Bay View Analytics Director, Dr. Jeff Seaman has been researching higher education for almost two decades.
Digital education is the future of education materials. The question is, “How soon?” To answer that question we need to understand what are the driving factors of this change.
These factors can be better understood by the Digital Learning Pulse Survey (DLPS). The DLPS is a series of six surveys that were conducted between Spring 2020 and Spring 2022. It examined changes in teaching and learning and can provide an overview of the educational landscape for publishers. Here are some key insights from this project.
Price is a key factor.
Students generally find digital instruction materials to be less expensive than printed ones. A decade ago faculty did not consider the cost of their course materials to be a crucial component of their selection process. Many faculty didn’t know how much a student had to pay for the required textbook. This has changed. Administrators and faculty are now more aware of the importance of providing affordable materials for students. They are often switching to digital versions that are more cost-effective.
The supply is changing.
Commercial publishers are moving aggressively to all-digital distribution. These digital options are more available than ever before due to the changing market dynamics. Publishers are also converting text from printed to digital. Some materials have digital-only interactive features such as annotations and student notes that are not possible in a printed book. There are now a variety of digital materials available for faculty to choose from.
Experience is important.
The pandemic necessitated a major, mandatory shift to online learning. Many academic leaders were concerned that the forced online instruction would cause faculty and students to lose interest in the digital experience. This has not been the case. Instead, the widespread adoption of digital instruction materials during the pandemic provided students and faculty with a virtual laboratory. Both students and faculty understood the uniqueness and are now more excited about digital options than ever before.
Both students and faculty walked away from COVID-19 with a greater appreciation of digital instruction and video technologies and a belief in the need to evolve teaching from its pre-pandemic norms. They found the experience so compelling that they now prefer to use digital course materials more often.
Attitudes are changing.
It is not a new trend to see digital instruction materials accepted more widely. Bay View Analytics research has shown that faculty have been adopting digital materials more than traditional print products in recent years. This trend is now accelerating. It is not slow or steady anymore, but it is now fast.
The Spring 2022 DLPS survey revealed that 46% of faculty are now more optimistic about digital course materials than they were before the pandemic. Only 8% were more pessimistic. The results for academic administrators were similar to those of faculty with 51% more optimistic and only 7 % more pessimistic.
Digital is becoming more prevalent, and there are many more to come.
The growing appreciation for digital instruction materials has led to a rising number of faculty reporting that they plan to use more digital materials in future. The Fall 2021 DLPS surveyed faculty about their future use for digital materials. 70% of faculty strongly agreed or agreed that they preferred increased use. Only 10% disagreed.
It’s more than faculty.
Students saw similar results, with 63% reporting that they would prefer to see more digital materials in their courses. This is not surprising, as 48% of students are more optimistic than before the pandemic.
It is obvious. Both students and teachers agree that digital materials are the foundation of the future education. This digital future will soon be the norm.
Join us for a deeper discussion about the Digital Learning Pulse Survey results (DLPS) on July 27. Learn how institutions are responding to student demand for agile teaching.