Students are no longer tethered to traditional curriculum, classroom chairs, or desktops. As the concept of the 4-walled classroom becomes increasingly abstract, and where learning can truly happen anywhere and everywhere, 3 trends in higher education have come to the forefront. In order to accommodate these niche groups of learners that are looking for increased, as highlighted in Three Trends that Will Influence Learning in 2015, below are our Top 3 Trends to Watch for in Higher Education:
1) Skill-Specific Education
“Skills education facilitates student’s learning technical skills or knowledge in a specific topic area that is measured by criteria-specific performance.” Skill-specific education is a recent trend that falls under Competency-Based Education (CBE) where micro-credentialing and possibly employer influence become key. This growing trend provides a shorter education pathway and can be particularly appealing to to adult learners with prior skills or experience, or even the student population who need extremely flexible learning opportunities.
2) Social Learning
“The aim [of social learning] is to engage thousands of people in productive discussions and the creation of shared projects, so together they share experience and build on their previous knowledge.” Peer collaboration easily translated into the social learning context, and with new mobile apps, the success of Gaming, and Learning Management Systems (LMS), the sharing of information has become a crucial part of digesting information and student discovery in the learning process.
3) Untethered Learning
“Mobile devices along with low barriers to connectivity and the choice of hundreds of new apps specific to education puts access to education in the hands of learners making learning-on-the-go a reality…other education institutions are following suit by making education accessible to students from their mobile device for untethered learning— students aren’t bound by a physical institution or even a desktop computer.” Learning-on-the-Go has allowed students to work, learn, and discover based on their specific needs. Apps are being developed for easy coursework access including tutorials, lessons, and study resources.