Industry Insights
2022-04-28T19:29:52+00:00April 28, 2022|

Education Reimagined: Calls to Action from OLC 2022

Higher education is getting a rethink from all sides these days. This year’s OLC conference in Dallas was an opportunity for industry leaders and innovators to consider the impact of the past two years and strategize for the future. Here are some of the hottest topics and takeaways from the conference.

Burnout is pervasive

It may take years to quantify the full impact of the pandemic years on higher ed students, faculty, and staff, but even early indications show that burnout is widespread across all groups. A survey of nearly 1,100 Ohio State University students conducted between August 2020 and April 2021 found that 71% said they were battling burnout that spring. That was up from about 40% in the summer of 2020.

The discussion at OLC centered on how burnout manifests in students and how to address it, with a specific focus on student persistence. Attendees were interested in better understanding the root causes and timing of students disengaging from their education.

Educators expressed a strong desire to serve all students. Many are looking for additional ways to support students in their learning and to deepen their own understanding of the student experience – beyond just persistence numbers. It is clear that this is an opportune time to evaluate how schools define and measure student success and identify steps they can take to set students from all backgrounds up for success.

Faculty and staff, instructional designers in particular, feel like they’ve been asked to do more with less these last few years. A recent ACE survey found that faculty mental health is the third “most pressing issue facing college presidents.” One cause: Faculty called on to adopt new tools and technologies to provide remote instruction feel hampered in that effort by their limited capacity and a lack of tools and support.

A Lifeline for Faculty

Rather than expecting faculty to become tech wizards overnight, schools can harness the capabilities of their managed service partner. Collegis can work side-by-side with your organization to support course development, including instructional design, content development, video and media production, and course assembly in your LMS. Help building out more courses within your existing infrastructure and staffing levels can lighten the load on faculty and IT staff. Collegis also offers faculty development to support the use of the LMS, other learning technology tools and online pedagogy.

From Speedy to Strategic

2020 required everyone in higher ed to pivot quickly and adopt a slew of new practices and technologies, sometimes with unintended consequences. With time to assess what was implemented, many at the conference are evaluating how online learning is going, if there are ways to deliver remote and hybrid learning better, and how it fits into their larger mission.

Given time to consider what’s next, educators are asking themselves:

  • How is our institution addressing the shift from remote teaching to high-quality learning experiences?
  • How does our institution put learners at the center of the educational experience?
  • How does our institution prepare educators across roles for quality digital, blended, and online teaching?

No one in higher education should be anticipating a complete return to on-campus learning…that corner has been turned. Instead, now is the time to prepare for future iterations of needing to go remote and growing capacity for anywhere, anytime learning.

Collegis has successfully partnered with colleges and universities to help evolve hybrid learning. Whether digging into course design and development or helping schools untangle a rapidly implemented learning technology ecosystem, Collegis can help schools ensure learning outcomes are met, course offerings are accessible and multi-modal and students and faculty are supported.