What edtech, online, and digital learning trends took top billing on college and university campuses in the new year?

Did higher ed forge new paths in 2022?

What edtech trends took top billing on college and university campuses in the new year?

Each year, we share our 10 most-read stories. Not surprisingly, many of this year’s Top 10 focused on microcredentials, the student experience, non-traditional students, and the post-pandemic campus. This year’s 2nd most-read story focuses on predictions for higher education–now that the year is ending, were the predictions correct?

As we wrapped up 2020, we thought for sure that 2021 might bring us a reprieve from pandemic learning. Well, it did–but it also didn’t. Virtual and hybrid learning continued into the spring, but campuses gradually welcomed students back for in-person and hybrid learning.

Many silver linings emerged, and flexible online learning options became a “must have” for more and more students. Equity remained front and center, too, raising issues of inequitable technology access, along with racial and socioeconomic disparities and discrimination.

2021 brought with it renewed calls to support the nation’s educators, who have worked tirelessly (and constantly) to support students’ varied learning needs and personal and professional obligations.

And now, we head into our third year of learning during a global pandemic. We asked edtech executives, stakeholders, and experts to share some of their thoughts and predictions about where they think edtech is headed in 2022.

Here’s what they had to say:

Education will have a watershed moment in 2022. This next school year will be an exciting one for educators and students. After nearly two years of sometimes painful change and discovery, educators are re-energized and refocused on personalized and intentional outcomes for students – meaning helping students understand their personal reason for learning and connecting that to personally relevant education and career opportunities. This refocus is happening for two primary reasons: first, students are questioning the value of their education more than ever before. And second, the employment and skills gaps are widening at exponential rates, putting tremendous pressure on employers and the economy. This pressure is coming full circle back to education to help solve the problem. I believe 2022 will be a watershed moment for education as educators embrace the challenge of creating a powerful, personalized education-to-career system to fundamentally solve workforce issues, including the skills gap and workforce diversity and equity.”

Edson Barton, Founder and CEO, YouScience

Especially with what students have gone through over the last two years, institutions will continue to be student-centric and make sure every aspect of their experience and support allows learners to persist. I believe student health and wellbeing will be an increasing priority in 2022. Having wrap-around services to remove barriers for at-risk students so they can enroll and persist is the outcome institutions are looking for. Ensuring students have access to health and wellbeing services will be critical for learners to stay enrolled and be productive in all aspects of their life.

–Richa Batra, Vice President and General Manager, Student Success, Anthology

The cost of post-secondary education continues to be a major barrier for students and half of graduates say they feel unprepared for the workforce. Students are questioning the value of a college degree now more than ever, and we’ve seen the steepest enrollment declines in 50 years. However, while the great online learning experiment ushered in by COVID challenged institutions in the near term, it also presented opportunities for the long-term. The last two years have proven higher education can adjust to support new, flexible learning models and deliver education in a more affordable way. Technology is an important enabler of these new models, but only if it is user-friendly for students and teachers who are already juggling multiple platforms. Services that help faculty set up their digital courses, and ongoing support throughout the semester to ensure they and their students are realizing the full benefit of the tools are key for success. Technology provides opportunities to scale learning to more students, and easy-to-use digital tools with robust services actually multiply the impact an instructor can have on their class. As colleges and universities look to retain students and grow enrollments, technology that is affordable and easy to use can help learning flex to meet students where they are. All of us who support higher education need to remember that students expect learning to fit into their lives, not the other way around. We need to support that.

Fernando Bleichmar, Executive Vice President and General Manager of U.S. Higher Education, Cengage Group

This year, we’re going to see a need for more versatile, environmentally friendly, and multi-purpose lighting solutions. Acoustic lighting can merge seamlessly with current designs while remaining adaptable for use in noisy hybrid spaces. Modern acoustic lighting fixtures can be styled to fit within a variety of color schemes and design trends, or artfully incorporated as a decorative element in their own right. They offer a beautiful aesthetic solution for well-designed interiors and are backed by extensive research and purposeful design to maximize their sound benefits. These powerful benefits make acoustic lighting a wise investment for designers and architects—indeed for anyone who seeks to improve overall well-being, boost productivity, and optimize commercial or hospitality design.

