Imagine this scene:
A first-year biology student in college uses a 3D virtual reality equipment to enter the human digestive system. There, he watches food getting digested in the body. Simultaneously, his classmate simulates different circumstances to watch from up close how a drug from a capsule gets metabolized and heals an injury inside a vein.
Others in class are using simulation and gaming to see how atoms morph into alloys, or how electrons in a liquid get agitated when subjected to thermal radiation. All the students provide instant feedback and offer precise metrics on how much they have understood.
A computer in class that simulates all these visuals also delivers instant tests, determines rubrics, collects feedback and offers assessment scores, even while comparing each student's performance against the set median score for the class. The computer also offers each student new learning pathways to help them meet their learning objectives faster. It rewards better performers with ranks and badges while suggesting remedies for those who are lagging behind.
This scenario is no figment of the imagination. This is what higher education will really look like by 2025, if we go by today's emerging technologies.
In fact, universities and higher education institutions (HEIs), as we know them today, are all set for a radical overhaul, as technologies continue to impact the way we learn, the way we teach and the way we use the curriculum. Clearly, HEIs which foresee these changes and adapt are all set to lead in the academic race. The rest face elimination.