Is going to the college worth it as it enters its second wave of digital transformation? Are elearning and study memberships staying in 2023?
It’s the headline that keeps appearing in national and higher education articles. That’s because now more than half of Americans don’t believe that a college education is worthwhile financially. More institutions are taking up the task of measuring and articulating their worth as a result of dwindling enrolment and the mounting need to show a return on investment.
Tech skills on campus will be crucial in assessing ROI for students in the coming year and beyond and supporting schools and universities in their efforts to improve institutional performance. Colleges are gradually but surely arming themselves with the data and metrics they need to show their worth to stakeholders by utilizing new digital technologies and data-driven analytics.
Or, at the very least, they have started to research the tools and procedures they will need going ahead in order to be competitive and financially viable. Online and e-learning platforms are also adding their input to the cause at large. Study memberships happen to be a great chunk of the cause.
Adoption of Digital Technology
The adoption of digital technology is one of these tools and procedures, which helps to increase accessibility and affordability, student success results, digital credentials (CLR), improvements in finance and operations, and more. The important elements that support institutional success generally are also a part of the greater digital revolution (Dx) happening in the education sector at large.
The pandemic created so much disruption and upheaval in higher education, but it also served as a huge motivator for innovation, reviving interest in Dx. The initial wave of Dx was concentrated on important procedures that involved students. Major system and process changes in higher education were brought about by COVID and emergency remote instruction, which modernized long-standing procedures.
Important administrative procedures geared at institutional achievement are included in the second wave of Dx (not just digitizing old analog processes). Leading with a digital-first campus is the best way to align with institutional success in the now and the future.
Here are five Dx trends that the education sector should be aware of in 2023:
1) Data Analytics:
Institutional efficiency and advantage in the marketplace
Many initiatives for improvement are built on data analytics. For these endeavors, the institution as a whole needs robust, trustworthy, and easily available data. Money must be invested in this. A patchwork of systems and metrics is becoming a disadvantage for institutions, especially in light of the complexity of the business concerns facing higher education and the rising demand from important stakeholders for data-driven decision-making.
2) Online learning & Study Memberships: accessibility, affordability, and skill-based education
In addition to having access to online counseling and other social activities, college students are beginning to demand their institutions offer certain courses through online and/or hybrid learning, including tailored tutoring plans, – titled study memberships. Due to the growing popularity of online micro-credentials and study memberships that are less expensive and time-consuming, four-year schools will need to think about creating a blended offering that also proves the value of skills-based learning to employers. Given that more firms are removing the necessity for a college degree for job candidates, over 90% of HR professionals prefer alternative certifications that teach skills relevant to the workplace.
3) Modernizing credentials via the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR)
In accordance with the aforementioned, universities are switching to digital and extended transcripts to more clearly show the return on investment of degrees. The following stage will go beyond the conventional course and grade transcript to offer a more practical type of digital credentials that is focused on accomplishments and learning based on abilities, such practices are possible under tailored study membership platforms. To showcase the breadth and depth of a student’s experience in academic and extracurricular activities, forward-thinking institutions like SolutionInn are experimenting with complete learner records.
4) Assessment automation: enhancing learning outcomes for students
More exacting assessment methods are necessary for compliance but can also be strategically utilized for ongoing development. Cycles between evaluation and improvement are shortened by automation of outcomes assessment collecting. For instance, it enables real-time access to data so that administrators can respond more quickly and frequently to make improvements in the classroom and intervene before students experience more serious complications. Traditionally, data would only be pulled once a year or once per term. It benefits staff accountability and operations as well as students.
5) Financial Intelligence: The finance department also needs innovation enhancements
The CFO has a duty to the board and other important stakeholders to provide trustworthy, pertinent financial data from which choices may be taken. Additionally, accreditation bodies are keeping a closer eye on things and raising the bar for financial accountability. The institution’s overall financial sustainability is improved by having tools for planning throughout the department and easily accessible automated financial data. In order to demonstrate their sustainable budgeting and ROI procedures, CFOs and business officers must have access to the necessary digital tools and processes.
Numerous schools, eLearning bodies, and universities are close to adopting and putting into practice the digital tools and procedures that characterize the second wave of Dx. The day when staying current with technology was only “good to have” is now over. Leaders in higher education, including SolutionInn, today are aware that advancing technology is essential to being competitive. They also realize that customized higher education technology capabilities provide the quickest, most dependable means to upgrade the entire campus, satisfy the needs of both students and parents, and demonstrate their value.
The pre-pandemic aversion to change is fading swiftly, while campuses will still move at their own speed (as they should) and budgets will vary significantly (as they do). Even if the implementation is years away, it’s crucial to be aware of what Dx options are now available and what is coming down the pipeline. A fantastic beginning on the correct path is keeping up with Dx advancements and creating a small list of high-impact areas of improvement on your learning journey.