always been a place of education, but some students would graduate with less in the skills department compared to other majors. Now colleges and universities are focusing more in the way of skill-based learning. This means that students will be able to enter their desired industry with the workplace skills they need to succeed.
4. AI Will Be More Prevalent
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already used in several industries and it’s starting to become more prevalent in education. The technology is helping with applications, but it can also be used to help answer frequently asked questions by existing students regarding their online education.
AI is also helping deliver learning analytics that can help schools and professors improve the classroom experience.
5. Video Games are Entering the Classroom
It has been found that, for many students, video games can help them learn and retain information. It’s also a game changer (no pun intended) for student engagement. As a result, gamification is becoming more commonplace.
Leaderboards, badges, and similar tactics keep students engaged with the content and increase motivation even outside the classroom. while also creating healthy competition. And Augmented Reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are being used as unique ways to teach lessons.
But studies show that video games and their counterparts can improve cognitive abilities and even produce a positive mood. Even simple gaming quizzes can be used by teachers who may not have access to advanced technology or have the know-how to produce their own games.
6. Assessment Tools are Improving
Technology isn’t only changing the online learning experience in colleges — it’s changing how students are assessed. The tech can reduce teacher workloads while increasing efficiency and productivity, meaning students can have their results back faster than ever.
This data can be used in turn to assess which students are succeeding and which are struggling. Additional resources can then be recommended to students who may be having trouble with the content before their grade is more heavily impacted.
7. More Affordable College Costs for Students
One higher education trend that will affect online students, as well as in-person students, is more affordable college costs! The numbers have shown that college expenses are in decline, between 4-5% on average year-over-year. Students can save money on tuition as well as books, fees, and other costs related to higher education.
8. Improved Accommodation for Nontraditional Students
Nontraditional students, such as students who are returning to school later in life, often face some uphill battles during the college experience. After all, they likely have full-time jobs and families to tend for. However, those challenges are being solved. More college programs and support systems are being put in place for these nontraditional students. Thanks to improved flexibility and online programs, they can take full advantage of classes that work around their work, kids, and other responsibilities, without having to cut into their income or family time.
There certainly are exciting online education trends making their way into the college classroom now and in the coming years. The online learning experience will only continue to improve as more technology is developed for the education sector. It certainly is surprising just how far online learning has come in the last few years!
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