Online learning, an interconnected world, and demands from students and employers are forcing colleges to change the very things that were once basic to the college experience. From doing away with the traditional grading system to no longer building lecture halls, the Technical Revolution era we are now in demands a new way of educating those who shape the future. Here are eight ways that higher education is expected to change within the next several years:
1) Personalized Learning
Personalized learning will become the norm. Tuition continues to rise by the year, and students are demanding more for their investment. College students will receive study materials that reflect their current level of mastery of a subject. As they reach new levels of understanding, the material will automatically become more challenging.
2) Remote Classrooms
More learning will take place outside of a classroom than within it. Remote, self-paced learning will continue to surge in popularity. Additionally, the whole concept of a classroom will be flipped. The practical part of a topic will be taught in person while students will learn the theoretical portion in everyday life experiences and internships.
3) Greater Interactivity
Higher education will become significantly more interactive. As an example, future surgeons will have the opportunity to practice and develop spatial awareness in an interactive environment. Anatomy and pathology professors will be able to demonstrate much more realistic scenarios using interactive goggles and other specialized equipment.
4) Elimination of Traditional Grading
The traditional grading system will eventually become obsolete in response to operating in a flipped classroom. Instead of reports and quizzes, students will accumulate an electronic portfolio of their learning the entire time they are in college. The information will be stored in a central database and evaluated by their professors each year.
5) Emphasis on Collaborative Learning
Colleges will place a much greater emphasis on virtual and collaborative learning. Today’s traditional college student in the 18 to 22-year-old age bracket has grown up with social media and the Internet. They are the first generation to not remember a time before it. Using these tools as a method of learning comes very naturally to them and colleges need to take advantage of that.
6) More Project-Based Coursework
Coursework will become increasingly project based to reflect the reality of a freelance economy. This requires the same time management, collaboration, and organizational skills that are crucial in a workplace setting. With projects, students need to be able to apply the skills they have learned to a variety of different situations.
7) Less Teaching, More Mentoring
Instructors will take on more of a mentoring role due to the highly individual and self-paced nature of future college learning. Even students who do most of their learning in an off-campus setting rely on a network of mentors to learn as much as they can.
8) Less Lectures, No Lecture Halls
In-person lectures in an auditorium setting will eventually become obsolete. Instructors will record their lectures instead to allow students to listen to them at a time and place that is most conducive to their learning. They will meet with their professors and peers after listening to the lecture for a more interactive experience. This doesn’t necessarily have to take place in a classroom.
The above are just eight ways that traditional colleges must change to prepare for a future that is vastly different than it was when colleges were first developed towards the end of the 19th century.