Future Trends in Higher Education

Reading over the 2017 NMC horizon report for higher education, it was interesting to see the expected technology trends that will have an impact on teaching and learning. While I am not a teacher, I do believe these trends affect everyone involved in the institutions that will apply these methods, therefore it should be researched what to expect for the future. These are the trends I felt should be considered and used in learning approaches.

Deeper Learning Approaches is one of the trends listed that I feel is an approach that should be applied into education. It is meant as creating curriculum that is challenging for learners as they need to use critical thinking and problem solving skills that will help to increase learner motivation. Applying real world scenarios are beneficial to learners as the skills they are taught and practice motivates their participation.

Redesigning Learning Spaces is another trend I can see being useful for learners in a few ways. For one, if the course uses a flipped classroom model it may help to increase student participation because students have more accessibility and flexibility when conducting their studies. Another way this trend can be useful is changing the classroom setup completely. For example, some subjects are difficult to teach in the normal classroom setting such as computer and digital related curriculum. Designing layouts that will replicate real world working environments will help prepare learners that traditional classroom cannot offer.

Collaborative Learning Approaches is important for learners as it can prepare them for their futures. Being able to work as a team player and understanding the process as a group is a required skill most employers seek. This approach also offers the ability to learn from each other which can present different perspectives on the learning material which can also help build upon your current knowledge of the learning content.

Improving Digital Literacy is a must as we live a digital age where basic computer skills are not enough to get by in most markets. Digital literacy issues can prevent learners from participating in certain academic programs if they do not meet the requirements. By adding different internet applications into lesson plans you can help learners gain experience using different technologies to help improve digital literacy. With a lot of career fields incorporating the use of internet and/or cloud based applications into their requirements, it is left to educational institutions to help to meet these needs of the students for future success.

Mobile Learning is a popular trend because humans are more connected to each other than ever before due to people using mobile devices as microcomputers. Being on the go with the ability to access information at any time offers convenience to learners and presents new opportunities. Mobile learning provides learners with accessibility that encourages participation, and increases motivation because it is on a device they would probably be using anyway. Making use of mobile apps to create, collaborate, and share assignments gives learners new perspectives how on to learn and experience the content material.

Becker, S. A., Cummins, M., Davis, A., Freeman, A., Hall, C. G., & Ananthanarayanan, V. (2017). NMC Horizon Report: 2017 Higher Education Edition. The New Media Consortium.

3 thoughts on “Future Trends in Higher Education”

  1. These trends are similar to the K-12 report as well. It is interesting to think about these trends in a college or adult education setting vs. a K-12 setting. While it is important to apply it in both settings, do you think the higher education teachers have a little more freedom with this since there is no standardized testing, and fewer “hoops” to jump through? I think the idea of redesigned learning spaces and deeper learning approaches becomes even more important in the higher education setting; these courses are in the field that these students plan to enter as an adult and they need to be able to see what it is going to be like, and be put in situations that can actually happen.


  2. I enjoyed your take on these trends as I am also not a teacher at the moment. Even with my topic of chess, it is only until recently that educational technology field has such a big presence. I do agree that a lot of learning can come from working with your peers especially with the same mindset. Although it could be a battle between not being lost in a group and the individual needs of the student. According to Robyler & Hughes (p.101), maybe we can create stations that can help students be more aware of the technologies that can help them. It certainly is an issue for me as many of my students have a hard time being aware of anything or how to go through an application.
    Great post!.
    Jameson Tang


  3. Jake,
    I am glad you were able to gain something from the reading, even if you are not teaching. 🙂 Although this article was gear towards teachers many industry level businesses gain gain some incite as well. As an employer you are able to see the strategies that are being used in the classroom and see if some of them can be adaptable in the work place. Adapting skills like these in the workplace helps the younger generation transition from school to working.


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