–Jason Bird, Founder and Creative/Managing Director, Luxxbox

Over the past 20 years we have seen educational campuses take on a hospitality flair as cafeterias morphed into high end cafes and coffee houses, libraries took on lounge vibes, and dorms started feeling like premium hotels. For the next decade I think we will see more of a residential influence in education that translates into smaller spaces that feel safer, more private, and cozier. The focus on open group spaces for collaboration may give way to an emphasis on nooks meant for one or two people to concentrate and focus as students desire to feel like they are more at home.

–Michael DiTullo, Creative Director, Kirei

It’s an exciting time for AV in higher education. Theater continues to be transformed by digital laser projection and we are seeing colleges and universities moving to larger-scale laser projector displays for theater productions. Meanwhile, classroom instructors are also seeking much larger display sizes to accommodate remote learning when connecting students in off-site locations with students who are in-person.  In addition, there will be increased demand for complex audio-video integrations and the ability to create aspect ratios that aren’t a traditional rectangle. I expect we will see a rise in professional learning communities where AV and integration professionals can share best practices to meet these new needs.

–Gavin Downey, Group Product Manager – Large Venue Projection, Epson America

2022 will be the year of the student experience as institutions work hard to attract and retain students to remain solvent. Continuing enrollment declines will further increase competition, adding pressure to marketing and recruitment efforts. Calls for equitable access and outcomes will grow louder. Institutions will continue to pursue cloud technologies, and schools that are flexible and progressive about their offerings will thrive. At the same time, those holding out hope for a “return to normal” will struggle. Many students want to resume in-person; however, a growing number of learners prefer online courses for various reasons, and schools will have to scale those offerings to compete. States trying to meet degree/credential completion goals will need to get serious about re-engaging and incentivizing students with some college credit but no degree. I also expect to see more course sharing, hopefully leading to better partnerships and clearer transfer options for students.

–Alanna Fenton-Esquinas, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, CollegeSource

On coding education: Income Sharing Agreements (ISAs) will diminish because of three factors. 1) Education is moving online, when compatible, which weakens the justification for high-cost education in the first place, 2) ISAs are in a legal gray area that’s too open to interpretation, and 3) ISAs face criticism for being predatory and unfair. Lambda School being forced to rebrand and ditching their ISAs in favor of traditional student loans may be the first domino. We’ll see more companies in the US adopt the Revature model where students are placed into minimum-wage tech training programs, then upon graduating are placed in a job with a below average salary. If the graduate quits before their two-year contract expires, they could be on the hook for $36,500. The high demand for low-cost skilled labor makes these graduates who are tied up in the contract attractive hires. The number of apprenticeships being offered than there were a decade ago is significant with new government support and new investors aiming to bring apprenticeships to tech. The apprenticeship model shifts the risk of high-cost education away from the student/employee to the employer, in exchange for a below average salary and on-the-job training.

–Ludovic Fourrage, Founder & CEO, Nucamp

The Inflation Monster & College Reform: dormant for decades, inflation is heating up in today’s fragile enrollment environment, but will convince some bold colleges to embark on invaluable reforms. “Gainful” Returns—But Will Not Succeed: gainful employment, the most controversial plank of Obama-era higher ed regulation later gutted by litigation and Betsy DeVos, is on the agenda for 2022 negotiated rulemaking. To the relief of many colleges, I predict “Gainful” will sputter again. State OPMs—Other States to Follow North Carolina’s Lead: other states will imitate North Carolina’s “Project Kitty Hawk” state-OPM move as a high-stakes but compelling way to ride the online learning wave AND reassert the role of the state.

–Richard Garrett, Chief Research Officer, Eduventures

Job market frustrations will lead to edtech innovation in 2022. The pandemic continues to have a substantial impact on employers, employees, and the job market.  We see high unemployment combined with labor shortages across the country as re-opened businesses unable to fill openings closed their doors, people switched careers or even quit their jobs to pursue newly uncovered passions. As a result, the education system has the added stress of teacher shortages, lost students, and continued COVID protocols.  While a painful and frustrating time for all, it’s these conditions that energizes and propels innovation. Necessity is the mother of invention. It is more important than ever to align student talent, educational pathways, and the needs of industry. In 2022, we will see industries (think agriculture, computer science, construction, marketing, and so many more) turning to educators as the answer to fill their labor needs. There are technologies available and certifications offered to help get students excited for, committed to and set on a career pathway before high school graduation. I anticipate that we will see more innovative technologies that will help students zero in on a career path that interests them ultimately helping them thrive.”

