The global pandemic has accelerated change at a rate no-one could have foreseen in 2020. Remote learning is not only an absolute necessity of the current higher ed climate but is likely poised to transform the future of the industry.
Despite this shift, students still have their reservations about the online learning format. Petitions at Rutgers, Michigan and North Carolina in the US have raised concerns that contact time, quality of teaching, and resource availability will be reduced in a distance-learning context. Academics, too, have their reservations, worried that their jobs could be replaced by video tuition or interactive media.
As marketers, it’s our job to reassure both current and prospective students that your university can deliver quality learning outcomes no matter the format. This week, we’re exploring a few benefits of remote learning that you may not have considered. They’ll be useful to you when it comes to writing your marketing copy.
This is a big one for foreign students, but don’t underestimate how important location flexibility can be for domestic students too. A lot of students have reservations about moving to expensive cities like London, Bristol, or Manchester for their studies. Location flexibility helps ease the financial burden, giving them the chance to study from a cheaper city or a different country entirely. Students may even find it easier to balance work with study.
Study at your own pace
Here at The Brand, we all graduated long before video lectures became a staple in education. I’m sure many of us would have loved to go back and rewatch old lectures or sign on an hour or two later than required. But we were there at 9 am every morning ready to listen. Today, things are a little different. Remote education allows students to access and process learning materials on their own schedule. Sleep in and work late or get up at the crack of dawn – whatever works best for them!
New ways of seeing
Distance learning is creating new challenges for the world of education. Step by step, those challenges are being met with fascinating new technologies and platforms. Augmented reality and virtual reality, for example, are already impacting the world of education. Arizona State is already using virtual reality for teaching in its biomedical science degree. That’s a big step away from musty old textbooks. And things are only going to get more advanced from here. Remote learning can help you look at old subjects in new ways through the help of innovative technologies.
You’ll be working online anyway
Laptops have been an essential bit of university kit for years. Most courses already have a huge amount of teaching materials available online for students, from online journals to videos, and more. The reality is that taking that step to 100% online isn’t as far as most people think. Once they understand integral digital is to the learning experience on campus and off, they’ll start to view remote studying a little differently.
Consider putting these messages front and centre of your next online course offering. You can even write case studies, blog posts or how-to guides to help show that online education isn’t lesser, just a little different.