Trending Professional Development Topics in Higher Education

Trending Professional Development Topics in Higher Education

Educators have always had to stay on top of their field and keep up to date with their skills and knowledge. But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demands and expectations placed upon them have changed—and grown—at breakneck speed. Learning new technologies, moving coursework to a virtual environment, and engaging and supporting students from a distance are only some of the many new tasks added to educators’ already busy jobs.

Online professional development and training can be an essential means of providing educators with the information and tools they need to sharpen their skills, better support their students, and successfully meet those challenges. Usage on the Infobase Learning Cloud Professional Development & Training platform has increased by 200% in the last year, with interactive, proprietary, and engaging courses that empower educators—and their students—to thrive during these changing times. Check out the current trending top course topics below.

To learn more, please visit the Infobase Learning Cloud Professional Development and Training Platform product page.

1. Technology Training

Excel Basics courseIt is no surprise that the most utilized courses for educators recently have been productivity applications such as Microsoft Office and Google Apps, followed closely by training on learning management systems as well as Zoom, Teams, and other video collaboration technologies. This makes complete sense as instructors who primarily taught in person continued to brush up on technology skills and find ways to leverage new platforms to deliver content online more effectively this academic year.


2. Online Instruction  

Canvas courses

Strategies for optimizing online teaching and improving small areas of instruction also rank high in popular higher ed professional development topics on the Infobase Learning Cloud. In particular, educators have been looking to courses on creating effective presentations, facilitating productive online discussions, evaluating web resources, and designing engaging online courses and lessons—along with ones on improving or ensuring the accessibility of resources they are using (creating an accessible syllabus, accessible documents, and a digitally accessible campus).


3. Social and Emotional Learning

Social and emotional learning (SEL) coursesInterestingly, we’re seeing a rise in social and emotional learning courses of late, which we have not historically seen for the higher ed community. Topics like dealing with depression, emotional well-being and stress reduction, and the importance of understanding student mental health are trending—and based on the course content, it appears they’re being used both for self-help as well as for supporting students.


4. Self-Improvement/Academic Integrity

APA 7th edition courseAlso ranking high in popularity are resources for educators to help their students be more successful and practice academic integrity—especially now that they may not be together in person. APA and MLA citations, avoiding plagiarism, academic integrity, and being an effective online student all appear at the top of customers’ usage, along with courses on time management, effective listening, and customer service.

Online professional development is a powerful tool for academic institutions as they evolve to engage staff and students both on and off campus. Infobase remains committed to supporting educators through relevant, outcome-based professional learning experiences.

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