In ‘The Shape of Higher Ed Yet to Come’, posted to insidehighered.com, Steven Mintz explores several predictions for the future of higher education for the next decade. Among the predictions discussed, the author suggests that higher education will see increased diversity, a more student-centered learning experience, an increase in the use of faculty-mentoring, and general changes in structure. The author also predicts a continued increased focus on technology, particularly through learning dashboards and embedded assessments.
The most crucial point made, however, is the all-encompassing drive for change in the higher education landscape. Undoubtedly, pressure for change is ongoing and picking up speed. Whether this pressure is government-driven, accreditation-driven, or simply pressure from parents and students, the landscape will continue to change and shift. As we move forward, it is crucial to be continuously re-assessing and re-examining whether or not we are doing what we must to continue to survive in an increasingly competitive environment. As we know, MOOCs, completely online programs, and hybrid programs are becoming more and more prevalent. This is one area (technology) that schools must monitor and continue to make progress in. If we do not manage to stay relevant in this arena, falling behind will be quick and swift. As the article states, there are more and more options available on a continuous basis to students looking to further their education. We must continue to look for ways to stay ahead of the curve and understand where we fit. Looking toward the future is critical in any arena, but we are at a crossroads in higher education. Today, in our industry, projecting the future may be more important than ever. All you have to do is look back just 5 years, and see how much has changed. The push for assessment goes on, and the drive for change continues.