Where Is Education Heading Next?

Where Is Education Heading Next?
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Summary: As new educational breakthroughs emerge, it’s crucial to take a look at some of the key trends in education that the industry participants should be aware of.

Education Trends For 2022

In recent years, the education industry has shifted toward a greater proportion of online teaching and learning experiences. Most colleges and universities today include a substantial eLearning component to their teaching and learning strategies. What are the next steps in terms of improving the online learning experience, now that the technology is in place and courses are widely available online?

According to Pew Research Center, the "new normal" in 2025 will be significantly more tech-driven. They polled 915 innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers, and campaigners about life after the pandemic. The majority of people believe that human-technology relationships will improve and that tech-savvy students will become increasingly important. As new educational breakthroughs emerge, it’s crucial to take a look at some of the key trends in education that industry participants should be aware of.

1. Major Increase In Soft Skills Training

According to the "Future of Jobs" research [1], critical thinking, problem-solving, people management, and creativity are among the most crucial workplace talents [2]. Employers want to see emerging professionals who can make difficult judgments and demonstrate leadership ability. Schools must provide training to help students foster and improve in these skill areas in order to better prepare them for their future employment.

However, as previously stated, the concurrent move towards online learning makes this a difficulty for many teachers. These instructors will need to find a method to balance the amount of screen time in their classes with the need to encourage students to collaborate face-to-face in order to foster soft skill development. Institutions that discover quality formulae for supporting the development of these skills will find that this trend provides them with a plethora of prospects for growth. These institutions, in particular, will gain a competitive advantage in higher education. Their students will be more employable, which will boost their alumni success rates, creating a circular path to further success as future students seek schools with high alumni success rates.

2. Game-Based Learning

The first distinction to make is that game-based learning is not the same as gamification. Game-based learning is a method of teaching that uses game elements to assist students to reach specific learning goals [3]. Gamification is the use of game elements to traditional learning techniques in order to boost student engagement [4].

Gamification can be effective in learning on its own, but game-based learning makes online learning tools much more potent. According to research, game-based learning can be effective in increasing learning by assisting students in strategizing, developing problem-solving skills, and rethinking their prior attempts at a task in order to better future methods. In 2022, expect to see more classrooms using game-based learning!

3. AI-Driven Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) was also on our list of education trends for 2021, and it remains a prominent topic. Artificial Intelligence refers to a machine’s ability to exhibit human-like qualities such as reasoning, learning, planning, and creativity. It is already utilized in business education, with examples including translation software, plagiarism checks, text editing tools, voice-recording transcripts, and so on, but its potential for further development is vast.

AI does not aim to replace instructors, but rather to enable data-driven decisions that affect the classroom and the students. With COVID-related workforce reductions, AI teaching assistants and automated grading systems are particularly appreciated in most institutions. Why not automate the time-consuming activities so that teachers can focus on what they do best, teaching and encouraging learning?

Another key role for AI is in cybersecurity. Hackers gaining control of school districts’ computers have brought many of them to their knees in recent years. These intrusions not only affected learning, but also every other system (including payroll). Artificial Intelligence assists systems in recognizing trends, allowing school district security systems to learn from previous situations when they were compromised, and so enhance incident reaction times and security strategies.

4. Need For Higher-Quality Online Courses

Course quality will be an issue that higher education institutions need to address in 2022. Learners have come to demand a higher level of online course design as part of any teaching and learning experience. While some schools have on-the-ground learning designers assisting in the effective production of online courses, many others are catching up.

Financial resources play a significant role in an institution’s ability to hire Instructional Designers. Some universities have found success by gathering a strong Instructional Design team to quickly provide exceptional content for students. Others have been forced to rely on faculty and hope that they get it "right." However, educational content must be properly adapted for eLearning. Otherwise, student engagement and outcomes suffer considerably as teachers struggle to successfully translate the in-person learning experience to online training.

The time has come to begin tuning the online learning experience to match student expectations. If institutions haven’t been conducting excellent online Instructional Design, they’ll rapidly learn that not satisfying that demand comes at a higher cost. Furthermore, the quality of online teaching and learning components is becoming as important as the quality of physical classrooms or campuses in defining institutional branding.

5. Lifelong Education And Raising Demand For Micro-Credentials

Each industrial revolution profoundly altered the nature of work and jobs. As great technical growth leads to changes in how individuals execute their professions, the current fourth industrial revolution may affect an amazing 50% of jobs [5]. Just like hospitals and banks have people of all ages present, colleges should have that kind of involvement with the public as well. The pandemic has inspired many people to return to school as a way to pass the time and learn something new. The number of people returning to school has increased by 27%. Furthermore, with 54% of occupations requiring a solid educational background, it is now more important than ever in a growing number of professions for persons seeking a work position in a company to be well educated.

One of the major trends of online learning is that it is extremely accessible and easy to complete in any situation. When compared to prior years, the amount of time required to finish an online course is greatly reduced. People from all walks of life have been yearning for an education that is participatory, fun, and easy to understand, while also not requiring direct contact with the educator. These are the exact qualities of the eLearning approach that has been used all over the world.

Labor changes may also spur more institutional investment in micro-credential courses [6]. These courses are frequently low-cost alternatives that concentrate on a restricted amount of the subject matter using a condensed schedule. Such micro-credentials could enable international students to save money while learning critical skills in new sectors, like cryptocurrencies.

Furthermore, microlearning will provide additional options for innovation. These smaller credentials will give the specialized skillsets required for professional advancement, upskilling, and reskilling. How will financial institutions determine credit transfer or requirements? How will "ratings" for skills-based learning be determined? Will credentials from different colleges on the same topic be considered the same? In terms of credential evaluation, administration, and dissemination, we’re on the verge of an exciting future. The precise nature of those alterations will become obvious as the year 2022 progresses.

Final Thoughts

It has been a difficult task for the traditional learning system. Brick-and-mortar training institutions, as well as schools and colleges, are being obliged to adopt digital education courses. The digital revolution in education has greatly aided both students and teachers. However, there are difficulties in the realm of online education or teaching.

After being away from the classroom for so long, many students are embracing the resumption of in-person learning, as well as the opportunity to grapple with tangible, rather than just digital, knowledge. School closures and remote learning have proved the usefulness of technology in education, but they have also demonstrated the importance of being in a classroom with a teacher for many students. While the last two years have seen perhaps a decade’s worth of improvement in education technology, the next twelve months will be more about evolution than revolution.

References:

[1] The Importance of Soft Skills

[2] 10 Ways How To Raise a Problem-Solver Kid and Teach Problem-Solving Skills

[3] Game Based Learning

[4] What is gamification?

[5] The 4th Industrial Revolution And A Jobless Future - A Good Thing?

[6] Demand for online learning and alternative credentials surges during COVID-19

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Sentinel|9 is corporate learning and educational content provider offering a new way to meet the demands of the next generation of learners. We specialize in dynamic and responsive course development using our industry-leading eLearning technologies.