Introducing iPads and other tablets into the classroom definitely ignited a revolutionary tech movement in higher education, but e-books and interactive lesson plans are only the beginning. Experts predict a second revolutionary tech wave will occur within the next decade that will flip old methods of teaching and learning on its head.
While it’s too early to foresee all that is in store, industry leaders do forecast at least 12 emerging technologies that will impact higher education in a big way. Onlinedegrees.org has conveniently put these emerging technologies in a neatly-packaged infographic, but below is a dissection of technologies that will most likely make the biggest difference within the next three years.
- Massive Open Online Courses
Massive Open Online Courses, better known as MOOCs, are online classes students can take for free. Courses range anywhere from quantum physics to the history of rock music. Although MOOCs are offered through several elite institutions, three platforms currently dominate university-level coursework: Coursera, Udacity, and edX. Students can not earn a degree from these free courses but that still doesn’t discourage thousands of students from enrolling in MOOCs worldwide. What makes MOOCs so attractive is that they shift the control to the student. Students can take courses at their own leisure and pace. MOOCs have really improved access of higher education to people around the world, but they still have their fair share of critics. Some worry it will give officials a reason to unnecessarily slash school budgets.
- Game-Based Learning
Experts say game-based learning can improve a student’s assessment, especially for those who aren’t “natural scholars.” Although the New Media Consortium doesn’t predict widespread adoption of game-based learning until a few more years it’s already starting to make its mark. Take the University of Texas-Brownsville and Texas Southmost College in the U.S. for example. In the 2010-11 academic school year Professor Soumya Mohany gathered inspiration from the videogames Laura Croft: Tomb Raider and Little Big Planet to design a custom-made videogame used to teach the fundamentals of physics for the inaugural course, "Elementary Physics Through Video Games.
- Learning Analytics
In a nutshell, learning analytics refers to the “analysis” of data collected by and for students. It’s specifically gathered so that administration can improve the overall functionality and performance of both traditional and online courses. There are various times when this data is collected, for example after a student completes an exam or participates in a group project, class discussion, or online forum. This data is then used to identify issues and make way for progress. While not all schools have jumped on the learning analytics bandwagon yet, some prestigious universities have already starting taking full advantage to improve performance.
That said, to learn more about the future of higher education checkout the infographic below created by Onlinedegrees.org