A majority of technology stakeholders polled in a Web-based survey anticipate that higher education in 2020 will be quite different from the way it is today. They said university-level education will adopt new methods of teaching and certification driven by opportunity, economic concerns and student and parent demands.
In the Pew Internet/Elon University survey of 1,021 Internet experts, researchers, observers and users, 60% agreed with a statement that by 2020 “there will be mass adoption of teleconferencing and distance learning to leverage expert resources … a transition to ‘hybrid’ classes that combine online learning components with less-frequent on-campus, in-person class meetings.”
Some 39% agreed with an opposing statement that said, “in 2020 higher education will not be much different from the way it is today.”
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Among the majority expecting much more dependence upon online components in higher education in the future, many bemoaned it. “They are worried over the adoption of technology-mediated approaches that they fear will lack the personal, face-to-face touch they feel is necessary for effective education,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project. “Most noted that economic forces will compel the changes. Yet, a share of this group was excited about the possibility for universities to leverage new online capabilities and peer-to-peer collaborations that they believe would enhance knowledge creation and sharing.”
ABOUT THE SURVEY
The survey results are based on a non-random, opt-in, online sample of 1,021 Internet experts and other Internet users, recruited via email invitation, Twitter or Facebook from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the Imagining the Internet Center at Elon University. Since the data are based on a non-random sample, a margin of error cannot be computed, and the results are not projectable to any population other than the experts in this sample.
The Future of Higher Education | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project