The rates of college enrollment keep declining, and costs remain one of the major factors deterring individuals from higher education. Digitalization shows immense promise in removing that barrier. 2021 revealed that private institutions charged $58,560 on average for an online degree while charging $148,800 for an in-person degree. This was accompanied by $3,400 yearly transport expenses and a difference of $1,380 dollars between campus meals and home meals. However, the education department has been slow in its digital transformation. It didn’t have quite a head start either, as it was one of the least digitized sectors in 2019.
The pandemic pushed every platform online, and those who failed to do so suffered. The need for digital transformation was especially apparent in the education sector, and it was hastily fulfilled worldwide as educational institutions moved their operations online.
Consequently, the benefits of online learning revealed themselves to students, families, and colleges, namely, the cost-friendliness, convenience, and accessibility. Colleges reverted back to in-person classes, but the advantages digitization offered stayed with many. However, the online educational experience stays unrefined in many colleges. This includes no adjustment of teaching methodology for online platforms or using a traditional email system to send and receive assignments. This is leading to a lack of enrollments and increased dropouts in colleges today. Many colleges have yet to offer comprehensive learning programs online too, and this is affecting their enrollment rates.
Universities need to go further than offering a few courses online. The demand for increasing graduates for the economy can only be fulfilled if all tools are leveraged to their maximum. Colleges need to offer more full-fledged degree programs online or at least adopt a hybrid approach to teaching. This enables them cost savings and makes enrollment more accessible to a broader audience.
Formatting course contents, especially for digital devices, using interactive applications & prioritizing face-to-face interactions whenever possible are some of the ways in which quality can be improved to adjust for the changed learning dynamic. The use of platforms that specialize in providing support for education would also be better rather than sticking to Zoom. Colleges need to cater to disabled students in remote learning to ensure no one stays behind, and they also need to acknowledge that bad internet connections can be extremely problematic in live classes, tests, or assignments.
Having backup plans, open channels for teacher-student communication during classes, and providing students with recorded material is necessary to facilitate the students. Learning goes beyond listening to a lecture, after all. Facilitating student support online and encouraging visits can also help colleges to cater to the needs of the student body. If your college is suffering from low admission rates, you can go through Modo Labs’ six strategies to increase student enrollment.
The future is digital, and the organizations that delay adapting to it will be left behind. This is especially true in the education department as the need for degree holders and skilled, educated individuals around the world will also increase. Making education remotely accessible is not only necessary for colleges themselves get students, but it is also necessary to ensure education gets more accessible and economical to individuals all around the globe.