Why Your School Should Invest In Academic Digitization Today
“In every problem, issue, or setback lie the seeds of opportunity. Every so-called upsetting situation is an opportunity for the creation of something new and beautiful.” – Deepak Chopra
This year our world has been turned upside down by the spread of COVID-19. It has caused extreme hardship for millions of people and has forced most of human society to make massive changes to how they live.
In the United States, the delivery of education has been drastically altered, potentially permanently. While it’s hard to see a silver lining in the circumstances of widespread campus shutdowns that created immediate challenges for students and schools alike, this moment in time has presented the education sector with seeds of opportunity.
While schools are working tirelessly to succeed in the immediate future, the changes they make today will have drastic impacts on their success in the coming years. One big way career schools can set themselves up now for success for years to come is by investing in academic digitization.
Unparralleled Efficiency Through Integration
Schools that choose to collect and manage student data through paper-based processes will be left in the wake of those that adopt software to streamline those processes. Simply having an SIS and/or LMS in place won’t ensure efficiency because those systems require an input of data, which many schools still require staff to do manually. Delays in student data management resulting from manual processes lead to greater issues of delays in funding, frustration for faculty, and uninformed students.
By adopting technology to automate the collection and sharing of student data such as attendance and grades, schools can implement simpler processes of data management that don’t require staff members to be involved every step of the way.
Through integration, software enables data from the classroom to be uploaded into the SIS instantly, allowing staff members to focus on helping students succeed. Software like CourseKey’s mobile attendance solution connects with the other systems schools have in place, enabling seamless data transfers between the two. Integration transforms the individual systems schools use into one efficient ecosystem.
Through automation and integration, faculty and students can experience real-time insight into their progression, giving both parties maximum time to keep students back on track. Schools empowered by real-time insight can produce higher retention numbers and instill confidence in prospective students that they will be well-supported in their journey.
As Millennials transition into administrative and instructional roles, they will also expect efficient workplace operations. Technology and software makes their jobs much easier and will be integral to attracting and retaining quality hires in years to come.
Many of the software systems available to schools to digitize operations are cloud-based, meaning they can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection. By choosing to transition to cloud-based operations now, schools will experience higher levels of efficiency in the coming years regardless of if students are learning remotely or in on-ground classes. Not to mention, staff members will also easily be able to do their jobs from home if necessary.
Meeting Gen Z Expectations
Gen Z learners are now entering their mid-twenties, which means career education schools are likely starting to enroll the newest generation of students. Even more than the Millennials before them, Gen Z students grew up with technology and have been conditioned by it to expect immediate access to information.
In their education, that means access to up-to-date information about attendance and grades in their courses. After a day of classes, students expect attendance from those classes to be included in their record when they check where they stand.
By incorporating their mobile devices into the lesson as an attendance and learning tool, schools can appeal to new students by showing that their school is on the cutting edge of technology adoption.
Supporting And Training Faculty
In a survey of faculty that experienced the transition to remote learning in early 2020, 55% noted that a digital tool or platform, learning management system (LMS), and/or content provider was a helpful source of support. External organizations provided guidance to support the transition and played an important role as trusted partners and resources to faculty.
Schools that adopt digital solutions will have the tools in place to support faculty members to more effectively carry out administrative tasks and training for them to handle edge-cases or other possible challenges they may encounter.
Technology vendors will also work together with schools as they grow and are available to support faculty as necessary. Because most vendors have worked with many different schools, they have helped solve a variety of issues and have knowledge about how to handle certain challenges.
Most vendors will do more than merely provide their software and then leave administrators and IT teams alone to learn how to use it. They provide extensive training for faculty and make sure that faculty members are well versed and comfortable using the technology.
Smoothly Scaling Up
Before the pandemic, schools that wanted to increase their program and course offerings had to take into consideration the physical space needed to accommodate a larger student body and the increase in back office workload administrators would be asked to manage. But because online courses are built on software and made up of digital workflows, schools can add programs without worrying about expanding learning facilities or causing more administrative strain on faculty. Systems can take over operations pertaining to student data management, meaning schools won’t have to hire additional staff members to keep operations running smoothly.
Taking The Next Step
Not only will schools that adopt digital solutions be more likely to succeed in the immediate future, they will be implementing digital transformations that will position themselves for success for years to come.
Is your school digitizing appropriately to succeed, or are you at risk of falling behind your competition?
To speak with a CourseKey team member about how to address the pain points your school is experiencing, fill out the form below.