Philip Hardin, Chairman and Co-Founder, YouScience

With so much uncertainty in school systems this year, we have found that teacher candidates in our alternative certification program – just like many K-12 and higher ed educators across the country – are craving more support and growth than ever before. To respond to this, we have used video coaching to quadruple the number of observations and touch points we have with our first-year teacher candidates. We have also refocused a lot of our professional development to center on mindfulness for both teachers and students. These actions, which we will continue to focus on in 2022 and beyond, have in part led to our teacher candidates reporting higher satisfaction with the program than they have in the last three years.

–Lizzy Hetherington, Director of Teacher Development, the University of Arkansas’ Arkansas Teacher Corps

Many schools that applied for grants during the pandemic are only now getting access to awarded funds.  Now that the most urgent phase of the crisis is past, learning technology leaders can assess how to implement technology that both prepares them for the next emergency and better supports students’ everyday learning needs. Collaboration technology improves accessibility for students with disabilities, illnesses, and other impediments to in-person learning. They also offer benefits in terms of soft skills and workforce readiness. Even very young students now have access to and experience with tools for both synchronous and a synchronous collaboration. Today’s students going to emerge from school already very comfortable with the technological tools of the modern workforce. This increased ability to collaborate at a distance hasn’t made in-person learning obsolete, however. Hybrid capabilities will continue to roll out across campuses specifically so that we can avoid another total shutdown. With hybrid classrooms, schools can ask students to quarantine on a targeted basis rather than issuing a blanket shutdown. In 2022, we’ll see a continued focus on bringing solutions into the classroom that support both continuous operations and safety in the event of a crisis, such as auto-tracking cameras. Such technology allows instructors to teach in-person students normally – but any remote students can keep track of everything happening in the classroom. Moving forward, the question will be not, “should we implement collaborative technology in the classroom,” but, “which tools have the most impact for students – wherever they’re located.

Stephen Heywood, Broadcast Engineer, PTZOptics

AI will lead the charge in boosting enrollment. College enrollment numbers are continuing to drop for institutions of all sizes – even the elite ones. These types of schools, which never had to worry about recruiting, will be playing catch up. In 2022 we’ll see technology (specifically AI-enabled CRM systems that help manage digital marketing, content and more) having a large roll in enrollment and admissions teams’ daily activity. However, it’s only one piece of the puzzle that these teams will need to invest in. They’ll also need to attract staff who are digitally-savvy or they’ll end up paying a premium for agencies as digital marketing and high-quality content is expensive. The colleges that will be most successful will be bold enough to reimagine their processes with the student experience in mind. They’ll abandon entrenched bureaucracy in favor of streamlined, online-first ways of doing business and supporting students.

–Ardis Kadiu, CEO, Element451

Hybrid learning put a renewed focus on student engagement as the pandemic forced higher education institutions to adopt new ways to both facilitate remote learning and improve the student experience throughout a challenging and continuously evolving situation. The past year has shown us colleges and universities are far more adaptable than many of us had thought, despite the shift to distance learning. As we look towards 2022 and beyond, we now have learnings to help us implement hybrid models successfully–technology and new teaching methodologies being key. Whether learning is happening in or out of the classroom, the goal is for the experience to be consistent. Technology like auto tracking software enables a camera to move with the professor, while advanced microphones deliver crisp audio with or without a mask on. These are just a few tools making the hybrid-learning environment immersive, engaging, and productive. With hybrid learning as an integral part of education for the foreseeable future, there’s also an opportunity for higher education institutions to shift the way students learn and the way faculty teach. Pairing AV technology with research-driven teaching strategies, like Magana Education’s T3 Framework for Innovation, can measurably accelerate student learning and achievement regardless of the learning environment. This shift in digital pedagogy can help take students to the next level of learning.

