The use of technology and online tools is growing at all levels of education, from grammar school to graduate school. With increased competition from online universities, traditional universities need to aggressively embrace innovation that enhances student engagement, caters to non-traditional students, and creates a more effective learning environment.

Technology disruption in higher education

Technology is changing education faster than most traditional universities can adapt. This trend continues to accelerate as students grow increasingly more tech-savvy and opt out of the traditional on-campus experience altogether.

Preparation and innovation are key for traditional learning institutions to compete with online universities. Name-brand institutions across the country, including Harvard and the University of Georgia, have launched aggressive efforts to embrace massive open online courses (MOOCs). The University of Georgia has enrolled over 900,000 students in its online MOOC system, demonstrating the potential for digital-based learning options. By offering technologically advanced options that meet student needs, traditional universities can truly compete in the online space.

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Students opt for online learning

In 2017, 7.8 million students were enrolled in online universities. By 2020, that number is expected to grow to 8.3 million.

To create a system that succeeds in attracting students, educational institutions must understand why so many students are choosing online universities. Traditional higher-learning institutions assert that they provide valuable benefits, such as face time with professors, social opportunities, and extracurricular activities. But these benefits are not viable options for everyone.

Non-traditional students with jobs or family responsibilities have little time to participate in campus life. And in recent years, the cost of education and questions about the affordability of student loans have led once-traditional students to consider non-traditional routes. With options like MOOCs, students can get a degree from a traditional university without incurring extensive debt.

How universities are evolving

To stay competitive, all universities must keep pace with technological advancements and use them to engage students where they are. Traditional and online universities are now hiring technology firms to develop iOS and Android mobile learning applications and create cloud environments that allow integration with third-party enterprises. These advancements make it possible to partner with other institutions and companies to offer ongoing education. In addition, many traditional institutions are increasing their offerings by partnering with an established online university. For example, Louisiana State University teamed with Southern New Hampshire University, a seasoned online learning institution, to expand its online undergraduate programs.

As many students shrug at campus life and seek online learning opportunities, traditional and online universities must continue to create innovative technology. These additional technologies benefit students by offering new ways to learn through a wide range of learning styles. Teachers also benefit from the technologies’ ability to automate many administrative tasks, giving them more time to focus on creating new lesson plans and helping students make the most of their educational opportunities.

With the increase in the number of non-traditional students, the online trend continues to strengthen. By embracing digital learning to create quality and accredited online educational opportunities, traditional universities can capitalize on the technology revolution to remain relevant and successful.

To learn how a real-world leading online university is delivering a comprehensive, engaging technology to enhance revenue, student engagement and enrollment, read the customer success story. PointClear Solutions can help both traditional and online education providers evolve their technology strategy, design, development and management. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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