Need for advanced virtual learning continues at colleges and universities
The global pandemic highlighted the need for more intuitive, advanced virtual learning and e-learning environments at colleges and universities. In the early weeks of the pandemic, virtual learning had to be rapidly implemented and demand for online learning has not receded since then.
Many colleges and universities nationwide and globally are continuing virtual classes during the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year as uncertainty about the crisis continues. Many campuses have made the decision to invest in hybrid learning technology, betting that hybrid learning will continue into the future.
Recent trends in virtual learning in Higher Ed
Colleges and universities are recognizing that hybrid learning programs will likely be permanent.
A report from Quality Matters and Eduventures® Research on the state of online learning at U.S. colleges and universities highlighted recent trends affecting higher ed digital transformation and online learning, including increasing investments in technology.
Quality Matters stated, “The sixth Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) report surveyed 422 chief online officers about how their colleges adapted to the health crisis during the fall term and how their attitudes toward online education have shifted. Nearly nine in 10 respondents said “online learning is a greater priority for their schools than before the pandemic”. A key finding of the report was an “elevated commitment to online learning quality assurance goals…” within higher ed. The report also revealed, “The pandemic pushed schools of all types … to invest in novel forms of technology or reinvest in existing capabilities. Whether by sector or online enrollment scale, COVID-19 has closed technology adoption gaps faster and more decisively than anything previous.”
There are a number of key benefits that two-year or four-year colleges and universities can offer, including a hybrid model or a completely virtual learning option for their students. Virtual and hybrid learning opens up learning opportunities for students that need more versatile and flexible options in place of attending classes in person. Meanwhile, given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, a high-quality virtual learning environment allows colleges to pivot from in-person classes into online learning whenever needed.
In a recent article on the digital disruption of higher ed, Forbes observed that, “Having digital education offerings prepares school systems for unforeseen future events like a pandemic and gives them more options in how they instruct, where they instruct, and when they instruct.”
Low-code Tools Can Help Transform Dx while saving costs
Low-code software and digital tools provide a solution that universities can use to speed transformation efforts while saving on costs. Low-code software are tools that have an out of the box functionality such as drag and drop features, API integration, and templates, allowing organizations to develop and deliver applications faster.
In their recent report, Top Technology Trends Impacting Higher Education in 2021, Gartner outlined some of the ways low-code tools can benefit digital transformation at colleges and universities, including:
- Simplifying development using “drag and drop” structure
- Allowing citizen developers to make changes
- Accelerating application changes
- Providing the ability to scale automation and process improvements quickly and easily at an affordable price
- Enabling citizen developers while allowing IT departments to centrally coordinate and focus on other operational needs like systems administration, complex integrations, or security
- Reengineering and digitizing processes quickly to automate student and faculty services
How low-code tools can help colleges and universities transform e-learning platforms
Low-code software and digital tools can help colleges accelerate their digital transformation efforts, including implementing high-quality virtual learning platforms that both students and staff can use successfully. With low-code tools, schools can build and customize their e-learning platforms without needing to write substantial amounts of code by hand.
Along with enhancing and implementing more seamless virtual learning solutions, low-code tools can be used to facilitate and optimize integrations and automations in the software systems for university departments such as administration, HR, enrollment and recruiting.
By choosing to use some prevalent low-code solutions such as learning management systems, education-specific video conferencing platforms, and digital communications tools, colleges and universities can save time and costs while accelerating their virtual learning capabilities across their campuses.
Download our Guide to Low-Code Software Tools for Building a Better Distance Learning Program to learn more.