Digital Learning and Digital Institution in Higher Education
1.1. Digital Transformation
1.2. Transforming Institutions
2. Digital Institution
2.1. Principal Objectives of Digital Institutions in Higher Education
- Improving the learning environment for students: With additions such as TEDX seminars, apps for more thorough learning, and VR-AI technologies that enable students to share their views and ideas and comprehend subjects better, technology improves the learning environment. In general, technology aids students in developing the social, technical, and critical thinking abilities required for high-paying employment in the twenty-first century. Along with other advantages, technology provides teachers with access to evidence-based tools (such as tests and modules) that enable them to assess student performance and modify the curriculum as necessary.
- Increasing the organization’s operational effectiveness: Higher education institutions have used analytics to control erratic enrolment and escalating recruitment costs since the early 2000s. Higher education institutions employ diagnostic analytics to suggest (then analyze) potential solutions to their problems, descriptive analytics to describe conditions, predictive analytics to forecast events, and so forth in order to compete. Marketing, recruitment, admissions selection, financial assistance, student counseling, academic planning, financial forecasting, and even executive planning all employ data analytics on campus.
- Boosting computer capacity for cutting-edge research: Complete articles and abstracts for millions of publications, including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, and dissertations, are available in digital libraries and databases. Infinite research is accessible to students and teachers thanks to well-known search engines, such as Google and YouTube. To assist students in finding information about tests, curricula, and other topics, schools put up their own IT infrastructures. In summary, digital technology offers a streamlined, affordable path to high-quality education, complete with the most up-to-date, reliable material in all fields.
- Promoting educational innovation: Teachers now have more time and resources to create because of technology. For example, only seven Ph.D. grads out of 200 can secure full-time positions in academia or research after they graduate. Innovation is needed more than ever to create jobs and make use of technology in improving the education experience.
- Spending less: By moving campus technology systems to the cloud, substituting skilled instructors with e-learning, gradually replacing textbooks with digital resources, and replacing expensive equipment with VR or AR resources, educational technology lowers the cost of higher education. While other solutions save time by enabling educators to tailor and speed their instruction, apps for instructors liberate educators to focus on more important work. Under-resourced schools especially benefit from technology because it makes access to high-quality content more inexpensive. Through professional learning communities, they can educate both themselves and their personnel, among other advantages. They can also use less expensive tech to speed up their sessions.
2.2. Educational Processes
3. E-Learning and Digital Learning
3.1. Role of Technology in Higher Education
3.2. Digital Learning Ecosystem in Higher Education
- Digital Learning Technologies. These technologies play a crucial role in digital teaching and learning. Digital technologies can be used in various instructional modalities to engage learners. Instructors can use these technologies to build engaging digital teaching and learning solutions. However, effective digital teaching and learning in higher education settings require significant increases in the infrastructure to support these technologies. Some commonly used digital teaching and learning technologies are as follows:
The technologies that can be used for digital education are not all included in this list. Before purchasing a technology for their campuses, technology leaders must evaluate its outcomes, quality, and cost. Leaders in technology should also look at their technology infrastructure to see if it can handle digital education.
- Learning management systems (LMS).
- Synchronous technologies .
- Multimedia applications.
- Collaborative applications.
- Cloud-based technologies.
- Emerging technologies.
- Instructional Modality. Offering education can be through several instructional modalities. When a college or university offers several learning modalities or courses in more than one modality, students can enroll in the modality that works best for them. Following is a list of common instructional modalities (on-campus technology enhanced, hybrid/blended, asynchronous online, synchronous online, bichronous online, and HyFlex). Digital elements are present in all of these instructional modalities, with the exception of technology-enhanced on-campus courses. Digital teaching and learning are heavily used in the other five modalities. Students now have more options because more institutions and programs offer online courses. Now, students can choose to finish courses and programs from anywhere and at any time. Digital learning’s efficiency and effectiveness were tested by leaders, teachers, and students in higher education. Although they may still be emerging in some contexts, these teaching and learning models are now accepted by a greater number of institutions .
- Personnel and Support Services. At universities and colleges, additional investments in support services and personnel are required due to the increasing prevalence of digital teaching and learning in various instructional modalities. Instructional designers, technology support specialists, academic and student support services, incentives, and recognition are some of the personnel and support services required for a successful digital transformation in the teaching and learning sector. Instructors are encouraged to adopt cutting-edge digital teaching strategies by providing support, services, incentives, and recognition.
- Organizational Policies and Planning. Administrators must be prepared to support general teaching and learning across subject areas and lead digital teaching and learning initiatives. Digital teaching and learning innovations should be valued in all processes, including tenure and promotions (policies and standards, strategic planning, funding models, and equitable learning opportunities), and leaders should continue to make decisions based on research. In general, additional policies are required to encourage digital education. Digital teaching and learning-related funding, personnel, technology, and existing policy inequities must also be rethought by instructional leaders.
- Instructor Development. Faculty who had never taught online had to quickly adapt to the pandemic. Many needed to take part in professional development activities for digital teaching and learning. Training opportunities and resources for faculty development must adapt to faculty needs as the Dx moves forward. The purpose of these resources is to increase faculty members’ knowledge of accessibility, intellectual property, online teaching best practices, and pedagogical and technological skills (faculty beliefs, accessibility, intellectual property rights, and copyright). During the pandemic, many faculty members did not have sufficient time to implement online teaching principles when they switched to digital teaching and learning. The quality of online courses will improve if educators take the time to reconsider and implement pedagogical best practices.