–John Kaloukian, Director of Solutions and Services, Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America

Omnichannel learning:In the aftermath of the pandemic, a strategy of learning across devices, platforms and in-person channels has become key in education. Learners benefit from the flexibility to pick and choose their learning mode. Online courses and degrees, synchronous Zoom classes, certificates and other credentials, executive education, upskilling, continuing education all are different but essential learning experiences.

–Manan Khurma, Founder, Cuemath

While the use of technology and alternative methods of assessment increased over the past year and a half, so did challenges around engaging remote students and preventing academic misconduct. The emergency shift to remote learning spurred by COVID-19 was far from ideal — effective methods and tools for blended learning require strategic pedagogical planning and thoughtful implementation that the pandemic did not afford us. It’s still hard to say at this stage exactly what will continue.

That said, the experience of teaching during COVID-19 taught us that there is no one-size-fits all solution in education. The pandemic has certainly enhanced the toolbox that professors have to draw on, and provided a rare opportunity for experimentation to get a better sense of the benefits and drawbacks for student engagement. Moving forward, the increase in teaching resources — including enhanced classroom A/V setups, document cameras, and a range of learning management systems and assessment tools — will provide greater flexibility for instructors to find the right solutions for their course material, teaching style, and student needs.

Jelena Kovačević, IEEE Fellow, William R. Berkley Professor and Dean of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Collaboration is such an important part to the creative design process, and that isn’t going away anytime soon online or in-person. Students benefit from being self-critical, as well as critiquing or inspiring each other. Today, there is a need for more in-person socialization mostly found in classroom experiences. The challenges that future educators have is that teaching modalities are evolving such as the new HYFLEX classroom. Tomorrow’s instructional tools will be utilizing interactive dashboards, found in workforce environments as well. Fast paced changes are happening in all industries.  Therefore, it is so important to teach and utilize workforce cutting edge technologies, so students may gain confidence and reach their potential. What has sustained its purpose and reliability over the years are tools such as the Wacom Cintiq Pro, an invaluable stable creative tool found in most professions. Wacom Cintiq Pro is the essential tool from digital design, workflow mapping, animation, drafting to presentations and much more. Students need to be prepared and competitive for internship opportunities and for careers that will follow graduation.

Deborah Krikun, Associate Professor at SUNY Westchester Community College, Curriculum Chair for Interactive Technologies, Valhalla Campus and Center for the Digital Arts

Casual relationships are driving hiring more than ever: Recruiting managers are under intense pressure to hire more people in a shrinking job market and to reduce turnover. That can reinforce our reliance on casual relationships and weak ties to fill positions, rather than other objective measures. This often widens the diversity gap at companies instead of shrinking it. In 2022, college graduates will have to prioritize casual relationships to secure the best opportunities, which will be challenging for first-generation and low-income people who often don’t have those ties.

–Kalani Leifer, Founder and CEO, COOP Careers

Digital credentials will connect college and career outcomes in unique ways. COVID pushed more working adults to seek short courses that generated immediate job outcomes, including promotions, new career paths, and job maintenance. As more professionals look around and reconsider their roles in the workforce this year, continuing and professional education will remain essential. Moving forward, more universities will start offering micro-credentials to show competency for courses that provide job-ready skills, and adult learners will mix and match those courses to best suit their career paths. For example, someone in the school of business might also pick up a micro-credential on DE&I and another on data visualization. This ability to tailor learning and come away with a portfolio of digital credentials that represents an individual’s unique competencies will elevate the connection between college and career outcomes.

–Susan Manning, Chief Success Strategist, Credly 

In the next year, we’re going to see increased adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) technology to create a more immersive and inclusive learning environment, allowing students and faculty to place their focus on the learning at hand. Using intelligent IoT endpoints, campuses will recreate the classroom in the metaverse, allowing students to learn at home just as efficiently as they would in person. The metaverse can bridge the gap between learning remotely and still having the necessary social interaction. As students and professors experienced during the pandemic, not everyone can sufficiently learn over Zoom. Students need interaction and collaboration and creating a digital twin the metaverse will be the perfect bridge for that. Not only does the metaverse better connect students, it also unlocks endless opportunities for hands-on learning opportunities. Imagine hearing your professor discuss Ancient Rome and virtually visiting ruins via the metaverse.

