14 Predictions for Higher Education in 2022
IT leaders, faculty and a student offer a variety of perspectives on the future for their campuses in the new year.
Ask people working in higher education what they expect will happen in the new year, and the outlook is filled with visions that build on what we’ve been experiencing on college and university campuses for the last two years: a major focus on learning formats; continued exploitation of new technology; and the use of new digital models that move users “beyond Zoom.” Here we present the collective predictions of 14 IT leaders, instructional folks and a student about what they anticipate seeing in 2022. As one put it, “Let’s go, 2022! We have work to do!”
Do you have your own thoughts about what’s coming this year? Add your own prediction for 2022 in the comments below.
My prediction for 2022 is that the buzz around “high-flexibility” technology will turn out to be a bust. Many colleges across the country have rushed to spend federal dollars on equipping classrooms with hyflex technology without taking into consideration the ongoing support costs such as technical support, instructional design support and faculty professional development. Ultimately, I believe our faculty will discover that effectively teaching in a hyflex environment without adequate support is extremely difficult and truly exhausting. Subsequently, most of the hyflex tech in which we have invested will get pushed aside and eventually removed.
—Joseph Moreau is the vice chancellor of technology and chief technology officer for Foothill-De Anza Community College District in California.
Adapt Hyflex — and Be Ready for Anything
First, hyflex classrooms will continue to be used; however, instructors will need to adapt the technology to a face-to-face modality. For example, all technology is integrated with Zoom, so why not record the lecture and student discussion during class time for future viewing? This can also be adapted nicely for a hybrid modality. Lecture capture systems such as Yuja can be used to “chunk” the content for easier viewing. While the true meaning of hyflex is to allow for students to make the decision as to whether they want to attend classes in a face-to-face environment, I don’t believe we are there yet. Instructors still want to have some control (and I totally understand that). If we can make the learning environment as flexible as possible, the technology will definitely make a difference.
My second prediction is about security. Network breaches and phishing will become more commonplace. Universities need to have strict controls and policies in place in order to mitigate any intrusions and stop the bad guys. Zero trust is key. Colleges need to enable multifunction authorization (MFA), network scanning and spam filtering, among other security measures, to prevent network intrusions or data breaches from occurring.
My final prediction is that we need to be ready for the unknown. At the drop of a hat, we may be asked to return to a fully remote environment. Universities will need to be able to accommodate this. In this regard, VPN and virtual labs need to be in place for IT to flip the switch when needed.
—Patricia Kahn is the CIO and assistant vice president for Information Technology Services at the College of Staten Island, CUNY.
Look for the Advantages
With most education being done remotely for at least part of the past two years, instructional technology has played a significant role in many institutions. 2022’s key will be to improve upon and better utilize these technologies to enhance the teaching and learning experience. Many institutions were forced to move to all-online instruction in a rushed or hurried fashion, which was not ideal. The challenge is, how do we improve those systems and take advantage of new technologies for online, hybrid/hyflex and in-person education? Were virtual office hours via Zoom more convenient for both the students and faculty members, allowing for improved collaboration? Did pre-recording a lecture and having the traditional lecture time freed up for a deeper discussion of the topic enhance the learning opportunity and broaden the knowledge of the subject? These are the exciting things that will lay ahead for 2022. It is both a challenge and an excellent opportunity for us in higher ed leadership.