While technology will play a big part in the future of higher education, a study on digital learning revealed that many colleges and universities still have outdated digital polices that need to change.
The research, Preparing for the Digital University: A Review of the History and Current State of Distance, Blended, and Online Learning, was conducted to help higher education leaders understand how technology could help students learn. One of the biggest takeaways from the study was that institutions have been slow to leverage digital learning technologies.
“The move to digital education mirrors what has happened in much of society, where control shifts to the end user and reflects their needs and interests, not only those of the institution providing a service,” George Siemens, executive director of the Learning Innovation and Networked Knowledge Research (LINK) Lab, said in an article in eCampus News. “To meet this challenge directly, universities need to start evaluating and changing existing policies, strategies, and practices to benefit from digital learning.”
Most learning used to take place under the guidance of an instructor, but online learning and digital technology, such as social media and learning management systems, have made knowledge more easily accessible. Technology has also made it possible to create personalized and adaptive learning programs, providing learners with a more relevant and timely education.
“Higher education is changing,” the report concluded. “Central to this change is the transition from a physically based learning model to one that makes greater use of digital technologies. A brave new landscape of toolsets is now emerging, each with various elements of control, integration, ownership, and structure.”