–Erin McDannald, CEO and Co-Owner, Lighting Environments and Environments

As hybrid learning becomes more ubiquitous, universities will have to invest in students’ experiences both on and off campus. Administrators will work to both enhance technological upgrades for remote classes in addition to new furniture offerings on campus such as seating, lounges, and dining halls that support the experiences that make campuses invigorating, collaborative, and inspiring. Additionally, administrators will face increasing pressure to prove that health and safety are top of mind. Furthermore, we expect schools to further integrate wellness throughout campuses by considering details such as more natural light and cleaner air circulation. Higher education institutions will also further invest in healthy and inclusive dining experiences to support student wellness. Food and beverage options that provide healthy basics such as juice bars, and culturally sensitive diet requirements such as kosher and halal are now basic expectations. Students are now expecting dining areas to promote a broader sense of cross-cultural collaboration. Beyond dining halls, inclusive spaces must also encompass areas to support traditionally marginalized communities on campuses, such as women and immigrants, and we are working with more schools in designing areas to empower these students.

Peggy McDonough, AIA, LEED AP, President, MHTN Architects

There are some positive impacts from the pandemic that will remain because they fill a need that existed before the pandemic. Hybrid learning is one such outcome. Online learning existed prior to the pandemic to allow greater flexibility for students in terms of cost, curriculum choice, time, and place. The post-pandemic shift to hybrid learning with emphasis on blending, online, and in-person education better serves students and the shift needed in education delivery is well underway at most institutions. Digital workspaces for remote student learning will continue to increase. Virtual desktops, BYOD, and digital backpacks, in addition to using data and analytics, while protecting student privacy to ensure student safety and success will remain and grow.

–Samir Moharty, Government Mission Modernization and Business Value Architect, Oracle

The academic business model has been under increasing cost pressure and needs to change. Reliance on tuition, taxes, and donations is not sustainable. There are many debates about whether advanced education is a societal benefit that should be borne by all, or an individual benefit that should be paid by the beneficiary. What new funding mechanisms can be created? What is the role of research (both public and private) in funding higher education? In addition, moving to balanced centralization from current decentralization administration and management to be able to reduce cost and in turn reduce the fees.

–Samir Moharty, Government Mission Modernization and Business Value Architect, Oracle

In the next year, we will see the need for an increased focus on spaces designed to foster empathy within higher education environments. Increasingly, teens graduate high school without a fully developed set of social abilities. A rapidly increasing reliance on technological devices, exacerbated by the pandemic, can have a marked effect on a student’s ability to converse and interact effectively, whether with their peers, colleagues, or mentors. Universities are compelled to provide safe spaces for them to grow these skill sets. Physical spaces that facilitate interaction, community, and culture are not a new concept, but there is a new urgency to provide them. Teachers, school administrators, building planners and architects have an important role to play in fostering students’ emotional development. When students arrive on campus and attend classes in person, we need to be sure that they are given spaces that inspire and create a sense of wonder, demonstrating that there is something outside of themselves that can compete with a virtual, idealized world. In 2022 and beyond, we can anticipate an increasing acceptance of these crucial kinds of spaces, outside of the traditional net program area. When developing educational facilities, there can be a tendency to cut “unnecessary” square footage to control costs. Moving forward, we will see schools more deliberately building spaces for empathy, altruism, and institutional culture into the square footage. What was previously viewed as gross building area will be critical space that cannot be “value engineered” out of the project scope.

