The Need of Integrating Digital Education in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities
2. Digital Education
2.1. Education, Teaching, and Technology
2.2. The Role of ICT
2.3. Digital Education Types
3. Challenges of Digital Education
- Digital literacy: Both students and teachers need to have a basic understanding of computers to function well in an internet context. The ability to effectively use technology to locate information, evaluate sources, produce content, and communicate with others is known as digital literacy. It is a set of skills used to navigate society’s new technological paradigm. It is extremely beneficial to be digitally literate in order to learn effectively online. Without these advanced technologies, students cannot succeed in an online program; students or teaching assistants can convey the entire program to a halt .
- Lack of teacher–student direct interactions: It is simple to misjudge the amount of teacher contact students receive on campus. This instructional segment, which includes actual question-and-answer sitting, comes next. There is a chance for debate right before and after learning, during office hours, and chance interactions in the hallway. These are not available for digital education .
- Need for self-discipline: Many learners find it difficult to maintain self-control in a classroom setting in higher education. For the remainder of their time, they are not continuously being checked on by their educators and parents. They do not lose their privilege to socialize if they skip class or assignments. Others need time and internal motivation to focus on the task at hand. In online courses, it is much simpler to “skip class” or miss an assignment .
- Technological obstacles: We prefer to presume that everybody has access to a laptop or desktop workstation of the most recent model. However, despite being a generation of “digital natives”, not every child has had the same degree of internet access. Using mobile devices in online activity became the norm for people’s habits. Even though all of their details come from their phone plan, some people have limited access to the internet or Wi-Fi .
- Meeting deadlines: Although this issue is related to the self-control component, it merits its own entry. Students can learn at their own pace using this method, which is one of its key advantages. However, the gain could also be a liability. There comes a time after the term when “their own pace” turns into “perfectionism and a mad scramble”. It is important to support students in keeping up their pace before the final deadline .
- Digital education is not appropriate for practical sessions: Digital and e-learning are incongruous with assessment tasks in higher education. Although e-learning provides actual session-related knowledge and preparations, the learner does not assess their performance or experience after completing the course. It is useless to have the knowledge and move it around randomly. Instead of emphasizing the development of practical abilities, the majority of digital content suppliers chose to concentrate on theoretical knowledge development. This is understandable because theoretical lectures are far simpler to implement in an online learning environment than practical courses. Since there is no workshop or face-to-face interaction, implementing practical projects in an online course needs far more advanced planning than theoretical instruction. Several research studies highlighted that digital education is inappropriate to teach practical competencies and hands-on skills [58,59].
4. Opportunities for Digital Education
- Improving teaching and learning: Digital technologies will improve the educational perspective for all our children and young adults. The majority of research that looked into how digital education affects learning discovered that it enhances the importance of educational development and the evolution of high-tech abilities. The focus of education in the future is on digital technologies, which will completely replace current educational approaches [61,62]. Other sources all indicate that our pupils are already very familiar with digital technology and will assist in its increased use as part of their education .
- Growing return on investment in higher education: Financial trends, especially in high industries, have contributed to a decline in jobs and new firm growth. That is why innovation is essential in a competitive and globalized worksite. The workplace’s competitive nature exacerbates these patterns. Innovations and entrepreneurial skills are crucial for promoting job creation, as evidenced by the field of research and development .
- Increasing parental and school engagement: According to encouraging research, using digital tools and software to communicate directly with parents would increase student adherence to teacher requirements for participation and behavior and enhance learning . The K–12 teaching system may be more pertinent, interesting, and participatory for students who use technology.
- Reducing inequality: Creating an innovation-rich curriculum would improve learning possibilities for many high-poverty, rural, urban, and marginalized students who may not have other exposure to these critical assets. The expand of ICT and global interconnection can speed up learning and education progress, reduce the digital divide, and develop knowledge-rich societies through diverse areas. Several works show how ICT can play important roles in improving economic and poverty alleviation through numerous influencing factors, such as education, the income, and ICT capabilities . Moreover, other studies emphasize the benefits of utilizing ICT for learning and educational processes [66,67,68]. It is convincing to argue that using digital education through ICT will allow students from different areas to access and acquire information, knowledge, and content at any time. Making rich content and innovative curricula available online will eventually reduce the inequality in acquiring the needed information. On the other hand, these studies showed how digital technologies are more usable today, and how that will lead eventually to reducing the digital divide aspect in the education.
- Anywhere and anytime: The virtual classroom is available around the clock. Time availability is another benefit of the online learning style. The ability to interact in classroom activities while juggling work, social, and study commitments is made possible through communications using online meeting systems . Students today use personal technology every day to communicate, work together, interact, explore, and learn. Whether they are in a car, at home, on a train, or in the school hallways, they remain attentive to their surroundings. Students are highly exposed to digital technology, thus, it is easier to express their aspirations on social media platforms and follow their favorite celebrities on Twitter, and to use technology in many other areas of their lives, including reading and writing.
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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Alenezi, M.; Wardat, S.; Akour, M. The Need of Integrating Digital Education in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities. Sustainability 2023, 15, 4782. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064782
Alenezi M, Wardat S, Akour M. The Need of Integrating Digital Education in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities. Sustainability. 2023; 15(6):4782. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064782Chicago/Turabian Style
Alenezi, Mamdouh, Saja Wardat, and Mohammed Akour. 2023. "The Need of Integrating Digital Education in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities" Sustainability 15, no. 6: 4782. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064782