How Digital Technology is Disrupting the Future of College and University Degree Education

Digital Technology is disrupting the future of college and university degree education. It has incredibly changed the way education system share knowledge with learners. In recent years, elearning has become the leading platform to deliver education

How Digital Technology is Disrupting the Future of College and University Degree Education

Digital Technology is disrupting the future of college and university degree education. It has incredibly changed the way education system share knowledge with learners. In recent years, e-Learning has become the leading platform to deliver education by all of the knowledge-providing institutes. Technology is being used efficiently and effectively to exceed the expectation of leading era. New technological methods has changed the way of student's learning, sharing, dealing, and engaging behavior with each other. It is becoming the central part of the education system as it is helping professors and students in sharing and getting knowledge. Technology has shifted learning tremendously from traditional classroom setups to digital methodology.

However, there must be a compelling and accurate infrastructure of technology that promote real development in learning and teaching departments. The dedicated staff should be trained-well for using updated and advanced technological platforms such as a learning management system (LMS), to deliver information rightly. In the article, we discussed some common and effective ways that have potential to change the present higher education situation. These includes

  • Disruptive Learning
  • Collaborative Learning
  • Learning Analytics
  • Innovation Culture
  • Mobile Learning
  • Blended Learning
  • Personalized Learning

Technology is changing the vision and way of learning; let’s discuss all of them one by one in detail to get full understanding.

1)  Disruptive Learning

College Degree Education disrupted by Skilled Digital Education

Google announced to disrupt the future of higher education to help students in getting degrees and job faster than usual. It will help passionate job-seekers to get the right place immediately after completing the course. Unlike traditional university degrees, these courses will end in just six months. It engages students for a more extended time because of short course period than going to university to attend lectures. Google Career Certificates provide in-demand skills to improve the economy by providing employment resources.  

The courses Google provides are highly demanding in recent times, and the student doesn't need any college or university degree to apply for jobs. The senior vice president of global affairs, Kent Walker, at Google, said:

“We need new, accessible job-training solution-from enhanced vocational programs to online education-to help America recover and rebuilt.”

He added more to his talk

"In our hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as an equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles.”

Google offers another course via online learning platform named the Google IT Support Professional Certificate. A student who wants to enroll in this course will pay $49 each month. The complete course of six-month costs only $300, which is much affordable for the students. Plus, it also reduced the expenses for buying books and notes to understand a concept thoroughly. Google offers committed professionals who are working there for teaching online enrolled students. It will also provide scholarship to 100,000 needy students to support this new initiative. However, this step will be proven as a potentially vital step in changing the future of higher education.  

Get Certificate After Six-Months and Apply for a Job

The traditional university teaching method is failed in providing students with the right skill with full expertise. They spend years in university and comes out without any field experience that results in struggling for the right job. Organizations don't hire them because of their immature company-related skill. Google leads this global issue to an ending point with the exciting solution of online courses. It will support average students to complete their education even without taking any loans and then focusing on their jobs without any worry.

These courses belong to higher-paying industries with extensive business growth which demand talent for the continuation of their success. Google announced that these programs would lead to generating high revenues annually according to Inc as:

  • Project Manager ($93,000)
  • Data Analyst ($66,000)
  • UX Designer ($75,000)

Google offers its employees in the respective field, of course, to share complete knowledge with the newcomers. It added:

“The programs equip participants with the essential skills they need to get a job. No degree or prior experience required to take the course.”

Moreover, these certificates help in building new paths in the field of IT department. It will support people without having college degrees. Walker explained:

“Launched in 2018, the Google IT Certificate program has become the single most popular certificate on Coursera. Thousands of people have found new jobs and increased their earnings after completing the course.”

Google also promises to provide support to people who got this course in finding the job after completion. The company shared:

“Share information directly with top employers hiring for jobs in these fields.”

Some brands names are Walmart, Best Buy, Hulu, Bank of America, and Google. It will provide IT support certificate to students in technical and career field all around the United States.

Incredible Opportunity Using Old Idea

Higher education deals with specific departments where physical education is necessary for practical implementation. These courses are not cost-effective but also time-savers in getting ready for an expert job in six-months. The courses that Google offers are not new in the digital field and are already existing for many years. But certificates from Google will make the difference; as it's a trusted name among others. Other well-known organizations value its certificate like degrees from well-known institutes.