- Learner Development. Students have the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways through digital learning. This gets them ready for the workforce of the future, where most jobs will require digital skills and knowledge (PCs and web access, using time productively and self-guidelines, educational substance and individuals, help, and people group building). Digital learners’ success is aided by community building, time management and self-regulation, engagement and help-seeking strategies, and technology resources.
- Partnerships. The pandemic brought to light the possibility of utilizing a variety of partnerships to create high-quality digital education (collaboration with other universities, professional organizations, and industry). Digital teaching and learning initiatives are strengthened by utilizing the expertise of industry professionals, professional associations, and other outside organizations.
- Student: Students at higher education institutions are the group that has most affected or compelled them to think about making their shift to a digital transformation. First and foremost, they anticipate having the chance to learn without being constrained by time or geography . Higher education institutions should thus deliver holistic education, web-based training, electronic educational programming, innovative teaching and research, tailored programs and perspectives, and reorganized working procedures. Second, learners anticipate acquiring the competencies and pragmatic skills necessary for life in the digital age. Students also want shorter specialized training programs where they may get a taste of Industry 4.0’s potential . Third, students assume that HEIs will expand their digital services by enabling strategic planning, cooperation, and value co-creation. It indicates that the student expects the higher education institutes to value their learning environment. Finally, cost-cutting will help the economy of students.
- Teacher: In the beginning, educators should reinvent their approaches to learning, inquiry, workflow, and administration . They should focus on increasing their teaching effectiveness to help all participants communicate, collaborate, and co-create value. Instructors should introduce students to digital services available at the tertiary level. Faculty trust in digital transformation at higher education institutions can boost their efficiency in the classroom and offer fresh, cutting-edge digital experiences.
- Industry: From the perspective of the economy’s digitization, higher education institutions should first convey the knowledge, skills, and foresight necessary for the industrial and financial complexity of domains . As a result, higher education institutions would offer fresh and cutting-edge digital experiences, encouraging interaction, teamwork, and value co-creation among all participants. The second important component of their platforms is digital partnering. Organizations can use technology to generate a prediction model that combines data from consumer relationships and digital sources. Third, higher education institutions could offer more condensed training courses for individuals. Executives at the institution are aware of the possibility presented by digital transformation to improve interprocess communication both inside and across all organizational units. Similarly, they guarantee efficient data processing administration and the corporate adoption of digital technology. As a result, they enhance the use of data and data-related information in all decision-making support operations, whether at an operational or a strategic level, enabling choices based on genuine and accurate facts. The infrastructural capacity to support this DT of HEIs and the financial and technical limitations that come with it are problems for higher education institutions.
- Digital Transformation Team: It is crucial to have a solid command structure and a highly specialized team that can convincingly explain and incorporate the technologies in higher education institutions. This team must also be aware of the importance of integrating a digital work executive structure and possess an agile foundation that can handle existing, flexible, and newly emerging processes. Additionally, the digital transformational team must handle many social, behavioral, and practical digital disruptions.
- Government: The public political impact for an administration process transformation and simplification, as well as digital efforts forcing higher education institutions to accelerate procedure and service innovation and adaption in response to increasing social demands, regulatory and legal modifications, and strategic culture.
- Organizational Units: Because this transition makes it possible to isolate the management and procedure performance from the actual location where the processes are carried out, digital transformation in higher education institutions directly benefits organizational units. A problem for organismic units in the digital age is the need for self-managed teams in the workplace .
- Graduates: Graduate students of higher education anticipate that higher education institutions would engage in tasks relevant to the development of competencies required by the digital economy by offering IT expertise at the international level as well as new and cutting-edge digital capabilities.
- Researcher: The origins and effects of digitalization for economies, nations, and societies have drawn more attention from academics, authors, and decision-makers. Digitalization will ensure the effective use of resources for researchers and expedite the processing of their requests.
- Community: As a result of new societal demands, statutory and regulatory alterations, and strategic culture, digital technology in higher education institutions is developing and adapting methods and services faster than ever before .
- Digital Platform: As a facilitator and supporter of this approach, online technologies operate as players in the technological initiatives in higher education institutes. Electronic learning content—repositories, digital process web service design, and institutional mechanisms to incorporate into teaching and e-learning technologies .
- IT Business Executive: By integrating digital efforts with a structure to manage them, business executive actors drive the re-engineering of company operations, re-skilling of employees, and transformation of services. The project relates to the IT infrastructure .
- Teacher Training Unit: Because of the significant issue of the computer divide among all interested parties which requires them to keep updating their knowledge of the field at the worldwide platform, the fundamentals of academic achievement in the areas of customization, high flexibility, and the integration of different educational and labor dynamics, the teacher training unit becomes a powerful entity in the digital transformation in higher education institutions.
- Content Suppliers: As vital collaborators, content suppliers may improve the caliber and availability of the materials offered by higher education information systems. In higher education institutions, the information system is a necessary technological component for increasing the utilization of data and knowledge in all decision-support processes, whether at an organizational or a strategic level. This allows choices to be made based on actual data. The scholastic organization impacts the educational program modernization and managerial methods .
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Alenezi, M. Digital Learning and Digital Institution in Higher Education. Educ. Sci. 2023, 13, 88. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010088
Alenezi M. Digital Learning and Digital Institution in Higher Education. Education Sciences. 2023; 13(1):88. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010088Chicago/Turabian Style
Alenezi, Mamdouh. 2023. "Digital Learning and Digital Institution in Higher Education" Education Sciences 13, no. 1: 88. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci13010088