How edtech drives career development

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Latest research from ACCA and edX (a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc (Nasdaq: TWOU)) explores the post-pandemic role of educational technology, or edtech, and identify tips and trends for users.

ACCA’s report, EdTech: Supercharging Accounting Careers, developed in conjunction with edX, highlights the “anytime, anywhere” approach to learning it makes possible. It also details how this flexibility was the most valued edtech attribute in a global survey of over 1,400 connected accounting learners and educators.

For learners, he reveals that edtech has the potential to boost career development with the following top tips: leverage the potential of edtech to fit into your life; consider the blended learning option and see edtech as an option regardless of life stage or size of organization.

The most frequently cited learning devices were portable devices, including laptops (88%) and mobile phones (eg smartphones) at 72%; with tablets cited by 44%; 52% said they use desktop computers.

These findings have implications for the visual design and delivery of learning content and assessments. Content developers and review providers need to ensure that their content can be experienced with similar quality across devices.

Alan Hatfield, Executive Director – Content, Quality and Innovation, comments: “These findings align with ACCA’s own experiences as we seek to continue to foster equitable access globally. Some of our established efforts, such as ACCA-X, offering free online ACCA courses through our partnership with edX, has already shown us the power of technology.

“We also see a growing number of our Approved Learning Partners using AI and algorithms to better support students and their learning outcomes. We remain excited about the possibilities for the future in this rapidly changing space.”

For educators, the research also revealed six key trends in edtech, including small videos, integrated learning and practice, artificial intelligence (AI)-based learning and assessment, micro -certificates, gamification and simulation, and augmented or virtual realities (AR/VR), including the metaverse.

Lee Rubenstein, Vice President of Partnerships at 2U, said, “Microloans, including boot camps, short courses, and other online and blended learning formats for credit, are increasingly recognized by employers as a way to demonstrate employee qualifications.We are delighted to be working with ACCA to help leading companies around the world adopt e-learning as a credible and widely accepted modality to help employees learn new skills, continue their professional advancement and contribute to the agility of the company.”

While great learning partners have been able to invest in the resources of a learning platform, other partners and vendors have innovated in a variety of ways, including video micro-courses on various accounting topics, open source textbooks, creating custom exam practice software, and more. Digital content, in particular, gained traction, with 91% of those engaged in edtech reporting use of ebooks or digital content.

However, the research also identified the existence of barriers to more widespread use of education technologies in the future, in particular the digital divide related to access to reliable high-speed internet, electricity and places of quiet learning. It concludes with policy-relevant observations of learners and educators for governments seeking to increase engagement with edtech.

Top tips for learners:

1. The most valuable quality of edtech is flexibility, so take advantage of the potential of edtech to adapt to your life and your situation.

2. Consider the blended option that combines asynchronous (online, on-demand) and synchronous (live, in-person or online) teaching – this is the most popular use of edtech among those that we interviewed.

3. Consider edtech as an option regardless of life stage or organization size – it is not limited to younger age groups or large organizations.

Six key trends in edtech:

1. Short or short videos

2. Integrated learning and practice

3. Role of AI and machine learning in learning and assessment

4. Micro-degrees are gaining traction in professional learning and employment contexts

5. Gamification and simulation

6. Augmented or virtual reality/metavers


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