Universities are willing to spend millions, even billions of pounds, dollars, euros, and yen on research funding, yet are often more reluctant to invest proportionally in the development of the education part of higher education.
This is, one could argue, one half of their mission, and for the majority of people the half which most directly impacts them. Is it time the higher education industry addressed this imbalance? Technology is one way in which institutions can do this…
Investments in education technology are rising
This sector shows no signs of slowing down with investments in education technology reaching US$16.3 billion in 2018.
In 2015, Ambient Insight research found that investment in higher education technology alone was a staggering US$2.5 billion worldwide in just the first half of the year.
Here are five of the most invested-in forms of higher education technology:
1. Student-oriented data and information
One effective way in which universities can leverage technology to benefit students is through the use of data, and the dissemination of information.
For example, Manchester Metropolitan University analysed student data to improve satisfaction levels by arranging assignments and timetables to create a more evenly distributed workload.
They also made information easily available to students, publishing individual deadlines, feedback return dates, and provisional marks via their university portal, virtual learning environment, and mobile app.
2. Investment in software, not just hardware
Investing in technology for universities may conjure up images of laptops and tablets being delivered en masse, but the greatest ROI in higher education technology comes from software rather than hardware.
Rather than providing students with more computers and tablets, education investment is better spent on applications, websites, and software that students will be able to access from their personal devices.
Additionally, software that streamlines the way university staff communicate and collaborate, both internally and externally, is in huge demand.
The QS MoveIN software platform empowers universities to automate and streamline student recruitment processes and effectively engage with prospective students.
To find out how your university could transition to a completely online application process, contact the QS MoveIN team today.
3. Digital submission, marking, and feedback
Research carried out by Jisc into the changing expectations of students in the digital age found that expectations are especially high when it came to submitting assignments and receiving marks and feedback digitally.
Investment in higher education technology which facilitates this will not only make your students’ lives easier and their satisfaction levels higher, but can also significantly lighten the workload of administrative staff.
The English Department at Queen’s University Belfast revealed that the introduction of e-submission and marking saved the administrative team approximately 20 days per year.
4. Innovative approaches to HE
While online learning environments continue to gain popularity, face-to-face learning is a long way from losing its status as the gold standard of education.
Flipped approaches combine the best of both by inverting the traditional roles of lectures and homework.
Students watch lectures online then attend classes to carry out assignments based on the lectures, making more effective use of classroom and teacher time.
This and other innovative approaches to learning can boost student satisfaction, but only with the proper investment in the right technology and commitment to the careful cultivation of resources.
5 – Mobile learning apps worldwide
Some of the biggest investments in mobile technology have come in the strident emerging BRIC economies.
China is one of the biggest investors in education technology and has concentrated much of its investment on mobile learning; things like English-language apps and mobile edu-games.
Countries like India and Brazil have also made significant levels of investment in higher education technology.
Whatever your university’s approach, it’s clear that higher education technology is something that every institution should explore and examine.