Higher Education’s Biggest Remote Learning Challenges

Jitterbit, the API transformation company, today revealed the results of The Future State of Higher Education report, which examines how institutions are preparing for the future. Ninety-two percent of respondents said COVID-19 is the greatest challenge higher education institutions have faced, and many are struggling to adapt to this new environment. The report details how education institutions have set up remote-learning technology, what challenges they’re encountering in doing so, and what tools they’ve invested in to help overcome those challenges.

According to the Davidson University research, roughly a third of higher education institutions, including some of the nation’s largest public universities, will offer primarily online education this year. Responses from the Jitterbit survey suggest that remote learning is a huge priority, and higher education institutions are looking to provide personalized experiences by connecting multiple systems. There are many different learning styles, from visual to auditory to solitary to social learning, so the key is to provide a blended learning experience using the right technologies that map to different learning styles for optimal learning experiences.

  • Nearly three-quarters (72%) of respondents Jitterbit surveyed confirm they are continuing to invest in tools that support remote learning.
  • Nearly half (46%) are considering enabling Virtual Reality for the academic year.
  • To make remote learning a success, integration will be critical: Approximately two-thirds (67%) of institutions have six or more applications they need to integrate in order to offer an engaging online-learning experience. Seventy-nine percent of respondents agree that it is important to use integration technology to seamlessly connect all of their systems.

“To help provide the best experience possible for students, institutions are turning to everything from communication tools to learning management solutions and even virtual reality,” said Shekar Hariharan, vice president of marketing at Jitterbit. “This report shows the lengths these institutions are going to ensure the highest-quality education for remote learners. It also highlights just how many different systems these schools must now operate. The ability to connect these platforms for a seamless experience for students, educators, and administrators is crucial.”

Health, Safety, and Smooth Transitions a Priority
The survey indicated that both student safety as well as their ability to learn online are top priorities for higher education institutions. Nearly 70% of respondents said, “providing a safe, healthy, and productive environment for students to learn in” is their top priority for the 2020 academic year. More than one-third (35%) listed needing the ability to seamlessly move from in-person classes to remote learning as a top priority.

Creating a welcoming online environment is not without its challenges. A majority (52%) of respondents said that giving lectures or showing slides is one of the biggest challenges to remote learning and also an activity that needs improvement. The two biggest areas that were identified as areas for improvement include the ability to help at-risk students, and student collaboration.

Faced with uncertainty, higher education institutions are investing in a broad range of tools to transition to remote learning. These technologies offer promise for a more seamless transition, but they also represent complexity. How institutions connect these tools and leverage the data they provide will go a long way toward ensuring a seamless, engaging remote-learning experience for students.

To gather more insights from Jitterbit’s The Future State of Higher Education report:

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