Tips for Business Holders

Some companies still prefer better character and personality over tech skills. They support experienced persons in respective fields to take their businesses to the next level. Business holders should start their training programs similar to Google. In this way, they will earn and also get a good workforce prepared by their team. An online learning program makes it easy for students to join and earning skill. If they get proper training about a particular firm, then the company holder never wants to let them go.  

The course would be an additional revenue stream that helps organizations in making their systems more accessible and feasible. But don't forget, in the present digital era, what matters is the skill, not a degree from a well-known university.

Will eLearning replace traditional education system in future?

There is a variety of organizations and owners having their unique point of views about eLearning and traditional higher education system. Where they support Google, at the same time, some companies deny this approach. Excitingly, Google provides an association having several business companies of over 50 employers for certified graduates. It welcomes Google’s graduates to join the concerned firms for the betterment of their skills. The participating organizations are as:

  • Walmart
  • Spring
  • Hulu
  • H&R Block
  • Infosys
  • Best Buy
  • PNC
  • Sprint
  • Sam’s Club
  • Intel

Google is inviting more employers either from small or big businesses to join hands with it in sharing employment resources with fresh graduates. It said:

“Product agnostic and designed to help people land jobs at any company, across any sector.”

IBM and Apple have already announced a four-year degree requirement in their job descriptions. The given system will gain popularity in future when more employers join hands with Google in this initiative. On LinkedIn, an anonymous reader replied:

"Students need more than a checklist of skills to compete in the real world. they need depth, breadth, and critical thinking abilities."

In real, Google can’t completely replace the college education system. But it’s an inspiring step towards innovation; it will provide a path for creative-mind students to learn differently. The given system will fill the gaps in getting an education for middle-class students and offer equal future opportunities for them. In the U.S., the pandemic affected the education system greatly in shifting it from traditional to a digital platform.  

Google six-month skill system support young people and their families in gaining:

  • In-demand job skills
  • Prestige

The last factor is necessary as the students in college don't learn how to pay tribute to their teachers or organization, but they purchase degree only. In the leading industry, competition is the primary pillar to get progress in a particular field. Google is disrupting the traditional education system to bring innovation in the present system.

2)  Collaborative Learning

Many educational institutes are shifting their traditional teaching strategy of 50-minute lecture to collaborative learning. In the past, libraries allow only personalized studies to avoid disturbance, but now, these will also permit group studies. It will enhance students’ interest in solving a particular problem by gathering answers from multiple minds.

There is a dare need of teaching the advanced technology to the staff for its proper understanding by the students. It will change the basics architecture of learning department that is underused since the start of educating people. Classrooms will change from static chairs and tables, black-board and chalk to movable furniture, laptops, and other digital screens. The active environment is significant for proactive thoughts to come up in the student's minds. Boise State University has adopted this technique for emerging creative ideas by collaborative studies among the students. It allows them to stream and share files or documents with other fellows or their mentors in the room.

Collaborative learning also reduces conversation gaps between authoritative staff and learners. They come close to the real-life dealing environment that's the start of their professional life. Besides, it engages them together in completing different projects and enhance their exposure to finding solutions in real-time. Newbies that are fresh graduates when hired for jobs speak up in a meeting with exceptional confidence. They can defend their idea in front of highly expert professionals and have the potential to prove it.

3)  Learning Analytics

Technology in higher education is providing a helping hand to the teachers in accessing their student’s engagement. Moreover, it informs staff when students enter and exit into the library via swiping their cards. According to a survey, the student's response rate in online group discussions and quiz is much distinct than their engagement in-class activities. They spend more time on apps and learning software as they learn a new skill every day. The universities can compare a specific student’s data with others to make a comparison graph. Their concerned staff make a progress-comparison graph of a single individual to see either he improved in his learning or not. The Nottingham Trent University is providing a dashboard for students where they can compare their progress with other fellows. It makes students responsible for their acts and focuses their goals on studies.

On the other hand, the investigating staff in the university can also keep an eye on teaching staff, their methodology, and skill of delivering the right knowledge. They can access their concept clearance by considering student’s mockup results. With leading technology, teachers don’t have to wait for the final exam results to see their student’s progress; but they can check it in real-time by using learning analytics. If the results are what which are not expected, they can change their teaching attitude and knowledge-delivering methodology.  

