The latest research from ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and edX (a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU)) explores the post-pandemic role of educational technology, or edtech, and identifies tips and trends for users
ACCA's report, EdTech: Supercharging careers in accountancy, developed jointly with edX, highlights the ‘anytime-anyplace’ approach to learning that it makes possible. It also details how this flexibility was the most valued edtech attribute in a global survey of over 1,400 learners and educators connected to accountancy.
For learners, it reveals that edtech has the potential to boost career development with the following top tips: leverage the potential of edtech to fit around one’s life; consider the blended learning option and see edtech as an option regardless of life stage or organisational size.
The most frequently cited devices for learning were portable ones, including laptops (88%) and mobiles (eg smartphones) at 72%; with tablets cited by 44%; 52% reported the use of desktops. These findings have implications for the visual design and delivery of learning content and assessments. Content developers and assessment providers need to ensure their content can be experienced to similar quality across devices.
Alan Hatfield, executive director – content, quality and innovation, comments: ‘These findings chime with ACCA’s own experiences as we seek to continue driving equitable access globally. Some of our established efforts, such as ACCA-X, offering free ACCA courses online through our partnership with edX, have already shown us the power of technology. We also see increasing numbers of our Approved Learning Partners utilising AI and algorithms to better support students and their learning outcomes. We remain excited about the possibilities for the future in this fast-evolving space.’
For educators, the research also revealed six key trends in edtech including bite-sized videos, integrated learning and practice, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled learning and assessment, micro-credentials, gamification and simulation, and augmented or virtual realities (AR/VR), including the metaverse.
Lee Rubenstein, vice president of partnerships at 2U said: ‘Microcredentials, including boot camps, short courses, and other online and blended credit-bearing learning formats, are increasingly recognized by employers as a means of demonstrating employee qualifications. We are excited to work with ACCA to help leading enterprises across the globe embrace online learning as a credible and widely accepted modality to help employees acquire new skills, pursue career advancement, and contribute to enterprise agility.’
While large learning partners were able to invest in the resources for a learning platform, other partners and providers have innovated in various ways, including micro video lessons on various accountancy topics, open-source textbooks, creating custom exam practice software, etc. Digital content, in particular, has gained traction, with 91% of those engaged with edtech reporting use of eBooks or digital content.
However, the research also identified the existence of barriers to the more widespread use of edtech in the future, in particular the digital divide which relates to access to reliable high-speed internet, power and quiet learning places. It concludes with policy-relevant observations from learners and educators for governments seeking to increase engagement with edtech.
Top tips for learners:
Six key trends in edtech:
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ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 241,000 members and 542,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.
We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society that supports both public and private sectors. That’s why we’re committed to the development of a strong global accountancy profession and the many benefits that this brings to society and individuals.
Since 1904 being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. And because we’re a not-for-profit organisation, we build a sustainable global profession by re-investing our surplus to deliver member value and develop the profession for the next generation.
Through our world leading ACCA Qualification, we offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. And using our respected research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing us for tomorrow.
ACCA and CA ANZ have formed a strategic alliance for the benefit of members and to help shape the future of the profession. Find out more about us at accaglobal.com
edX is the education movement for restless learners and a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU). Together with the majority of the world’s top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies, we bring our community of over 40 million learners world-class education to support them at every stage of their lives and careers, from free courses to full degrees. And we’re not stopping there – we’re relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location. Learn more at www.edx.org