It isn’t a secret that the world is increasingly becoming digital. Online resources are viewed as convenient and accessible. They are also viewed as cost-effective.
When used properly, digital transformation in higher education can broaden the horizons of the masses. However, it also comes with caveats. Namely, its ability to increase educational inequity instead of shrinking it.
The Intent of Digital Transformation in Higher Education
At the core, most higher education institutions view digital transformation as a pathway toward greater accessibility. They allow students to take part regardless of locality, for one. For another, when asynchronous learning is part of a program, furthering educational goals is no longer time-dependent. As students can take part whenever they are able instead of within a strict schedule.
Digital approaches to education can also lead to cost reductions. While there is certainly a significant initial investment. Online course materials can easily be reused. Plus, maintaining coursework once it’s created can be surprisingly simple. Making ongoing updates simpler to shoulder.
Not only may the institution experience a savings. They can pass those savings on to students. With lower course fees. It’s easier for lower-income households to achieve their college goals.
Cumulatively, this makes higher education increasingly accessible. However, there can be challenges associated with the approach, increasing many that harm accessibility.
The Realities of Digital Transformation in Higher Education
While digital transformation in higher education certainly broadens opportunities for some students. They are limiting to others. As more institutions increasingly rely on online approaches. Digital divides become increasingly apparent.
Not all students have the same access to technology resources. This simple fact can cause online courses to be inaccessible to communities that may most benefit from flexible, affordable education. Whether a class is entirely online or uses a blended approach. Subpar technology may make digital components of the course cumbersome or completely unavailable to specific students.
Additionally, digital transformation can create divides at the institutional level. Not all institutions can afford the initial investments or support the internal technological requirements. While this isn’t inherently an issue. It can lead to enrollment shifts, alterations in engagement, and other unexpected consequences.
Ultimately, as with all major disruptors in an industry. There are benefits and drawbacks. In education, some are at the institutional level. While others impact various student communities. However, since digital transformation is the standard, awareness of its potential shortcomings is crucial. By understanding how digital transformation can foster educational inequity. It is possible to address the problems. Thus, creating a more accessible and helpful experience for all.
Are You Undergoing a Digital Transformation?
If you need support from L&D experts to ensure your digital transformation is a success, Clarity Consultants wants to hear from you. With over a quarter of a century of experience in the L&D industry, Clarity can provide you with access to experts that can assist you with your digital transformation efforts. Plus, the Clarity team can serve as your candidate search allies, enhancing your access to the talent you need to thrive.
If you want to partner with leading L&D professionals who can make achieving your digital transformation goals as easy as possible, Clarity Consultants is here. Contact us today.