The University of Purdue, Indiana, is also using learning analytics system to boost better results than ever. They have reduced D and F grades by 14% and increased B and C grades by 12% among their student. It shows how real-time data helps in improving children’s career and their degrees.

4)  Innovative Culture

In recent times, innovation in education department is creating the difference and completely changed the concerned industry. There must be some factors for introducing, improving, and supporting innovative strategy. The Teacher Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) published research that explains the concerned factors. The primary factor discussed was the need of people who have an exceptional mind with next-level thinking. They can help in improving already present technologies and developing incredibly new ones.

The duty is shifted to the education providers in assuring to bring and apply technology effectively. They should generate new ideas to make this technical system more attractive than before, instead of delivering lectures only. Diversity matters a lot; more ideas, more will be the improvement that we can expect in the higher education system. Technology can fulfill the rising demands of students from different regions. The development of adaptive learning technology is based on applying learning analytics. It will help in increasing the engagement rate of students with studies and reduce the quantity of time they give to their studies by focusing on the quality of time.

5)  Mobile Learning (mLearning)

Smartphones are becoming the must-to-have instrument that almost everyone holds in one's pocket. Now humans are nothing without a cell phone in this developed era. Recently, COVID-19 enhanced the usage rate of mobile technology among teenage for conducting and attending online classes. According to an estimation, the mobile industry will help in the growing global economy by 36% at the end of 2020, leading to $37.6 billion. Everyone comes with their personal views either favoring or opposing its use among student. Some people think that mobile technology is a smarter way of getting knowledge as it connects you with your teacher without any delay. While others think opposite that it detracts students in the class. Education providers must support the proper use of cell phone in a classroom and give them an online assignment to solve it during class time.

mLearning is not less than a blessing in spreading knowledge to a significant number of students in less time. It's like a new way of distance learning that enables learners to use mobile for purposes other than entertainment. It promotes instant sharing of notes where students don’t have to travel to submit their application or an assignment. Technology reduced distances to one click. mLeraner also has an exciting experience with an advanced setup of educational content transfer. It gives them a favour to deliver their feedback to their respective teacher within seconds.

Is mLearning effective over traditional learning approaches?

Most teachers and students share their experience with eLearning that is in favor of mLearning. It might be due to various benefits that come with it, including:

  • Comfort
  • Peace of mind
  • Software learning
  • Technology learning
  • Changing the traditional education route
  • 3D imaging of complex structure
  • Keeps learner’s interest

Modern universities are also conducting a proximity test to identify the real stats of mobile phone usage by students. The Middlesex University conducted a test on a group of anatomy student of first-year. They gave them iPads and asked them to view the 3D movement of muscles and skeleton. The remaining class members were to stay on studying from books. After final exams, grades showed a distinct difference among the results of both groups; students with iPads got higher ranks than the second group. Thus, they declared that technology comes with fun in studying and help the students in remembering a process because of visualization.

Has mLearning showed any positive feedback in real?

The given methodology increased the rate of test result score up to 50%-70%. Besides, it also reduced the student number who are dropped every year from class because of poor performance to 22%.

CTU Faculty App and Its Success

Some advanced universities also launched their apps to support students by providing them with mobile learning. They take care of their technology that it must be significantly developed for students to learn and make their concepts strong. Most students face difficulty in understanding a particular concept; technology can help in it as well. Colorado Technical University (CTU) showed a practical implementation of using a mobile learning app that reduced the complaint rate. The university leaders believe that:

‘’Fit education in student’s lives. Not the other way around.’’

The app also asks for student's feedback and share it with the university management in real-time via several tools. It helps in resolving issues in less time than it takes without technology. Students have installed the app in their smartphones and also signed up through their accounts. The developers also focus on suggestions to improve the ease of app usage among students and teaching faculty. They won the 2018 WOW award for CTU Faculty App and its vast applications.

What are the other ways of mLearning than cell phones?

There are several gadgets and devices specially made for students for their vision clearance about a particular topic. Digital devices share a big room with learners to search and get real-time answers about their queries. It also opens their minds for creative questioning that results in discoveries. Yeah, it is affordable than traditional classroom setups.

6)  Blended Learning

The blended learning program is a somewhat fantastic way of teaching as it blends both traditional and digital teaching methodologies. It helps students to get instructions from their teachers in a traditional classroom and then applying these rules to solve online questions. Most students get stuck in using online platforms and don't know how to proceed next. Thus, blended education helps them in getting a complete understanding of software in a traditional classroom.

