Like Post-pandemic Office, Future of College Classroom is Hybrid

Employees who transitioned from working in an office to working from home is not the only group questioning the value of returning to the way things were pre-pandemic.

Like many office employees who would value the option to work from anywhere, college and university students want to continue to access campus computers, workstations, and software from home, dormitory room, and other “remote” locations, a recent Splashtop survey found.

Among 500 North American and European students surveyed:

  • Nearly all (92 percent) expect their colleges and universities to offer remote access to on-campus computers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • A majority (83 percent) believe a hybrid model—a mix of in-person and online learning—should be the future of learning in higher education.

“It’s natural for students and workers — who are now accustomed to accessing computing tools from anywhere — to embrace the flexibility that remote access offers,” said Mark Lee, CEO of Splashtop, a next-generation remote access and remote support company. “As difficult as many aspects of COVID life have been, students told us they have appreciated not needing to be physically on campus to use college computer labs, and that they prefer to choose when and how they complete their work on their own schedules.”

The Splashtop research results closely track to studies done on the post-pandemic office. For example, Gartner has found 82 percent of the business managers it surveyed intend to implement a hybrid workplace. Although prior to COVID, telecommuting employees were a familiar aspect of working life, workers now expect even more flexibility than many companies offered pre-pandemic.

When the 2020 COVID quarantines forced institutions to close their doors, most colleges and universities were unprepared to provide students and faculty with remote access to campus-based computers and software. However, many schools pivoted, leveraging tools such as Splashtop, and provided online remote access to computer resources.

According to Lee, many places of higher learning are planning to continue to offer a remote alternative to in-person learning, even as COVID risks abate. “

Even if COVID were to disappear tomorrow, it would be short-sighted of higher education to drop the remote access option they have relied on throughout the pandemic.