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2023 Higher Education Technology Trends

As industry-leading educational game developers, we’re here to keep you up to date on all the latest edtech trends. Since we’re already almost halfway through the year, we wanted to investigate the top higher education technology trends of 2023. 

As this year unfolds, higher education institutions are continuing to embrace edtech to enhance their operations and improve the student experience! From artificial intelligence and machine learning to virtual and augmented reality, here are some of the top technology trends expected to impact higher education in 2023!

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Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Unless you haven’t looked at the news at all this year, you’ll know that AI is rapidly transforming the education sector! From here, higher education institutions are expected to further integrate AI into their operations in 2023 and beyond. If you’ve checked out our thoughts on Applied AI and the Future of Work, you’ll also know that applied AI can be beneficial when it comes to automation, personalization, decision-making, and innovation. 

Many leaders in the higher education space are especially excited about the personalization aspect of AI. David Morales, the CIO and senior vice president of technology of Western Governors University, told Campus Technology, “I predict that institutions will further utilize machine learning models to identify moments when students require just-in-time interventions to support them during their learning journey… A proactive data approach will lead to more successful outcomes and empower our students by providing essential tools and personalization to set them up for success.” CTO of EdPlus at Arizona State University, Matt Rhoton, echoes this statement in the same Campus Technology article: “Providing a more personalized experience and meeting the students where they are in their higher ed journey is becoming increasingly important.” 

So what might this proactive approach to AI in higher education look like? AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants will likely be used to provide students with individualized support and assistance, while intelligent tutoring systems will help students receive more personalized instruction and feedback tailored to their specific needs. Additionally, by teaching students about AI and its applications in various industries, educators can equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.

The Metaverse and Extended Reality (XR)

The metaverse, often in the form of virtual and augmented reality, has been gaining traction in higher education in recent years. These technologies allow university students to immerse themselves in virtual learning environments and experience real-life scenarios that are difficult to replicate in traditional classrooms.

For example, Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta, offers courses in the metaverse, where digital worlds and learning environments are accessed through a VR headset. The college is using the metaverse to offer its students a more in-depth learning experience, preparing them for a future in a world where technology is increasingly prevalent in the workforce. 

What’s more, Arizona State University (ASU) has partnered with Zoom to launch the Zoom Innovation Lab at ASU, which will bring together resources across the university to create solutions to improve access to learning opportunities, telehealth, and more. Currently, the university is working on creating ASUniverse, a metaverse platform that will use real-time 3D to simulate a virtual campus that is live and adaptive to its environment

Beyond Morehouse College and ASU, colleges and universities across the country are stepping into the metaverse as immersive solutions for hybrid and virtual learning are still a high priority, especially at a time when many students are unmotivated and disconnected from traditional learning methods.


As we predicted back in January, cybersecurity is a hot topic this year, and for good reason. As technology becomes more integrated into higher education institutions, online safety and security have to be an ongoing and significant priority. Institutions need to stay vigilant and ensure that their networks and data are secure from cyberattacks.

According to Patricia Kahn, the assistant vice president and CIO for Information Technology Services at the College of Staten Island, cybersecurity is going to be a top priority for all higher education institutions (if it isn’t already). To protect against threats and vulnerabilities, these institutions will need to update their processes and ensure compliance. This can be challenging for several reasons. 

Firstly, the user community accessing services from both on and off-campus needs to be made aware of the importance of cybersecurity. Secondly, limited staff and financial resources make it difficult to implement cybersecurity processes and technologies. Lastly, Kahn notes that decision-making and policies must be more focused and timely to prevent cybersecurity attacks. 

Many campuses are beginning to adapt to new policies such as multi-factor authentication and turning off machines to receive updates, but ongoing communication and training are needed to maintain a commitment to cybersecurity awareness.

Game-based Learning and Gamification

The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced higher education institutions to rethink how they deliver education, with virtual and hybrid learning becoming the norm. Game-based learning is an effective post-pandemic solution for higher education, as it can work to reignite many students’ interest in learning. 

Games based on significant real-world problems can leverage an incredible amount of energy and passion, as well as work toward real-life solutions. Moreover, many studies have reported that higher education students are more engaged and motivated when they are taught using playful pedagogy rather than the traditional lecture-based method. 

Wondering what high-quality educational games look like in higher education? We have a couple of examples for you! 

In Contents Under Pressure, a game we created with Rowan University, players take on the role of a senior engineer at a chemical plant and make multiple binary decisions each day, balancing the plant’s output, safety, time, and reputation. The game starts with relatively easy decisions, but as players progress, the stakes become higher as a catastrophic hurricane approaches, threatening to destroy the plant. Players receive information every day from characters in the game and must use their own risk management skills and knowledge of the industry to make effective decisions and keep the plant running smoothly.

Games can make excellent study tools outside the lecture hall as well. Medibytes is a game where players play as a student involved in a university-run AI project to create a general AI that can mimic human behavior. The game tasks players with teaching the AI medical terminology through various activities, while also studying the material themselves to reinforce their own understanding. The game aims to deepen players’ grasp of medical terminology while providing a fun and engaging experience.

Overall, the flexibility and fun of game-based learning can’t be beat. Educational games can be played remotely, making them accessible to students regardless of their location, and can be played asynchronously, allowing students to learn at their own pace. 

Gamification is also becoming an increasingly popular strategy for engaging students and making learning more interactive and fun. While not as in-depth as game-based learning pedagogies, higher education institutions are also expected to continue to incorporate gamification elements into their curriculums and assessment methods in 2023 to increase student engagement and achievement.

The future is always approaching – and so is new technology! Higher education institutions will continue to leverage all types of tech to enhance their operations and provide students with a more personalized learning experience. From AI and machine learning to virtual and augmented reality, these technology trends will shape the future of higher education in 2023 and beyond.

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