Education Trends 2019
- Education, like many other disciplines, is a dynamic industry where trends change according to the latest research and developments. Current trends in the field indicate the following:
- The more popular courses are becoming student-centred rather than teacher-centred. As people’s lives become busier and their time valuable, more and more are turning to self-paced and flexible distance learning alternatives when considering their education needs and goals. As a result, a greater number of institutions now offer distance education to cater for people wanting a more personalised approach to their ongoing studies.
- Developers of educational courses are now taking into account the needs and wants of a wide range of the population when designing and offering courses and qualifications. As such, the emphasis on qualifications is perhaps not as strong as it once was. Instead, there are more offerings from education providers in terms of courses which focus on continuing professional development (CPD), skills training and personal development or interest.
- There has been a shift towards shorter courses. These are sometimes referred to as ‘bite size courses’ but increasingly as ‘micro courses’. Most of these courses have a duration of between one and four hours, though some may be even shorter. Completion of such courses usually involves self-testing and is awarded with an automated score or certificate. Micro courses may be provided to employees by larger organisations, but typically they are provided by universities and private distance education providers. Whilst some may be offered online for free, the usual format is via a monthly subscription whereby subscribers can complete unlimited courses in their own time. Micro courses once again fulfil a need for continuing professional development (CPD), skills training and personal development or interest.
- As more and more people own computers, tablets and mobile phones, and are literate in their use, educational institutions are responding by providing an ever increasing array of distance education courses online via access to the internet. The larger screen sizes on mobile phones, and their better resolutions, means that many of the younger generation prefer to study on their phones. Course designers have to be mindful of creating content that suits both monitors and mobile phone screens.
- Knowledge based education has some problems; the retention of facts, figures and complex concepts has always presented difficulties for a lot of people. Therefore, the most progressive courses are putting increasing emphasis on teaching “how to find information, and how to apply it” rather than “how to carry out specified tasks” or “understand specific concepts”. Some of the best universities have dramatically cut lectures and lab classes in degree-level courses and replaced them with group projects focusing on solving defined problems. Research has suggested that graduates from these courses not only know as much as graduates from traditional courses, but advance faster and further in their chosen careers.
- More and more institutions are adding new technologies, such as online learning to their existing provision of courses to students. As we become more technologically advanced, there will probably be an increased need to maintain and offer new online courses aimed at meeting the educational expectations and needs of the general population.
- Online learning which focuses on workforce training has also opened doors to group enrolments. Most online education providers have provisions to enrol whole teams of managers, workers or the entire staff of an organisation which makes it a cost-effective means of helping the members of the organisation to grow and develop in their roles.
- The best and more popular courses are increasingly offering greater flexibility and diversity in the way people study. Instead of all the education being conducted entirely in a classroom, learning may involve a combination of practical tasks, set readings, research projects, tutorials, lectures and online education. This mixture of education tools is called blended learning. Using technology, these learning experiences might all happen on-campus, or off-campus, or as a combination of both. Often off-campus study is the most cost-effective, and that means off-campus students can be provided with better value for the education dollar than on-campus students.
- The shift towards online learning and micro courses has also opened up pathways for blended learning where part of a qualification may be provided by a school, college or university but another part of it is provided by an external education provider through online learning. Similarly, blended learning can mean a training package is provided by an organisation but part of the training is completed through online learning provided by an external course developer. This type of arrangement is becoming more commonplace because many educators and trainers don’t have the capacity or skill set to continually develop online courses and keep them up to date. Blended learning can be cost-effective by reducing contact hours and associated costs whilst still maintaining a high standard of education. For example, a course which takes 20 hours to deliver face-to-face can be changed to 10 hours of face-face delivery plus 10 hours of online delivery. The online component can reduce the overall cost of delivery by a significant margin.
- A particular type of blended learning is known as the flipped classroom, and it has become increasingly adopted in education settings. It is called ‘flipped’ because it reverses traditional learning by delivering instructional content outside of the classroom, and often online. Activities such as homework are brought into the classroom. In this scenario, students may watch online lectures and engage in online discussions, or undertake research at home, but discuss concepts in the classroom under the guidance of a tutor. The flipped classroom is an example of student-focused learning where classroom time is spent exploring topics and concepts in greater detail and new material is introduced outside the classroom.
WHAT COURSE GETS YOU A JOB?
2019 studies show that a qualification is no longer the main thing that employers seek.
If you want a job today and ito the future you need passion, learning and knowledge ahead of qualifications.
Uncompleted studies plus passion will trump a certificate, diploma or degree into the 2020's!