In response to the challenges of the last 18 months, colleges have integrated multiple learning modalities for student instruction. In an article in eCampusNews, Kyle Shea points out that the shift has long-term benefits for institutions. He notes, “Flexible learning environments let institutions achieve greater enrollment, build more diverse student populations, and align learning with industry.” Shea points out that the move toward diverse modalities yields more diverse students. He writes:
“Geography no longer needs to dictate the educational program a student chooses. If a student from Idaho is interested in a program from a university in Boston, online learning can make that wish a reality without forcing the student to move. As a result, programs can expand their student cohort and open the door to a richer learning experience for everyone.
As hybrid programs make accessibility easier for more learners, classroom discussions can benefit from students with a variety of life and career experiences. Unity College saw this happen when it changed learning models–the average age of its student body jumped from 19 to 30 years of age since the start of the pandemic.”