It is no secret that technology is excelling at an unprecedented pace. These past two years have led to many shifts within higher education. Driven by the pandemic, educational technology has become the go-to solution in emergency remote teaching, but it has evolved into more than that. We unboxed the higher education trends in 2022 for you here.
As much as we are all trying to combat the spread of Covid 19, it is still here and does not look like it is going away anytime soon. This means even if campuses and businesses are physically open, the hybrid model will carry on for some institutions as we need to be cautious and for others, it will have become the norm. Therefore, many of the shifts at higher education institutions have become part of a long-term strategic approach. The pandemic, along with the natural progression of Edtech trends, is shaping the trends in higher education and technology.
To understand what this means for the near future, we highlight some of the trends we predict will be of key importance in 2022, starting with institutions and educators, and then moving on to a focus on students and their expectations and needs for teaching and learning development.
Recent studies show that mental and emotional wellbeing have been and continue to be a top challenge identified by both students and staff. While this has always been a focal point, Covid-19 has further highlighted this need, especially for educators. The existing pressures of studying at the tertiary level, combined with adapting to new technology and the study environments of students all contribute to stress levels. Educators have also had to adjust to new ways of doing things, and the stress of students who may not have access to the technology needed to continue their studies.
Educator Skills Sets in a Rapidly Evolving Technology Landscape
A strong focus on contextual and complimentary educator skills development should be at the top of the list of priorities for institutions. Institutions and teams need to encourage and coordinate rapid enablement to meet the needs of new learning needs and be in a position to debate and decide what technologies best serve the needs of their students, their teaching, and their institutions teaching and learning strategy.
Flexible Working Options
Staff will most likely expect more flexibility offered by their institutions coming out of the pandemic. This will have to be taken into consideration with face-to-face learning on campus and would leave space for blended learning models.
Universities to Explore New Business Models
Investment in new business models is key to the future, with an emphasis on attracting and engaging lifelong learners. Demands for shorter, more flexible programs are on the rise, while enrollment numbers on traditional qualifications decline.
In response to this, institutions are needing to expand their offerings, add new leadership roles to their departments, and double down on strategic plans for the long term.
Institutions also need to look at the role of Edtech business at institutions and work with partners they feel match their outlook, strategy, and culture.
Growth in the importance of Communities of Inquiry
Humans do not learn in a vacuum – we learn in communities, through social interaction, i.e. from each other. Digitally mediated Communities of Inquiry should increasingly play an important role in teaching and learning even if only as a secondary mode to ensure future study disruption is managed and hopefully prevented from shuttering learning altogether. Going forward, the focus should be on the creation of deep and meaningful transformative learning experiences, and communities of inquiry help this process along.
Think Globally, Act Locally
One of the biggest lessons learned from the past and important paths for the future is for Africa to solve our future in education through local, homegrown solutions. As the penetration of the internet and mobile learning grows, opportunities for teaching and learning increase. We should embrace these opportunities, take advantage of international developments, and find local solutions to implement them. The key here is contextualization and ensuring that the technology providers and partners used, share the same values.
For institutions to stay relevant, it is important to take the above trends into consideration going forward. Student perceptions and needs have also changed and are trending in the following directions…Read more.