Higher education institutions need to retool the education that they offer to meet the economic realities of the 21st Century.
Both prospective students and employers are looking for education that differentiates itself from outdated models and better prepares graduates for the demands of the modern workplace. They want career-ready education and training.
The student population no longer consists mostly of wealthy middle-class high school graduates, instead it includes many lower class and minority population students, first generation students, working adults looking for further education and even adults with degrees seeking to upskill to meet new career-demands.
Many consumers view the cost versus return of higher education with growing skepticism and are looking for updated, career-focused and more affordable alternatives.
Recent surveys show that more than half of US adults with degrees regret at least one major educational decision1 and 44% do not believe that their degree adequately prepared them for careers.2
As confirmation of this, statistics from the US Department of Education show that the percentage of students with an occupational credential employed in their field of study was 21% higher than those with an academic credential.3
Many traditional colleges have been forced to merge or close but forward-thinking, tech savvy colleges are adapting and recalibrating their educational product offerings to meet the needs and realities of the new generation of students.
“Today’s students want to know how an institution will prepare them for and connect them to their chosen career field, as well as how it will help them stand out from the crowd in a competitive job market.
Students themselves are becoming more selective and are demanding greater transparency when it comes to career outcomes.”4
Leading institutions now include career exploration information into their enrollment processes. They want to help students make better choices when selecting courses and they are changing what they offer to provide the career-training for the future.
Simulation and Scenario-based Training are the Solution
Future-focused colleges are turning to eLearning to meet the needs of prospective students who are looking for education which is
- flexible and accessible anytime, anywhere - even while holding a job
Where vocational and industry training previously required many hours of apprenticeship where students could practice skills under the supervision of a mentor, simulation eLearning can cut the costs, the production down-time and the risks associated with students on a work site, yet develop their skills and experience through repetition and productive failure*.
Watch these short videos. They demonstrate how simulation eLearning is used in a variety of ways in different career fields, including healthcare, construction and service industries:
- See how a nurse can learn the procedure for injecting a patient without actually harming real people while she practices.
- In this video apprentices can learn safety and procedural skills in context without putting anyone or any machinery at risk. An added benefit is that existing staff and machines don’t need to be out-of-service while training takes place.
Click here to watch an example of procedural learning (opens in a new window)
Scenario-based eLearning places the learner in a simulated work context so that the student becomes familiar with the work place environment and can practice performing in that setting. Research shows that learning retention rates are higher when students learn in the same context as the work will be done.4
- In the next video, you can see how simulation eLearning can also be used to teach soft skills like critical thinking and decision-making that employees need to implement in work-place scenarios.
See how this electrician can develop good decision-making skills to use in challenging circumstances:
Both simulation and scenario-based eLearning allow students to learn-by-doing and this gives them experience and insight into the realities of the job roles they will perform. It teaches both hard and soft skills and equips them with the knowledge, judgment and procedural skills they need to perform competently.
eLearning courses can be used to meet the needs of the modern consumer who wants affordable and accessible education online. Simulation based training is an essential part of this, to create job-focused career training. It’s a vital part of career training for almost every industry.
Is your institutional ready to “change the blade” and provide future-focused, cutting-edge education?
Contact us to find out how SimuLearn can help you to retool and add simulations to your educational courses, or contact us to get your simulations and scenario-based training ready made .
References1. Stephanie Marken and Zac Auter, Half of U.S. Adults Would Change at Least One Education Decision, JUNE 1, 2017,https://news.gallup.com/poll/211529/half-adults-change-least-one-education-decision.aspx
2. Pearson Global Learner Survey 2019
3. US dept of Education, https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/ctes/figures/fig_2016107-2.asp
4. Robert Hansen, 3 ways forward-thinking colleges usher in a new generation of students, https://hechingerreport.org/opinion-3-ways-forward-thinking-colleges-usher-new-generation-students/
5. Thalheimer, W. (2009, April). Using Linguistically, Culturally, and Situationally Appropriate Scenarios to Support Real-World Remembering. http://www.work-learning.com/catalog/