As distance and online higher-ed enrollments rise, what can educators do to ensure education quality rises with them?
Although many desire to entice students to return to campus, creating a more robust capacity for online/distance education should, perhaps, become a higher priority moving forward. What are the facts to support this? Let’s take a look.
Largely due to the effects of COVID-19, higher education enrollment has fallen 7.8% since the Fall of 2019.¹
Simultaneously, distance education is increasingly more utilized by students seeking higher education with 93.1% growth from Fall 2019 to Fall 2020.²
Furthermore, according to employers, college grads aren’t receiving the training they need to hit the ground running in their post-college careers.³
So, how can methods of instruction improve to meet both the needs of the student, their future employers, and the professors teaching them?
Students need mentors and professors that care about them as an individual.⁴ According to Gallup’s study, students are 2x as likely to be more engaged and experience success in the workplace if they have had a professor that cares about them as a person or if they’ve had a mentor’s encouragement and guidance.
On-campus learning has great advantages, but distance learning can open opportunities to a student population with changing needs. At least half of all college students now take online courses, some of them as distance learners.⁵
However, anyone who has taken online courses knows that they can be major flops or impossibly difficult. Digital textbooks and simulations can help students get the most out of their classes and become better prepared for their careers, whether they are on campus or online.
Students need internships or interactive instructional methods that develop practical skills which mimic real-world workplace atmospheres, not just knowledge about a subject. Students are also 2x as likely to be engaged in the workplace if they have had an internship that allows them to apply what they’re learning in class.³
Professors need affordable, easy access to up-to-date, quality teaching materials and resources such as simulations.⁶ In almost all cases, professors have the highest hopes for their students and do their best to prepare students for a successful career. However, professors may have limited time while also lacking affordable yet valuable resources to accomplish this goal.
More than ever, students need to be confident in the value that higher education offers in leading them on the path to their dream careers. With higher demand for quality online education that teaches not only knowledge of principles but also the skills to apply them in a real workspace, educators need new tools to meet these needs.
Simulations and digital courseware. What better way to learn practical skills than in a simulation of professional life scenarios and expectations. Paired with a digital textbook, professors have the best new tools to prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.
Professors can devote more time to mentoring the more specific needs of each of their students.
Students will have a consistent and quality online learning experience.
This offers students an internship-like experience that can help them develop their resumes and marketable skills.
Professors have access to cutting-edge, continuously updated resources that simplify teaching and learning in a way that students can afford.
As education evolves, let’s use this shift as a chance to make education better than ever before. Simulations can help to better prepare future generations for success and professional fulfillment.
Get free instructor access to simulations and digital courseware for your class today.
¹ National Clearing House Research Center
² NC-SARA Annual Data Report
³ Are College Graduates “Career Ready”?
⁴ Many College Graduates Not Equipped for Workplace Success
⁵ Half of All College Students Take Online Courses
⁶ Why Teach with Simulations?