–Peter Morgan, Senior Associate/Senior Project Designer, JCJ Architecture

As students and staff slowly return to campus after a year and a half of remote learning, they have an increased desire for socialization and collaboration. However, they may be less inclined to leave the comfortability of remote learning and working from home behind. As a result, in the new year, we expect to see an emphasis on inclusive spaces that are comfortable, allow for flexibility, and provide students with choices. These can take shape in the form of lounge spaces that allow for collaboration and socialization but will also serve as a workplace when needed. Here students will be provided access to various options, including small huddle rooms with acoustical privacy to conduct virtual meetings or complete heads down work, areas to meet in small groups, as well as spaces for socializing when they want to step away from their work. Another big trend we expect to see in the new year is a major focus on mental health and connection to the outdoors. This will include creating access to natural daylight and incorporating physical access to nature. Being in nature or viewing scenes of nature contributes to holistic well-being by improving overall mood and reducing stress. Providing access to the outdoors gives students and staff peaceful places for respite. Here they can have those pauses and breaks throughout the day to gather themselves, reset, and have a mental break.

–Vandana Nayak, Principal, Perkins&Will Dallas

Now more than ever, the dual challenge of creating inspiring learning spaces that are especially sensitive to the health and wellbeing of their users is ever present. Material selections need to hold up against the most rigorous durability and cleanability standards. With the ever-present threat of a global pandemic, our spaces seek to bring comfort and mitigate stress.  We will see this materialize through our colors and form selections.  Earthy and natural tones are on the rise, supported through forms that are soft to the eye.

–Kait Paradowski, Design Director, Artaic

Higher ed value and globalization. The value equation for higher ed is changing and colleges and universities that invest in globalization to build better student experiences in 2022 can offer more engaged learning communities. Students want to get back to normal and connect to other cultures and countries – and advisors and administrators want the same. This pent-up demand will drive increased interest in study abroad and international education and sustain adoption of pandemic best practices such as study away and internationalization on campus. At the same time international education drives economic value on campuses and in the economy at large. Given this landscape new strategies will emerge in 2022 to engage students and align global experiential learning opportunities with individual profiles and student objectives. To remain competitive, institutions will invest in the consolidation and integration of previously siloed functions to streamline globalization processes and grow related programs. Learning is about experience and strategies that connect students and scholars with the global community will help deliver the authentic personal experience that many students need and crave.

–Anthony Rotoli, CEO, Terra Dotta

Esports is a $120 billion industry and has exploded in the past few years on college campuses in terms of both clubs and academic majors. In 2022 this growth will continue, and with it we will see more colleges and universities creating dedicated spaces to house these programs, with technology being a key consideration. Creating the esports facilities of the future requires having great equipment and a great space to compete. This includes lightning-fast connectivity; large, bright AV displays such as the Epson projectors we use and software that allows students to collaborate as a team. Planning and developing these facilities will be a significant focus for higher education administrators and technology teams in 2022 and beyond.

–Nick Swayne, Founding Director, JMU X-Labs at James Madison University

Getting ahead of ransomware for maximum data security: From ransomware attacks on school systems and hospitals to threats on critical infrastructure, higher education IT leaders are under immense pressure to build strong cyber defenses against bad actors. Institutions should focus on data protection include backing up systems routinely, reinforcing basic cybersecurity awareness and education, and revisiting cyber incident response plans often. Investing in solutions that prioritize rapid recovery – many with the most advanced AI built-in – makes it easier to minimize downtime and restore systems as quickly as possible. A unified data protection architecture is essential in data recovery and the fastest speed of backup.

–Mike Wiseman, Vice President, Public Sector, Pure Storage

Leveraging the right resources for a seamless transition to the cloud: Agencies must double down on modernization this year, and a key aspect of modernization includes cloud transformation – and specifically integrating systems with hybrid cloud – allowing institutions to continue to evolve as needs change. Higher ed IT leaders must use the modernization moment as a springboard for digital innovation in various areas that became critical during the pandemic, including healthcare, public records, and citizen services. A seamless transition to a hybrid cloud infrastructure allows institutions to gradually shift data to a more secure platform.

–Mike Wiseman, Vice President, Public Sector, Pure Storage

Investing for the long-haul: Finally, higher education IT leaders must understand how to acquire, deploy, and sustain technology systems as efficiently and effectively as possible. Containerization allows governments to create and deploy applications faster and more securely, bringing a heightened drive for data management for enterprise-level assurance. By investing in flexible and agile solutions, institutions can maintain costs and scale up or down without massive disruption to install, while leveraging only the digital infrastructure they need at a given time.

