Our Top 5 Trends for Edtech in 2022

Construct works globally; from emerging economies to Ivy League schools. This means I get to work on so many exciting projects from the University of Michigan to the IFC – International Finance Corporation, VVOB to the University of Oxford. Since 2013, Construct has also been a small but growing cog in the growth of online programs from the birth of the #moocs phenomenon to the rise of the #opm space.

Whilst I’m no Phil Hill, Michael Feldstein, William Tincup, or Dhawal Shah, I have been privileged to have a fairly unique view of the market. It’s from this view of the market, combined with feedback from the hundreds of my colleagues in the Construct instructional design, and learning technology project management teams, that I’ve put together a list of the top five trends I expect for 2022:

1. The further rise of the ‘Education Marketplaces

We expect to see the significant continued growth of platforms such as edX, Coursera, and FutureLearn, as well as the exciting entry of a new platform – the Noodle Learning Platform. By generating revenue from every stage of the online journey these platforms have disrupted the fundamental cost of learner acquisition – the biggest drag factor in online learning.

2. Interoperability

The growth of digital taxonomies, internal libraries, and the ability to reuse digital learning objects across institutions from school to school will help universities save huge costs as the digital transformation continues.

3. Hybrid Learning

If 2021 taught us anything it’s that there is no such thing as online or face-to-face only anymore. Hybrid is the new normal. This will have a bigger impact on universities and corporate training than the rise of the MOOC in 2014. New platforms like Engageli have certainly piqued my interest in this space.

4. Competency-Based Learning

With the employment market in flux, corporates will push for competency-based learning to up-skill a new generation of Career-Starters and Career-Changers.

5. Mergers & Acquisitions

There will be a number of smaller niche players swallowed up in 2022 and more deals that look like the purchase of edX by 2U as the market consolidates. I also have my eye on two or three major players in the US that will go public soon.

What has become apparent is that these trends are driven by ‘edunomics’ rather than a radical shift to new technologies such as VR, AR, and adaptive learning which whilst are evolving rapidly, remain emergent.

In July 2020 Scott Galloway created a prescient chart looking at universities across the United States, based on their value versus vulnerability. This still provides a very useful lens as we go deeper into the new year and plan for the Fall intake.

For me, it’s a case of ‘urgent reality before augmented reality’ for universities in 2022, coupled with innovation and quality.


Carl Dawson

Carl Dawson
Founder & Head of Partnerships