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The Digital Learning Curve

Published February 22 2021
Damien Dumas, Digital Advisor (Higher Education)
Damien Dumas
Digital Advisor (Higher Education)
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Higher education vs. millennial demand

As digital technologies continue to evolve, a growing number of industries are adapting and transforming their services to meet customer demand. Catering to the new digital demand requires a solid online presence and leveraging mobile platforms redefining legacy distribution models. Millennials are the demographic behind this demand for change, and their use of technology paved the way for successful innovators such as Amazon, Uber and a number of streaming service providers.

A New Digital Era Ushered in by Millennials

Millennials are digital natives, born into a world where “anything is possible” and technology is constantly evolving. Despite overwhelming evidence suggesting that their campaign for greater digital transformation is only in its early stages, one industry focused on millennials is already behind the eight ball. Chiefly designating colleges and universities, higher education institutions, are under increased pressure to develop business models that meet both their internal objectives and present-day demands of their customers. Current higher education students enjoy unlimited access to a world library of digital content transcending the traditional classroom setting. As a result, higher education institutions see the dawn of a new digital era driving a transition from teaching to learning.

A Digital Transformation Turbocharged by the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the need for speeding up the digital transformation in several industries, while accelerating the shift in higher education. Many institutions were already making strides towards a digital transformation, integrating cloud services like Microsoft Office 365 or other cloud-based applications and collaborative platforms that now support remote learning. Moving forward, pushing a comprehensive digital transformation will require solutions with regard to data integration, cybersecurity, academic integrity in exams and more. They seek to put in place hybrid models combining remote and in-person learning where all participants can fully engage with one another and with the presentations. It could shift the paradigm of studying abroad by enabling international students to remain in their home country and study from abroad. However, the road ahead will be both challenging and costly.

A New Paradigm in Higher Education

Institutions have come to understand that their role must go beyond managing classes and grades, and focus more on skill development, extracurricular activities and the analysis of indicators providing a more accurate portrait of their students. Human interactions remain critical to that process, but institutions currently conducting their activities by phone must now adapt to newer digital technologies in order to transform their people-driven services for a world of mobile applications and technologies.

The Alithya Edge

The higher education market is worth more than $36 billion annually for the United States alone, but successful solution integration requires a thorough knowledge of the industry to address its unique challenges. With its dedicated team and proven track record of injecting value-added expertise into higher education projects in Canada, Alithya understands the challenges of digital transformation from within. Leveraging Alithya’s strong presence in vertical markets, our Higher Education team is ready to help institutions address their digital transformation that includes teaching, learning, research, and campus management.