26 May 2023

Written by: Marisa Grundling, HOD: Risk and Insurance

Higher education is an ever-evolving landscape, constantly adapting to changing societal, economic, and technological trends. As we move into the future, the role of technology in higher education is becoming increasingly critical. Emerging technologies have the potential to transform how we teach and learn, offering new and innovative ways to engage students, personalise learning, and prepare individuals for the challenges of the 21st century. 

In all honesty – this introduction was written by artificial intelligence (AI). The uses for AI are infinite even though we are just starting to use it commercially, however we do not want students to use it to answer assessment questions as no learning will take place, but to use AI in the learning process, will be advantageous – more about this later. In teaching and learning AI will give us the power to accomplish personalised learning, intelligent tutoring systems, automated grading (although we already have some capabilities already in use), predictive analytics and administrative chatbots. 

The next question I posed to AI was: “What technologies will be used in higher education in the next 20 years?” and I am very happy to say that Milpark Education and the School of Financial Services (SoFS) already have or are busy implementing four out of the six technologies. 

  1. Virtual and Augmented Reality: Virtual and augmented reality technologies can enhance the learning experience by providing immersive, interactive, and engaging environments for students. A few of our teaching staff, including myself, have already undergone extensive and ongoing training in this, and we are very happy to announce that we will launch two new modules next year that will be fully online, with many of the elements and teaching done in virtual and augmented reality. 
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies can help personalise and adapt the learning experience to individual student needs and preferences. These technologies can be used for intelligent tutoring systems, adaptive assessments, and personalised learning pathways. This functionality will be built into the Virtual Reality (VR) software that we will be using in that a student can access an AI tutor in the virtual environment that will provide additional explanations should it be required.
  3. Learning Management Systems: Learning management systems (LMS) are already widely used in higher education, but they are likely to become more sophisticated and user-friendly in the future. LMS can be used for course management, student communication, and online assessments. As a global student, I can in all honesty say that Milpark Education has one of the best LMS systems and we are already busy launching bigger and better upgrades for 2024.
  4. Mobile Learning: Mobile devices are ubiquitous and offer opportunities for learning anytime and anywhere. Mobile learning applications can provide access to learning materials, communication with peers and instructors, and mobile-based assessments. Our LMS, classes and the virtual reality solutions can all be accessed on a mobile phone.
  5. Cloud Computing: Cloud computing technologies can provide cost-effective and scalable solutions for data storage, software applications, and online learning platforms. Already in use although we shall not divulge how and where for security reasons. 😊
  6. Blockchain: Blockchain technology can provide secure and transparent record-keeping and credentialing solutions for higher education. This technology can be used for digital degree certificates, badges and micro-credentials. Although we have had some discussions regarding badges and micro-credentials, this is definitely something that we can look into. 

The role of technology in higher education will continue to be significant in the years to come. AI and other emerging technologies offer new and innovative ways to engage students, personalise learning, and improve administrative processes. Milpark Education is already implementing many of these technologies, including virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, mobile learning, learning management systems, and cloud computing. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more exciting and transformative applications in the field of higher education. The future of education is bright, and with the help of technology, we can prepare individuals for the challenges of the 21st century and the workforce of the future.