Trends Redefining Higher Education in 2017

Trends Redefining Higher Education in 2017

With many new technologies evolving every day and considering the pace technology is penetrating into the sectors of education, every year we come up with trends that are going to make an impact in particular education segments.

This post is about the trends that are going to redefine higher education for the year 2017. After a lot of research, I am picking the top trends that may leave an impact on the higher education sector and make it better for the community as whole.

Check it out!

1. Increased Demand of Online Admission, Marketing and Enrollment by Colleges & Universities

Seeing the growth of the digital world, institutions are under obligation to catch parents and students' eyeballs where they are spending most of their time; which is why media agencies as well as several edtech startups have grabbed the opportunity to focus on higher education to manage their brands and marketing online. Based on our talks with startups like NoPaperForms, 'student scouting' which many digital marketing companies and agencies are solving for institutions is not the only thing in demand but managing the complete admission and enrollment process is a pain which a startup like this is trying to solve based on the feedback collected across the country.

2. Increased Use of Big Data to Measure Student Performance:

Big data is the thing for 2017. Sit back and watch faculty analyzing real-time data to measure, improve and predict how their students perform. This whole thing allows faculty to meet individual needs of the students and tailor curriculum to meet online students' needs and provide support. Also, the advent of eLearning has made it possible for faculty members to be able to see whether or not a student has logged in, whether or not a student has participated that week, can really help them in assessing whether a student is on track or not.

“Because online students complete their coursework virtually, course providers and universities are collecting data "in really kind of remarkable quantities," says Richard DeMillo, executive director of Georgia Institute of Technology's Center for 21st Century Universities, which tracks technology innovations in higher education.

3. Online Degrees in Surprising and Specialized Disciplines:

The next thing that we will witness is online degrees in unique and distinctive disciplines.

Fields such as business, nursing, cyber security and data analytics, among others, will probably remain among the more popular in online education. But expect more efforts among schools in 2017 to launch degree programs in disciplines that might not initially seem suited for online learning.

As online learning continues to attract career changers, some experts say more degrees offered online in 2017 will focus on specialized areas – such as a bachelor's in real estate or marketing rather than business administration.

4. Focusing on Outcomes:

Expect 2017 to be the year where higher education focuses on outcomes. Many regional accreditors have now shifted to incorporating outcome measures in their reviews, and the data available through the College Scorecard has made outcomes easier to compare. These new entrants, ranging from boot camps to competency based education programs to micro credentialers, provide alternatives to the traditional degree. The disruptors eschew traditional measures of prestige, like rankings and, in many cases, accreditation. Instead, they compete based on outcomes: jobs, salaries, promotions, and learning. As these programs gain traction with students–and even more importantly, with employers–traditional institutions are likely to mount a response by considering their own track records in these areas. The results should benefit students across higher education, as the market forces greater transparency on the outcomes that matter most to graduates.

5. The Business of Education will continue to Reinvent Higher Ed

As we look toward 2017 trends in higher education, we believe that technology will continue to enable much of the change that we have already seen in previous years, and which will shape the industry in the years to come. The cloud is an obvious enabler of that transformation, as we have experienced great strides since its implementation across higher education. As institutions look to find more effective ways of adapting and growing, new and innovative technology will help to drive better performance and operational efficiency, creating overall improved student success – the new bottom line for institutions.

6. Information Security is King

The information security trend focuses on a layered and constantly adapting approach to reducing risk, which requires a comprehensive program that encompasses people, process, and technologies to educate users, identify and protect sensitive data,  and find and block advanced information security threats.

In higher education, IT must be strategically influential: it must support and positively influence the various missions of colleges and universities. From educating students, to supporting research and development, to promoting campus and global community outreach, IT has an influential and enabling role to play.

7. The New Media Consortium Report

Every year experts come out with trends that are going to be useful for the new session and NMC also issues this report that mentions of Key Trends, Significant Challenges and Important Developments.

Below are the 6 key Trends from The NMC report 2017 for higher education.    

These trends, which the members of the expert panel agreed are very likely to drive technology planning and decision-making over the next five years, are sorted into three movement-related categories —

- Long-term trends that typically have already been affecting decision-making and will continue to be important for more than five years;

- Mid-term trends that will likely continue to be a factor in decision-making for the next three to five years;

- Short-term trends that are driving educational technology adoption now, but will likely remain important for only one to two years, either becoming commonplace or fading away in that time.

Six key trends are:

- Blended Learning Designs (Short Term)

Drawing from best practices in both online and face-toface methods, blended learning is on the rise at colleges and universities as the number of digital learning platforms and ways to leverage them for educational purposes continues to expand.

- Collaborative Learning (Short Term)

Collaborative learning, which refers to students or educators working together in peer-to-peer or group activities, is based on the perspective that learning is a social construct. The Key Trends approach involves activities generally focused around four principles: placing the learner at the center, emphasizing interaction, working in groups, and developing solutions to real challenges.

- Growing Focus on Measuring Learning (Mid-Term)

This trend describes an interest in assessment and the wide variety of methods and tools that educators use to evaluate, measure, and document academic readiness, learning progress, skill acquisition, and other educational needs of students.

- Redesigning Learning Spaces (Mid-Term)

As universities engage with strategies that incorporate digital elements and accommodate more active learning in the physical classroom, they are rearranging physical environments to promote these pedagogical shifts.

- Advancing Cultures of Innovation (Long Term)

A significant element for this movement is the call for higher education to alter its status quo and to accept failure as an important part of the learning process. The act of integrating entrepreneurship into higher education further acknowledges that every big idea has to start somewhere, and students and faculty can be equipped with the tools needed to spark real progress.

- Deeper Learning Approaches (Long Term)

To remain motivated, students need to be able to make clear connections between their coursework and the real world, and how the new knowledge and skills will impact them. Project-based learning, challenge-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and similar methods are fostering more active learning experiences. While deeper learning is proving to be effective for improving graduation rates in schools, its implementation in higher education settings is not as robust, pointing to the need for colleges and universities to make larger investments in quality teaching.

Check out the complete report here.

References for the above points:

Share your take on the same. What do you feel will redefine the higher education in 2017?

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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