The shift to digital learning is probably one of the most noticeable changes in the education sector, as students get a chance to diversify their knowledge, make better career choices, and stay competitive. The Internet provides them with infinite learning resources. Universities and colleges are therefore increasingly developing higher education courses and other online courses to meet the learning demands of the higher education students.
Understanding the Needs of Tech-Savvy Learners
One should realize what students look for in higher education courses before designing a learning program. Let’s explore some of the needs of learners these days.
Students today want access to learning content on the go. They are familiar with mobile devices and are always taking in all the information they can from a variety of online sources. Students consume information through mobile devices, especially while commuting.
However, only a small percentage of educators are prepared to present mobile-friendly higher education courses. This gap is something that needs to be addressed by institutions while developing higher education courses for next-gen learners. Learn How Mobile Learning is Changing the Educational Landscape
2. Career-Focused Learning
Multiple studies made over the last couple of years have shown students increasingly willing to learn and advance in their careers. Moreover, they look at improving their personal, communication & interaction skills to prepare themselves better for the job market. Studies conducted across different student groups seeking higher education seem to imply a higher interest in soft skill courses.
3. Engaging Online Social Environments
Students are more accustomed to social networking rather than face-to-face conversations. Their attraction towards social media can be attributed to its collaborative nature that promotes open engagement. Online learning platforms can leverage these social channels to make the learning experience more engaging and interactive.
4. Well-Articulated Micro-Learning
Despite the learner’s ability and willingness to consume information, their attention span is relatively limited. Delivering information in small portions would help students to retain information better. Microlearning needs to be delivered in formats that are entertaining and engaging. Institutions should invest in creating lessons that are informational, compact, engaging and meaningful.
How Can Institutes Create Compelling Courses for Higher Education Students
To create compelling higher education courses for modern students, institutes have to ensure that the course content and the formats available satisfy the needs of learners.
Given below are a few ways to create compelling courses for higher education students:
1. Identify and Define User Personas
Know your audience. This is a key factor that helps you identify how the educational courses must be tailored. Once you can identify the key personas, you can build a curriculum that addresses the students’ needs and attracts more students to enroll. Key data points relating to the demographics can be collected through online polls and surveys, which will shed light on the interests of your target audience and their interests.
2. Articulate Goals and Curate Content
The academic goals should align with the interests of the students. Collaborate with subject matter experts and other stakeholders to discuss what should be included. Its relevance to the course’s learning objectives should also be addressed. It is advisable to do this before the start of content creation to ensure that it comes together in the early stages of course development.
3. Research Effective Digital Channels
With the widespread penetration of digital technologies, it is essential to choose a platform and medium that enjoys popularity amidst your targeted user base. Some learners have a preference for videos, while others lean towards bite-sized data. To effectively engage your audience, you must find the perfect recipe that combines the popular channels to lure in more learners.
4. Integrate Mobile Experiences
Students prefer easy access to information and check out most of the online content on mobile devices. Hence, in addition to being interactive and engaging, it has to be accessible on mobile devices for personalized user experience.
5. Consider Cutting-Edge Technologies
Integrating technology into your digital course might bring better engagement from students.
For example, Virtual Reality (VR) can create immersive and interactive experiences for students to enjoy and learn at the same time. Some universities are considering the use of Virtual Reality to explain concepts through visually immersive and detailed experiences.
6. Build a Functioning Prototype
Once you have decided upon the course content, the preferred medium, and the digital channel for information dissemination, you can make use of an authoring tool to build a platform blueprint. The right authoring tool would provide you with the ways of creating engaging online higher education courses through interactive elements, such as visuals, quizzes, etc.
7. Get Feedback and Revise it Accordingly
The initial phase for universities to go digital would be to release part of the curriculum through digital channels and listen for feedback. Ensure that you are running sufficient feedback programs that capture the views of students on what is right and what could be better. Once you gather feedback, ensure that you’re implementing the changes efficiently.
8. Measure Student Goals and Success
One of the key benefits of the online course creation process is to set up and measure suitable goals to track the progress of students along the way. To do this effectively, you can use the Learning Management System (LMS) that tracks their e-learning activity through assessments, quizzes, etc. Come up with a suitable delivery strategy for your online course with the help of Subject Matter Experts.
9. Outsource Online Course Development
Online course development often involves the active participation of professors and the teaching staff. Their feedback on the course curriculum and development process is crucial.
It can become tough for the teachers to handle such requirements on top of taking regular classes. A lot of teachers might not have the suitable experience to provide the right inputs during the development of the online course. Fortunately, you can outsource the online course development to third party vendors, who have the necessary expertise and SMEs at hand to build the perfect online course for colleges and universities.
Third-party vendors can deploy dedicated teams, who can look into the needs of students, understand the curriculum objectives, and deliver high-quality online courses that satisfy both the students’ and the institutes’ requirements.