Changing Dynamics in Learning at University

Blackboard commissioned a survey on studying habits in the UK. The key finding is that how students study and learn is changing:

While most universities advocate that students work no more than 12-16 hours per week while enrolled in a full time course, almost a third of students who maintain a full time job are working 16 hours or more per week according to the survey, which questioned both higher education and further education students across the UK. The survey provides insight into student coping mechanisms and how innovations in education are impacting the way they study.

With traditional daily trips to campus becoming a thing of the past, only one in seven students complete more than 60 percent of their self-study and assignments within college facilities. Instead, 42 percent of students said that they frequently study between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. on weekdays.

A majority of students say they use their online learning environment to keep up at a time convenient for them, and 40 percent regularly rely on them to complete academic work well into the evening or over the weekend. The responses demonstrate how 24/7 access to learning materials has become vital for today’s generation of students.

What’s happening in the world that means this isn’t surprising:
– The half-life of information is shrinking drastically. Taking three or four years out to go to University and “learn the field” is becoming less and less valid.
– There is always new stuff being discovered, innovated, and created. University isn’t the only place to learn these things anymore. Being well-connected – which isn’t physically hard to do anymore – is becoming much more important.
– Learning how to learn, rather than learning content, is a critical survival skill. If things change and morph so frequently, staying nimble in approach and ethos is important.
– The iPad. Transformative potential for education, learning, and interaction anywhere.

Would you take 3 years out of your career now to go back to University? Would you be further ahead or further behind when you came back?

Read more: Survey Highlights the New Reality of Studying in the U.K.

Categories: Miscellaneous