Embracing Open Educational Resources ("OER"): The Benefits of an Open Learning Culture
The Current State of Educational Basal Content
It’s no secret that college textbooks are becoming increasingly expensive. While the discount textbook market has seen significant growth over the past decade, the average cost of a traditional college textbook has grown at a whopping three times the rate of inflation since 1978. That means that students are paying upwards of $1,200 for textbooks and supplies each year. Combined with burdensome increases in higher education tuition costs, 65% of students decide against purchasing any course materials at all.
How Does Online Learning Stack Up Against the Traditional Classroom?
Online Learning Programs
The prevalence of distance or online learning programs has grown consistently for more than a decade, driven by more and more people seeking flexible and affordable options to further their education and open the door to new career opportunities. Notably, the 2017 Distance Education Enrollment Report prepared by the Digital Learning Compass organization indicates the number of enrollments for online programs has grown for 14 straight years with more than 6 million students enrolled in online courses in the U.S. during 2015.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Vocational training is out, and Career and Technical Education (“CTE”) is in. They sound similar, but is there a difference? Last century’s vocational programs included training for various jobs such as a trade worker or technician. The primary objective was to prepare high school students not seeking higher education for the work force after graduation. In recent years this has changed. CTE offers a more extensive pathway to success, one that prepares students of all ages for higher education as well as meaningful jobs in high demand 21st century trades and professions. The objective of CTE is to align high school education with postsecondary options as well as prepare students for a career at whatever point they decide to pursue one.
Trends in 21st Century Classroom Design
It is said that the some of the most valuable learning experiences occur outside of the classroom. While real-world experiences are undoubtedly critical for one’s development, could this well-known adage also stem from a century of ineffective classroom design? A growing number of educators are starting to think so. As technology transforms curriculum and facilitates teaching, it has become apparent that standard desks in neatly aligned rows are no longer sufficient to engender optimal outcomes for both students and teachers. Instead, educators are opting for flexible learning spaces that integrate technology, encourage connectivity and emphasize hands-on learning. As a result, the traditional classroom is undergoing some big changes – from the type of furniture, to tools, to layouts.
Success in the Evolving Online Program Management Market
Technology adoption, digital disruption, distance learning, positive student outcomes, enhanced revenue opportunities…. As an education investment bank, we have heard a lot from online program managers (OPMs) that seek to change the long-time, ivory-tower model of higher education. Ten years ago, barely a handful of providers were addressing the needs of universities to take their courses online, widening the ‘moat’ of students who could benefit from distance learning. With the myriad of providers now competing in the online market, the question we ask ourselves is, “which providers will stand the test of time?”
The Confluence of Education and Workforce Readiness
More and more, we see education companies creating solutions for human capital management. Similarly, talent management and HR technology companies are offering education-related content and tools to support lifelong learning. As an education investment bank, we are continually asking ourselves, what does this mean for the education industry and our clients?
Tuition Reimbursement Programs and Policy at a Glance
The decision to pursue a higher education degree has become increasingly difficult as tuition costs continue to rise. The average cost of a bachelor’s degree is over $25,000 per year, which reflects a compounded annual growth rate of 5.5% over the last 30 years. To help ease the financial burden of higher education, many companies offer tuition reimbursement programs to employees as a supplement to their existing benefit packages.
Growth in Online Higher Education
College graduates can all relate to classes taught in lecture halls with sometimes up to several hundred other students. Today, it is not uncommon to take at least one college course without ever meeting another classmate. The ubiquity of technology in education is transforming the way students learn but also the way that courses are taught. Particularly in higher education, the once non-traditional method of online learning is now part of a new norm.
Learning Puts on its Gameface
If you ask an elementary school student if they would rather read a textbook or play their favorite game, I bet you can guess the most common answer. Fortunately, an increasing number of opportunities exist to bridge the gap between learning and fun. As an education investment bank with 15 years of history serving clients in the quickly evolving education space, MHT Partners is ever focused on the different learning methods at play in today’s modern classroom. One such approach loved by educators, parents and students alike is digital, game-based learning.
MOOCs: Expanding Education for the Lifelong Learner
Massive Open Online Courses (“MOOCs”) have come a long way since they were first developed six years ago. What once began as free online courses provided by just a handful of universities has now developed into an impressive 9,400 courses with participation from more than 800 universities. MOOCs were created with the goal to increase access to higher education globally. However, as the popularity of the programs grew, educators began to worry that MOOCs’ online approach and (initially) free courses would shake up traditional teaching pedagogies and disrupt the post-secondary education system.