COVID-19 was a terrifying epidemic that also served as a time machine. COVID-19 has created a temporal breach in higher education that has stranded many of us (if only briefly) in 2030.
Higher education is more adaptable than most people previously thought.
It’s actually amazing that more than 4,000 postsecondary institutions in the United States were able to shift practically quickly from residential to online instruction for around 20 million students. The public perception that colleges and universities are incapable of agility and speed has been irreversibly shattered by higher education’s response to COVID.
The epidemic will hasten the expansion of online learning.
Eighty percent of chief online officers believe their institutions’ online enrollment will increase in the next three to five years.
Even with online programmes, most institutions still prefer to stay local.
Colleges and universities appear to know that competing with major online brands is tough, but that there is tremendous demand for online solutions in their local and regional locations.
A structured online programme portfolio and remote instruction for academic continuity can be mutually reinforcing.
The distinction between remote instruction and typical online learning is well established. The former is a response to an emergency, whereas the latter necessitates substantial investments and development timelines. According to the CHLOE findings, online leaders feel that the need to pivot to universal remote learning will accelerate and deepen longer-term investments in entirely online programmes.
Community colleges are pioneers in the field of online learning.
Community institutions may not be given enough credit for driving postsecondary innovation. According to the CHLOE research, community colleges’ online education experience prepared them well for the transition to remote instruction.
Colleges and universities have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to speed up the adoption of online programmes.
After the pandemic, the majority of chief online officers (72 percent) believe that “very likely” (15 percent) or “likely” (57 percent) of ERL courses will migrate to totally online courses. Every professor now has some expertise developing and teaching digitally mediated courses, giving colleges and institutions a once-in-a-generation chance to speed new online programmes.
Synchronous online learning isn’t going away anytime soon.
Over 80% of COOs believe that synchronous online components will be included in at least some new or redesigned online courses. Synchronous online instruction has evolved from a high-intensity/high-cost online education criterion to one that is now more widely accepted across all institutions.
During the epidemic, over two-thirds of schools invested in expanding their online capabilities.
According to the COOs polled for the CHLOE research, 63 percent of institutions invested “some” or “considerable” resources to support online learning during the epidemic. At least some of these investments will help schools improve their long-term ability to grow their online offerings.
The majority of the technology that enabled emergency remote instruction were in place before to the pandemic, but COVID saw huge expenditures in synchronous learning platforms.
Consider what might have happened if the epidemic had hit when most of us were in college. The use of a learning management system (LMS) is now widespread. The LMS allows schools to continue operating, but in the last 18 months, the rapid implementation (and investment) in synchronous learning platforms has allowed teachers and students to stay more completely linked.
The use of open educational resources has exploded.
When compared to other digital learning tools and platforms, OER saw the biggest percentage increase in net significant investment (7%) in 2021. COVID-19 has arguably encouraged a more institutional focus on OER by raising awareness of the underlying disparities generated by high-priced publisher course materials and textbooks.
Getting a tutor proved to be a key part of students success through the pandemic.
The epidemic both revealed and worsened systemic inequities in higher education, as online leaders are acutely aware.