Emerging Trends In Higher And Executive Education Domain And Future Outlook

As organisations and industries evolve to re-emerge with strength after the pandemic, they will continue to introduce new trends that will reshape the education domain.

Since the advent of Industry 4.0, higher education has been undergoing a steady transformation. In the domain of executive education, there has been a marked evolution, both in the mode of pedagogy and in the curriculum. These changes are essential if we hope to keep pace with a rapidly changing economic landscape, where a certain level of technical competence is expected along with domain expertise. 

The pandemic has further accelerated this transition with a visible shift in teaching-learning practices towards digital classrooms. As the effects of the pandemic begin to subside and we slowly move towards normalcy, many of these changes are likely to remain. This is a positive shift, as it will enable the creation of more effective means of student engagement to ensure a holistic learning approach. 

Below are some emerging technological, academic and global trends that are shaping higher education today:

Introduction of hybrid learning 

With the necessity of transferring learning to the virtual sphere, the pandemic witnessed the rising popularity of hybrid learning that combines both online and offline classes. In this mode, an instructor teaches a traditional classroom with some students joining in remotely. 

This learning format utilises online educational material for both content and delivery. In addition, it also allows students some amount of control over the timing and pace of teaching. This methodology is still evolving, with different models followed by different institutions and instructors. 

Immersive content gaining ground

Already a popular concept in corporate training, immersive learning is now slowly gaining ground in higher education. Utilising Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), educators strive to create an immersive experience for learners, deepening their engagement which can, in turn, create a more impactful learning experience. 

Immersive content provides a safe mode for experiential learning and helps learners grasp abstract concepts more effectively. An Accenture report revealed that using VR for vocational training resulted in 12 per cent higher accuracy and a 17 per cent faster execution rate. 

Need for an in-depth understanding of modern technologies

Businesses are increasingly implementing modern technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, big data and Virtual Reality (VR) to improve customer experience and thrive amid the pandemic.

To enable students and young professionals to thrive in a business environment that is dominated by modern technologies, universities and institutes are revamping their curriculum, to offer in-depth instruction in foundational concepts in AI, VR, blockchain and big data.

Engaging students with gamification

Educators are incorporating game design elements, such as peer competition, point scoring, teamwork and score tables, to capture learners’ interest and engage better with them.

Gamification is being adopted to support learning in a variety of contexts and subject areas, to enhance collaboration, participation, self-guided study, creativity and retention. The game elements to be used are decided as per the unique needs of the cohort the educator is catering to.

Availability of a wide talent pool, a good ecosystem and lower upfront costs have lured many technologies and IT firms into setting up their bases in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. This phenomenon, along with the introduction of the National Education Policy (NEP 2020), is likely to accelerate the adoption of these emerging trends in the educational institutions of these cities and will prepare the new generation to thrive in the altered work environments.

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant”. Former UK Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s words from 1867 are very relevant in the dynamic business environment of today. As organisations and industries evolve to re-emerge with strength after the pandemic, they will continue to introduce new trends that will reshape the education domain. The imperative that will remain constant is technological upskilling.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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