Covid-19 has forced many industries to step on the accelerator of digital transformation to stay alive, a pending task that surely arose in more than one annual planning meeting but was ultimately prioritized and left on a "to do" list. This abrupt transformation has been easier in some sectors than in others.
How the Education Sector Has Changed
The education sector has been forced to apply remote teaching formats at all levels, some universities have already been experimenting with the online format by using mini courses, semi-face-to-face courses or the popular webinars (surely you have also received an invitation to participate recently). The reality is that all these experiments are still on a small scale.
Since the beginning of March, students suddenly found themselves in front of a computer in their homes and were introduced to video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Hangouts or Skype. In fact, 63% of a wide range of students surveyed mentioned that it was their first time experiencing these platforms in an educational setting. The first interactions with this new secure format were tough, (6 out of 10 students mentioned having had some problems or difficulties in their first interactions with the virtual format).
In turn, those who live this experiment begin to feel in just a few weeks that in reality there is not much difference compared to the traditional educational format, even among 6 out of 10 students, the main benefits of the new format. What are these perceived benefits? Being able to listen to classes from anywhere (74%), the subsequent saving of money (66%) and time (60%) that implies not having to travel and the possibility of having a more flexible schedule (53%). Surely you are tired of hearing the famous story between Netflix and Blockbuster and how the latter condemned itself by not seeing in time how the pattern in which its consumers wanted to see its content changed, because perhaps we are about to see several similar situations in the education sector. The dynamics of higher education are going to change and it is better that universities are prepared.
¨If it ain't broken, don't fix it¨ (If it is not broken, do not repair it) goes the saying, but if we are really critical, there are several aspects in our educational system that need to be solved and for several years. . Quality university education is expensive and therefore inaccessible for many; In line with this, 43% of the university students in our study perceive that their education has a high price compared to the quality of training they receive. Migrating towards a virtual model offers us a key for the reinvention of education and even more importantly, for its democratization.