–Mike Wiseman, Vice President, Public Sector, Pure Storage

In the coming year, I believe there will be an increased emphasis on developing students’ essential skills: critical thinking, problem solving, and effective written communication. Content knowledge, while still important, will no longer be viewed as sufficient. Today’s higher education students need both to excel academically and to be prepared for success in the jobs of tomorrow. Higher education institutions are already becoming more aware of this need, but they will seek out approaches to assess and develop these skills in the months ahead. Our research shows that students see these as important skills for their careers and the degree to which employers value them continues to rise.

–Bob Yayac, President and CEO, CAE

Educational institutions will expand their use of authentic, performance-based assessments. Students put forth more effort and are more engaged on performance-based assessments than traditional multiple choice tests. In my opinion, these assessments better prepare students for academic and career success because they ask students to demonstrate skills applied to real-world tasks. There will be greater use of formative and interim assessments as institutions need this data to provide appropriate developmental support to help improve their students’ skills.

–Bob Yayac, President and CEO, CAE

There will be increased interest in evidence-based credentials, particularly for these essential skills that are not included on a college transcript. Employers need objective measures as part of the hiring process and students need the ability to showcase their success skills to differentiate themselves from others graduating with similar GPAs.

–Bob Yayac, President and CEO, CAE

In 2022, presentation and educational technology needs to satisfy many dichotomies.  Future AV needs to be both personal and collaborative; integrated and mobile; secure and accessible; and advanced and affordable. In 2022 the edtech industry will further acknowledge the role of mobile devices in the classroom and will focus on technologies that reduce the learning curve and operations complexity for presenters.  Intuitive and hybridized, the classroom technology of 2022 will support many models of instruction, and will blend into the classroom and virtual experiences of tomorrow seamlessly.

–Brandon Yerrid, Business Analyst and Adjunct Faculty, Howard Community College

A continued rise in direct-to-learner (D2L) platforms: In the same way that employer-sponsored education is creating more accessible pathways to higher education, so are direct-to-learner (D2L) platforms. Changing student behaviors are largely fueling this ongoing growth: learners are demanding demonstrable career outcomes and a high return on investment; they want to learn “on-the-go” with bite-sized content they can complete on a flexible timeline; and they want a consumer-grade experience from these education products. These learner preferences aren’t likely to change in 2022 or in even more years to come, so we will undoubtedly see continued growth in these kinds of learning platforms.

–Todd Zipper, President, Wiley Education Services

Rise of the mega nonprofit university: Research showed us that that the online learner is starting to skew younger and is looking to online programs for undergraduate education, marking a shift from traditional online education norms. Enrollment from mega nonprofit universities–like Western Governors, Southern New Hampshire, and Arizona State–has dramatically been on the rise, whereas traditional higher ed and for-profit education has seen declining enrollments over time. Over the last decade we have seeing enrollments rise in the not-for-profit sector, taking up about 95 percent of market share today. This growth isn’t fleeting. These schools are here to stay and will have continued and lasting impact on the market, from having a bigger influence on policy, to leading the way on how we service new learning generation–largely made up of adult learners and those working full time–and modeling career-connected education programs.

–Todd Zipper, President, Wiley Education Services

More hybrid classes: We offer learners so much more opportunity for success when we allow them the flexibility of hybrid learning. Backed by our experiences from the height of the pandemic, we will see educators and administrators take the best pieces of distance and online learning to enrich learning experiences for students. Things like – more online certificate and badging programs worked into coursework, more ways to participate in class virtually for students to work around busy work or home life schedules, and more credit for out-of-classroom work like internship experience.

–Todd Zipper, President, Wiley Education Services

Academic integrity challenges: While online and hybrid learning offer myriad benefits, one drawback are the study apps that have flourished during this time. With tech being ubiquitous among learners, a reality enhanced by the pandemic, homework answers are available on-demand, reducing overall comprehension of course material. We won’t see these platforms banned from campuses moving forward. We know this rarely works and aside from the cheating issue, these platforms can be incredible resources for students. Rather, this issue will inspire schools to change the way they think about assessment, and focus more on competencies and real-world experience, using internship or work experience as well as apprenticeship or clinical placements as credit for courses.

–Todd Zipper, President, Wiley Education Services

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