The time is gone when the teaching was confined to classrooms where the instructors used to rant the syllabus and students used to make notes. Now with the advancement of technology, and development in the infrastructure, the education sector has been completely transformed. It is the creative minds and innovations led by educational leaders that are transforming global higher education. For example, now students don’t have to fly to different countries to learn from their favorite institutes. Their preferred courses are available online and they can learn from the best faculty around the world in the comfort of their home. Probably this is why, the HolonIQ expects the number of online learning users to reach $57 million by 2027 and the online learning market value will reach $457.8 billion by 2026.
Innovations by Leaders and Edtech Companies
Here, let us have a look at some transforming Innovations by educational leaders and edtech companies in the field of higher education.
Redefining the business models
The education sector is also a kind of business where the institutions make huge profits out of the student’s program fees. This is a standard set business model in all educational institutes around the globe. However, with the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic, bold decisions had to be made by business leaders in terms of redefining this business model. Dr. Joe Sallustio is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Claremont Lincoln University in Claremont, California. During the 2021 virtual event on Fierce Leaders in Higher Ed, he emphasized the importance of taking the bold decision of reducing program fees by 21%. This helped them reduce the burden on students and their debt loans.
Making the student community stronger
Students who have friends and colleagues in the same institute find motivation in their studies and they earn higher grades as well as have higher retention rates. However, the pandemic disrupted this as students were not able to meet their peers and friends, socializing was not clear and there was infrequent contact. This resulted in difficulty in making on-campus social connections.
So, the University of California in association with Loyola University in New Orleans, launched an app ‘Nearpeer’ to offer their students peer engagement. This introduction of the app showed great results. The global higher education students studying in these universities reported a 91% engagement rate i.e. 91% of all students made at least one peer connection. Surprisingly, 41% of them made real-life friends through Nearpeer.
Leveraging the power of AI and ML in Universities and Colleges
Whether it was requesting a transcript for their education qualification, bills, or a normal inquiry, it required writing formal mail, letter, or sometimes even visiting the concerned office. This was a time-consuming task- to submit the requirement, wait for business hours to get a response, and even days to receive the required document.
But with the introduction of AI and ML and higher education data science technologies, everything become simpler. Institutes started employing chatbots that could understand students' queries and give prompt responses 24x7. As per a study, at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), students sent more than 42,000 messages to the chatbots. Also, they received answers to their queries in just 10-15 seconds.
Travis Zimmerman, a Marymount University Online Doctorate of Education student, aims to bring innovation to higher education by addressing the timeless question of whether college is worth it. He emphasizes the importance of creating pathways for students to succeed in postsecondary education and avoid dropping out with debt but no degree.
Zimmerman intends to contribute to higher education through various means, including writing a book on educational interventions and social-emotional learning. His approach focuses on individualized decision-making rather than promoting a one-size-fits-all approach, highlighting the need for early discussions and inventive solutions in empowering students to make sustainable postsecondary choices.
In a flipped classroom, students watch video lectures and complete reading assignments outside of class, then use class time for hands-on activities, problem-solving, and group work. This model can help students learn more actively and effectively, and it can also free up class time for more personalized instruction. After completing the video lectures in their home and coming back to class, they are well-prepared with subject matters, and the class time is utilized to clear doubts and learn the concepts practically.
Role of edtech companies
The education sector, especially higher education has been transforming rapidly. All thanks to the innovative leaders and higher ed tech companies. They provide innovative tools and platforms for online learning, enable personalized learning, and improve student engagement. These innovations have helped in reduced education costs, flexible and more accessible learning programs, and higher retention rates. The innovation by edtech companies and education leaders is also encouraging creativity among students. In the coming years, we can expect to see even higher technical innovations in this sector and witness the transforming changes in higher education around the world.