Future of the University

In recent years, online enrollments in higher education have been growing although overall enrollments in the United States have continued to decline [1]. Interestingly,

79% of all online students and 76% of alumni think that online education is “better than” or “equal to” on-campus education [2].

Given the ever growing number of online courses and material,  a substantial shift in the focus of teaching in the future universities is inevitable.  While in the past it was acceptable for instructors to repeat a set of slides and tests for several years, nowadays students seek up-to-date and pragmatic education. In the present time, one can easily sing up in an online course thought by a proficient professor in a top-rank college and learn the standard lessons for free. Therefore, what graduate students–  who spend considerable amount of time and money in graduate school instead of making money and gaining experience in either academia or industry– look for is beyond the conventional learning objectives. Accordingly, professors should make the nature of projects, tests and assignments more practical.

To this end, I expect to witness a younger generation of faculties in the future universities as well as the senior professors who are still keen to learn new skills and technologies and convey it to their students. Moreover, traditional classes are likely to be totally replaced by online learning platforms, where faculty and students interact most of the time in cyberspace.

 

References:

[1] Changing Students, faculty, and Institutions in the Twenty-First Century

[2] 2018 Online Education Trends Report

[3] The growth of online learning:  How universities must adjust to the new norm

 

 

 

 

5 Replies to “Future of the University”

  1. What a crazy stat – I’m surprised to hear that so many students think online education is the same or better than courses that are not online. I have never had a good experience with online courses and likely only take them when my time is minimal.

    I do think you bring up a really valid point about faculty being held to a higher standard with access to general curriculum just about anywhere and nowadays, sometimes free! I also agree that continual development for ANYONE , including faculty, is important. Do you have suggestions on how we should incorporate / mandate this continual professional development?

    1. Thanks for your interest! I believe the major part of the continual professional development depends on personal/inner drive. Besides, the establishment of this growing culture in a university should be considered and implemented as a mission.

  2. Having taken several online courses, I have often found the workload is more demanding than traditional classes. For instance, online classes required discussion boards responses as a substitute for in class discussions. However, in class discussions are usually less formal and/or demanding. Oftentimes students go through the entire semester without interacting or asking questions. On the flip side, discussion boards can become quite repetitive.

    In my opinion, one of the reasons why online alumni thinks online education is better is because these are non-traditional students, often more mature, and have a full-time job. Thus, online studies fit into their busy lifestyle.

    1. I do agree with your opinion. Online education seems a good fit for people who have figured out the importance of learning and do their best to include it in their busy schedule. Therefore, such classes are quite efficient and productive.

  3. Having taken several online courses, I have often found the workload is more demanding than traditional classes. For instance, online classes required discussion boards responses as a substitute for in class discussions. However, in class discussions are usually less formal and/or demanding. Oftentimes students go through the entire semester without interacting or asking questions. On the flip side, discussion boards can become quite repetitive.

    In my opinion, one of the reasons why online alumni thinks online education is better is because these are non-traditional students, often more mature, and have a full-time job. Thus, online studies fit into their busy lifestyle.

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