Connectivity and community building technological tools in higher education institutions (HEIs) such as social media inspired discussion platforms and virtual study groups (49%) were mostly used learning technologies during pandemic, followed by group work tools which witnessed an increase of 29%, as per Mckinsey 2021 report on ‘how technology is shaping learning in higher education’. The report further highlighted a 19% increase in the overall use of learning technologies since the beginning of Covid-19.
Insights from the report revealed that other tools which include student progress monitoring, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), machine learning–powered teaching assistants (TAs), artificial intelligence (AI) adaptive course delivery, and classroom exercises are used by less than half of survey respondents. The top reason that Mckinsey study mentioned is lack of awareness followed by, lack of capabilities to deploy, expensive, believe they have little or no impact on learning and no confidence if they work.
Mckinsey’s survey findings further revealed that medium and large public institutions made more use of connectivity and community-building tools than small public institutions which is 57 to 59% as compared to 45% respectively. While small sized public institutions are seen to use machine learning–powered TAs, AR and VR, and technologies for monitoring student progress at double or more the rates, the report stated.
As per the report’s data, more than 60% students believed that the classroom learning technologies have improved their grades and learning. Two technologies- classroom exercises (80% students) and machine learning–powered teaching assistants (71%) ranked on top for boosting students’ performance.
Meanwhile, the report revealed that students in HEIs are more excited about the tools that make learning more efficient and entertaining. Although AR and VR are not among the tools that are widely used, still 37% of students are believed to be more excited about its potential in the classroom. Whereas, 88% of students believe that AR and VR tools can make learning more entertaining.
Interestingly, Mckinsey’s report identified that faculties prefered learning tools more than students, for ease of use, engagement, access to course resources, and instructor connectivity. The survey report’s data revealed more than 60% of faculty were excited about the future use of technology as well as machine learning–powered teaching assistants and AI adaptive technology as compared to 30% of students.