Like the Post-Pandemic Office, the Future of the College Classroom is Hybrid
Splashtop survey says students expect remote access
SAN JOSE, Calif., August 4th, 2021—Employees who transitioned from working in an office to working from home are not the only group questioning the value of returning to the way things were pre-pandemic.
Like many office employees who would value the option to work from anywhere, college and university students want to continue to access campus computers, workstations, and software from home, dormitory room, and other “remote” locations, a recent Splashtop survey found.
Among five hundred North American and European students surveyed:
- Nearly all (ninety-two percent) expect their colleges and universities to offer remote access to on-campus computers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
- A wide majority (eighty-three percent) believe that a hybrid model—a mix of in-person and online learning—should be the future of learning in higher education.
“It’s natural for students and workers—who are now accustomed to accessing computing tools from anywhere—to embrace the flexibility that remote access offers,” said Mark Lee, CEO of Splashtop, a next-generation remote access and remote support company. “As difficult as many aspects of COVID life have been, students told us they have appreciated not needing to be physically on campus to use college computer labs, and that they prefer to choose when and how they complete their work on their own schedules.”
Survey Maps to Market Trends
The Splashtop research results closely track to studies done on the post-pandemic office. For example, Gartner has found that eighty-two percent of the business managers it surveyed intend to implement a hybrid workplace. Although prior to COVID, telecommuting employees were a familiar aspect of working life, workers now expect even more flexibility than many companies offered pre-pandemic.
While there certainly have been some well-publicized inroads into distance learning, the enormous change that COVID has brought to college study is seen by some as long overdue. According to a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, higher-education institutions historically have spent less than five percent of their operating budgets on IT. New demands, such as accommodating hybrid learning, are now driving IT to reevaluate both spending and the tools needed to support this new environment.
Remote is Here to Stay
When the 2020 COVID quarantines forced institutions to close their doors, most colleges and universities were unprepared to provide students and faculty with remote access to campus-based computers and software. However, many schools pivoted, leveraging tools such as Splashtop, and provided online remote access to computer resources.
According to Lee, many places of higher learning are planning to continue to offer a remote alternative to in-person learning, even as COVID risks abate. “Not only are students demanding the flexibility offered by remote tools, but schools are finding that providing remote access can decrease the inequity that can happen if students are only able to work at certain hours or only on-site. Remote access gives students the choice to work during times that are convenient for them.”
No Going Back
Even if COVID were to magically disappear tomorrow, it would be short-sighted of higher education to drop the remote access option they have relied on throughout the pandemic. That is a lesson that Cathy Leaker, vice president of instruction at Everett Community College in Washington has learned well.
“I don’t imagine a time when we go back to one-hundred percent in person,” Leaker recently told a reporter at her local daily paper. “That’s not going to meet students’ needs.”
Clay Shirky, an associate professor and vice provost for educational technologies at New York University, recently told the trade journal Inside Higher Education that the flexibility afforded by remote technology has become just as appealing to faculty as to students.
“What COVID-19 and the shift to emergency remote instruction did was burn off the fog of unfamiliarity,” Shirky said.
Analysts at HolonIQ agree. So far this year, the firm has counted twenty-seven education-technology companies with at least a billion-dollar valuation.
“Ready or not,” HoloIQ’s website opined, “The world turns to technology to support learning and education delivery.”
Webinars for IT Pros in Higher Ed
Splashtop frequently offers webinars to update IT professionals about technology and trends in the education sector, and to provide a forum for sharing ideas among peers.
“Hybrid teaching requires a major change,” said a recent participant from the U.K. public research institution City, University of London, “Those changes are not just in technology, but also in communicating and thinking about how you can get better interaction with students from home.”
For college and university IT professionals looking to install, maintain or expand remote access capabilities at their institutions, Splashtop recommends the following on-demand webinars:
- Education Experts Talk: Providing Fast and Easy Remote Support Anytime, Anywhere, featuring Austin Community College, Kansas State University, Loyola University, Chicago, and the University of Southern California
- How to Maximize Students’ Potential with Hybrid Learning, featuring Abbey Road Institute, London
- How to Leverage Remote Computer Access to Enhance Your Education Program, featuring University of Colorado, Boulder
- Enable Students to Remotely Use On-Campus Computers from Anywhere, featuring Confederation College, Ontario, Canada
- Q&A with Wayne State University
- Conference with Education Experts, including India’s Indira Gandhi National Open University and Amity University
Based in Silicon Valley, Splashtop Inc. delivers next-generation remote access and remote software and services for enterprises, academic and research institutions, government agencies, small businesses, MSPs, IT departments, and individuals. Splashtop’s cloud-based, secure, and easily managed remote access approach is increasingly replacing legacy approaches such as virtual private networks (VPNs) while earning a stunning 93 Net Promoter Score (NPS), a standard for assessing customer satisfaction. More than 30 million users, including those in 85% of Fortune 500 enterprises, enjoy Splashtop products globally. Visit splashtop.com for more information.