Fewer than 1 percent of higher ed leaders envision a return to only in-person learning, and they see socioeconomic barriers as one of the greatest obstacles for at-risk students, according to a new survey.
Global learning technology company D2L‘s March 2022 Future of Education Reimagined webinar survey polled 346 higher education leaders across North America–including professors, deans, student success advisors, IT executives–to discuss challenges and opportunities with respect to the future of higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Key findings include:
Which skillset do you anticipate will be the most important to the global workforce in the coming years?
- Innovation and creativity skills (including problem-solving and analytical thinking) – 40.46%
- Interpersonal skills (including emotional intelligence and social awareness) – 28.03%
- Technology skills (including data science and programming) – 13.58%
- Writing, language, and communication skills – 12.43%
- Global citizenship skills (including sustainability) – 5.49%
When considering at-risk students, what is the point of greatest concern for you or your institution?
- Socioeconomic or sociocultural barriers – 43.64%
- Signs of mental health distress – 30.64%
- Financial troubles – 13.01%
- Declining grades – 10.12%
- Camera turned off during virtual calls – 2.60%
What do you feel, is the best way institutions can adapt to changing student needs to support enrollment and retention?
- Introduce greater flexibility for learners: in-person and online course options – 34.68%
- Provide early-warning interventions/analytics to help keep students on track – 31.50%
- Support all student abilities and backgrounds with personalized learning technology – 22.54%
- Rethink constricting grading systems to ease mental health – 7.51%
- Provide more scholarships to ease financial burdens – 3.76%
When looking ahead to the ‘Future of Education’ — five to ten years following the COVID-19 pandemic — what do you envision?
- A return to in-person classes only – 0.86%
- A mixture of in-person and online (hybrid) – 40.40%
- Mostly online options – 5.44%
- A combination of all the above options – 53.30%
For in-depth analysis and visuals related to this survey, please view D2L’s webinar survey report here.
“During the pandemic, we saw that remote and hi-flex learning was challenging for teachers and students alike, and it is clear the status quo is no longer sufficient,” said John Baker, President and CEO of D2L. “Students need learning platforms that can build a better digital experience in the classroom and online – and our clients are investing now to improve educational outcomes and transform the experience to meet the expectations of learners today.”
Material from a press release was used in this report.