Moreover, it can bring innovation in rural areas by reducing the distance between students and teachers. You can contact an extraordinary iOS developer for making a mobile app to deliver quality education. We can get benefits of blended learning via:

  • Increasing learning hours even outside the school
  • Enhancing productivity with visual explanation
  • Reducing the costs of providing educational facilities at schools

EDUCAUSE recorded that students' rate to pass the exam is increased by one third via blended learning. However, the number of students increased to 50% in getting and mastering a particular subject.  

7)  Personalized Learning

As it is personalized, it means we are talking about an individual learning capability with digital transformations. It deals with digital smart devices, mobile apps, software, and user-friendly interface. It also tells about their academic strengths, weaknesses, interests and motivations; all are based on personal interests.

Technology in higher education helps teachers to know about their student's progress with time. Their algorithms are efficient enough to provide a graphical representation of progress over time by comparing with old results. The use of technology in educational apps comes with:

  • Ease to distribute assignment, mock-ups, and quiz among students
  • Scheduling courses and lectures to update them on apps before time
  • Tracking student’s progress with time

How are Big Data and Analytics supporting learning?

Universities are using big data to find the areas where students are trying to find the right source of getting an education. They're struggling to find a better way to improve their grades before its too late. For the sake, universities launched an app that predicts their GPA bases on their sleeping, learning, playing, dealing, and exercising patterns. Dartmouth College Researchers and the University of Texas at Austin have developed an app for tracking student’s interactions. The app shows them smartphone activity of students and predicts GPA according to their cell phone usage. The app is SmartGPA which response to student's physical activities and social interactions.

Moreover, the researchers also created another app StudentLife app that responds to student’s mental health and its effect on their GPA. The study explains:

We show that there are several critical behavioural factors automatically inferred from smartphones that significantly correlate with the term and cumulative GPA.

The app comes with cloud and machine learning algorithms to monitor the undergraduate group for ten weeks (24 hours a day).

Results of SmartGPA and StudentLife App

Results were not too different from the real situation as the students who show great interest in class shower higher performance than others.  Also, they showed lesser social interactions and stayed stressed during midterm exams.  

Don’t Pay Fees, Subscribe the College

Technology eliminated the need of enrolling students via paying fees; it allows them to subscribe to their schools. They will pay the price for a month-to-month to pay their college expenses. The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the institutes which practically applied this methodology. The director of the Center for 21stCentury Universities, Richard DeMillo, stated that:

‘’Whatever someone needs to do to improve their professional situation or acquire a new skill or get feedback on how things are going.’’

Boise State is also using this technique for its Passport to Education system that charges

  • $425 for six credit score hours
  • $525 for nine credit score hours

And its 30% cost-effective than in-person tuition fee. Students are graduated within 18 months of their starting courses. Mr Jones told that subscription method attracted 94 students in software course. With time, technology will become more attractive than now for delivering education to college students.

3D Projectors by Higher Education Provider

The director of the International Research Agency, Professor Dr Anne Bamford, worked with a team to conduct a research investigation. Texas Instrument DLP initiated the LiFE 1 Project for 3D presentation in classrooms. It brought significant benefits in getting better learning and teaching experience. The research was done across seven European countries, 15 schools, 740 students, and 47 teachers in 2011.

Macquarie University offers VR(Virtual Reality) Lab in Australia where they provide digital projectors to students. These projectors come with a high-quality solid-state light source that can produce illumination for 20,000 hours. Digital Projection’s HIGHlite Laser technology is dramatically reducing the costs and revolutionizing the world of education.

Last but Not Least

Technology has the potential to change the world in a new incredible way. By incorporating technology and smart devices in the education system, educators will lead to excellence in a shorter time. Moreover, it will provide comfort to students as well as teachers in interacting with one another. Technology can also produce robotic teachers that can deliver lectures and respond to student's queries. Georgia Tech makes one digital instructing assistant named Jill Watson. It was constructed by using jeopardy-winning supercomputer platform, IBM Watson.

COVID-19 also raised the use of technology in the education industry for delivering and listening to lectures. Many new platforms evolved, and many old platforms get attention during this pandemic. Most commonly used platforms are Zoom, Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and local LMS (Learning Management System) that every university offers to its faculty and students.

Cheers :)