Over the past few decades, the world of education has seen phenomenal changes. Each facet of education- content, learning, assessment, reporting- has been transformed by fast-paced technological advancements, changes in learning methodologies and digital business demands. This phenomenon is not limited to a specific segment of the education sector, but encompasses the entire spectrum of education, including K12, higher education, professional education, certification etc.
Let us look at some of the main factors that have led to these changes.
With more people opting for jobs rather than higher studies, there is a steady decline in books (online and printed) sales. Students of higher education, professionals looking to upskill, aspirants of technical certifications, etc. now have a range of choices for accessing learning content.
The availability of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), mobile apps, free online videos, etc. has resulted in students moving away from buying expensive books. This has prompted content publishers to draw up alternative strategies, such as book rentals (both print and online), offering digital content through existing Learning Management Systems (LMS), such as Google Classrooms.
This also means that content publication businesses are feeling the pressure to devise innovative strategies to improve sales and lower margins to stay viable.
Rapid Advances in Technology
Applications on mobile devices now offer immersive learning experiences wherein the user gets to evaluate his/her own progress during the course. For example, the user is now able to write code and see it compiled and run inside the learning application. Labs are assigned based on user’s progress, without any human interference. Course content is mixed with author’s narrative, which brings life to the learning experience.
The advent of 3D Printing and Gamification technologies, such as Google Glass has given a new dimension to the learning process. Systems offering item generation, test delivery, assessment and reporting are all now a part of the ecosystem which conforms to standards that allow seamless export and import of data.
Social Perceptions and Government Policies
Public perceptions regarding social sectors, such as education and changes in government policies play a vital role in deciding whether contracts for state assessments in K12 sector are awarded to for-Profit organizations. Latest trends in the US indicate that there is greater public scrutiny of the contract process. A larger number of not-for-profit organizations are now awarded state assessment contracts as compared to for-profit companies in this domain.
Various states coming together under a consortium such as Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers PAARC brings along changes in K12 syllabi and its assessment processes. It also results in consolidation of state contracts.
Teachers aided by advanced technologies are better equipped today than ever before. Emergence of teaching methodologies, such as flipped classrooms and experiential learning has changed the role of teachers to that of facilitators. The focus is now on “discovery and learning” rather than teaching.
To overcome these challenges, organizations will need to focus on finding innovative ways to make content richer, and easily available at a lower price point.
Going ahead, traditional tools and practises will make way for new ones. Education providers will have to explore the use of technologies like Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence in making the learning process more effective and enjoyable for users. As technology changes continue to transform learning, organizations that successfully leverage innovative technology solutions to overcome new challenges will continue to grow.
Ness Digital Engineering is working with industry leaders on implementing some of the cutting-edge solutions in the education space. With a strong Product Engineering pedigree and nearly a decade of experience in this vertical, Ness has partnered with its clients from across the globe in building products that have revolutionized the delivery of educational content, item design, and assessments, and transformed learning experiences.