Going to college is always exciting and frightening. It’s becoming even more overwhelming today due to the rapid changes in the educational sector.
Future students have many concerns about what their experiences will look like and how to prepare for them. Read on, and we will tell you about the modern college experience, what to expect in the future, and how to be prepared!
What Does the Modern College Experience Look Like?
The educational sector has transformed drastically over the past few decades. We went from blackboards to smartboards, from in-person tutor sessions to services like writepaper that help students handle the hefty academic load, from traditional group projects to online collaboration tools, and so on. Examples of changes are many.
But one thing we can see immediately is that all changes that occurred mostly have to do with technology.
Modern colleges look and feel different from the ones we’ve seen 50 years ago. They are filled with gadgets, and many activities are digital. Educational facilities are also looking for different skills in their students now. Namely, a modern student is expected to be more tech-savvy than ever.
All in all, we can say that the modern college experience stands for the four core values:
On top of that, one more feature of the modern college experience has been gaining momentum recently.
The Rise of Online Learning
Given the deep integration of technology in the academic sector, the rise of e-learning was just a matter of time. This form of education has existed for many years, though it didn’t outweigh conventional learning.
It was projected that schools and colleges would gradually shift from traditional to hybrid or fully remote learning as technology evolves. However, the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t leave this a chance.
The global outbreak of the dangerous virus caused over 1.2 billion students to be left out of the classroom. To ensure learning continuity, many educational facilities (including higher education ones) had to incorporate online classes until the lockdown was over. And this led to impressive results.
Despite specific challenges associated with transitioning from the classroom to home-based education, students turned out to like this experience:
- 70% of US students said learning online is better than in the classroom;
- As of 2023, 49% of students across the world have completed some kind of online learning;
- The number of online learning users is projected to reach 57 million by 2027;
- 73% of US students claimed they wanted to continue taking fully or partially online classes after the pandemic.
All these factors made online learning the fastest-growing market in education. Since its creation in 2000, this market has grown by 900%. We can expect it to grow even further. So, it’s fair to say that online classes will become the future of education, and students must learn how to adapt to it right now.
5 Tips to Adapt to Online Learning
As you know, the educational industry has already gone on a long path of innovation and transformation. More is still yet to come. However, online learning might be the most prevailing change in the upcoming years.
Here’s how you can prepare for it right now:
1. Create a Dedicated Space
Nothing is worse than trying to get your work done in a crowded living room where your roommates or family members constantly distract you. That’s why the first tip to success in digital education is to create a dedicated space for studies.
It should be a quiet and personal corner in your home with everything you need for effective classes. It must be your distraction-free zone.
2. Get on a Routine
One of the best parts about attending college physically is that it requires you to follow a well-fixed daily routine that keeps you organized. When you have breakfast and then drive to the campus (and you do this every day), your brain knows by default that now is the time to focus and study.
On the contrary, you can find it harder to concentrate at home. That’s why a routine is a must. Create a specific schedule and stick to it to gain a sense of regularity to let you focus on your studies when it’s time.
3. Join the Conversation
There is no secret that many students (nearly 50%, in fact) feel somewhat or very uncomfortable with speaking up in the classroom. On the one hand, participating in discussions from the comfort of your home should feel easier. After all, a screen separates you from the rest of the class. Still, many students prefer to mute their mic during online classes.
This is a big mistake. E-learning, by default, means fewer opportunities to get involved and engage with the teacher and classmates. Thus, you should always strive to join the conversation when you have this opportunity. This will let you make the most out of your studies and demonstrate participation.
4. Connect With Others More
The feeling of isolation might be one of the biggest pitfalls of studying digitally. Feeling alone in your struggles is easy when you can’t interact with peers and teachers face-to-face. However, there is a solution.
Be sure to connect with everyone more frequently during and after classes. Find study buddies, organize virtual group sessions, and use other communication opportunities to make your experience more social and positive.
5. Use All Available Resources
There are plenty of sources and tools that can make your college experience better, even if it’s virtual. For example, there are study planners, task management software, academic help services, etc. Also, there must be plenty of additional resources offered by your school. Be sure to use them all to the maximum!
Online learning is a rapidly evolving industry. Due to technological advancements and the experience obtained during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can become a prominent trend in the modern college experience.
Luckily, now you know what to expect of it. Use the tips from this article to adapt to the future of education and make the most out of it!