Since the dawn of the new millennium, the education sector in various parts of the world has undergone a major transformation. The age-old techniques of delivering uni-dimensional, non-reciprocating, classroom-based, rote learning are simply not relevant anymore. Instead, institutions, irrespective of their structure, domain or size, have started initiating a paradigm shift that focuses exclusively on fostering innovation, honouring creativity, facilitating research and thereby, redefining the very purpose of the education system.
As a result, smarter, more efficient and more personalized educational programs are being designed on a daily basis so that the specific needs and requirements of various students can be met in a specialized, targeted and comprehensive way.
However, when it comes to higher education, colleges and universities often find themselves in a bind. While on the one hand, they are required to maintain an excellent quality of education, they are also expected to deal with the scourge of continually rising prices. In such a situation, improving the student enrolment and overall return on investment (ROI) of their higher education courses becomes an extremely challenging task.
As an educational institution, if you want to improve the enrolment in your higher education courses, here are a few simple ways that you can easily adopt -
1. Create Program Differentiation
Creating detailed program differentiation is largely considered to be one of the best ways to augment student enrolment in higher education courses. Differentiation primarily involves the efforts made on an institution’s behalf to respond to variance in terms of student expectations, interest, receptivity & learning profile.
At the most basic level, differentiation tends to work in three different ways:
- Content– what the student is learning & how is that specific type of information being provided
- Process – what are the teaching methodologies being employed & what kind of learning environment is being created
- Product– how do the students ultimately use the acquired knowledge in practical/real-time situations
Differentiating programs on both, a macro and a micro level can help universities increase student enrolment and thus, their ROI. This is because compelling and unique courses generally serve as an instant attraction for students who possess a wide range of academic interests.
2. Increase Student Engagement
Driving student engagement with respect to a higher education course can have a direct impact on the improvement of its ROI. Students engaged in the course don’t just end up gaining a great amount of knowledge, but they also begin to develop productive learning relationships with others.
For most practical purposes, student engagement can be enhanced by:
- Embedding interactive elements in the course content
- Conducting online assessments & providing immediate feedback
- Using multimedia elements, including audio-visual aids
- Experimenting with participatory elements like simulations & quizzes
- Opting for scenario-based learning instead of regular, rote methods
If the students are thoroughly engaged with the fundamental fabric of their course and its content, their retention power and academic performance would increase. This would further result in an unwavering rise in the overall ROI of the higher education course.
3. Lead with Digital Transformation
Digitization, in the last few years, has emerged as a prominent pedagogic tool. It has challenged all traditional learning architectures while using collaborative, transparent digital systems to contextualize knowledge, enhance reach, improve access, promote understanding and therefore, facilitate learning.
Such digital transformation can work wonders in improving enrolments by:
- Streamlining all academic operations in a cost-effective manner
- Saving time by automating the entire learning life cycle of a student
- Maximizing resource utilization
- Monitoring student performance to foster better decision making
- Tweaking course structures to suit the needs of students
- Facilitating communication channels for ease of information exchange
For most universities, such digital transformation can be brought about by adopting dynamic enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. ERP can open new frontiers by increasing institutional efficiency, measuring learning outcomes, optimizing long-drawn processes and augmenting a course’s ROI.
4. Design Competency Based Curriculum
Higher education courses usually tend to be based on conventional types of curriculum. While this is apt for imparting basic subject knowledge, it does not help students in standing up to contemporary, real-world challenges. This is why universities and colleges need to design curriculum, which is both learner-centric and faculty-oriented. The only way to do so is by devising a competency-based curriculum.
A competency-based curriculum primarily keeps the key competencies required to succeed in the modern world, as the basis of crafting course details. It doesn’t merely relegate itself to the corridors of knowledge transfer. Rather, it ventures into the arena of skill acquisition and attitude building. Being unbound by the fetters of subject restrictions, a competency-based curriculum helps educational institutions deliver results, attract students & improve enrolments.
5. Improve Data Accuracy
Last but not the least, the ROI of higher education courses can be enhanced by improving institutional data accuracy. Collecting accurate and precise data can help universities find out whether the course content is meeting student aspirations or not. It can also provide details about their overall performance, learning outcomes and interaction levels. As a result, institutions can gain better insights into their course delivery mechanisms and can alter them to become more student-friendly and financially rewarding.
To Sum Up
As times change, the education sector will witness a variety of significant improvements. Colleges and universities will begin to craft world-class, digital courses with the latest curriculum and state-of-the-art instructional design so that their students can avail the best education. This will further lead to an enhancement of learning outcomes, thereby, helping educational institutions strengthen their retention rates, raise their enrolment numbers and boost their annual returns on investment.
More so, better ROI coupled with greater automation and timely decision-making will enable these establishments to save time and money, without compromising on the basic need to impart quality education. In other words, higher enrolments and an improved ROI would lead to a direct increase in both educational efficiency and institutional credibility.
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