Doing More With Less: Technology & Current Priorities in Higher Education II
Posted by Steve Strathearn
Part 2: Business Analytics and Automation Help Bolster Successful Students
Business Analytics is the future
In November 2015, the US Department of Education made the official “move toward a new focus on student outcomes and transparency.” A key part of this new focus is the improvement of communications between the DoE, accreditors and institutions: replicable information-sharing processes ensure clear guidelines and a better avenue for success. Business analytics, such as in the success of Georgia State and the ambitious plans at University of California, Riverside that I discussed in Part 1 of this blog, are an increasingly important part of a winning strategy for improved institutional effectiveness and student success. I predict the directive for better communications amongst accreditation stakeholders, driven by the Department of Education, heralds a change from voluntary institution-motivated, data-driven decision-making to it becoming a requirement.
Technological innovations have already made it possible for colleges and universities to analyze and build strategies to better serve their constituents based on data. Given criticisms levelled at the Higher Education community about campus management, including student success and institutional effectiveness, reporting standards will soon mandate this kind of analysis and reporting. Schools on the leading edge of this trend will be at a great advantage and may even play a role in determining what this “standardization of information-sharing processes” will look like. It also means the data will already be there, just waiting to be analyzed and used to build predictive models for student success.
Keeping up with the Students
Mobile devices are ubiquitous among students, faculty and staff. Our recently announced new customer, Louisburg College, is one institution showing an unshakeable commitment to the importance of mobile on campus. The question now is how to accommodate this highly connected digital world citizenry for a rich campus experience (whether physically on campus or remotely). This means not only incorporating digital and mobile into learning environments, and administrative relationships between students and institutions, but also using that collected data to analyze and improve on student and institutional success.
As we have seen, student success is the hot topic in higher education right now, and rightly so; any consideration of new technologies for institutional success must include a discussion about how student success will be affected. According to EDUCAUSE Center for Analysis and Research (ECAR), the highest items on students’ wish list is for faculty to use a configurable, early-alert system to notify potential academic problems as soon and possible, issuing alerts to students, instructors, advisors and others.
Student success analytics drives the technologies that provide personalized learning opportunities, notifications, alerts, and recommendations to students. Students are interested in the technologies that can help them complete courses, improve learning, achieve their degrees, and generally improve their experiences as students (ECAR).
ECAR’s research concluded that “most students support institutional use of their data to advise them on academic progress in courses and programs.”
This isn’t sci-fi. We have the technology to help campuses looking to make efficient use of the data resources they already possess, but may not be using. Give your students what they want, and what will help your campus to greater success: a digital experience that supports your aspiration and their goals to complete their studies and become the leaders of tomorrow. Business analytics and an integrated digital experience can provide the tools and resources for institutions everywhere to do more with less.
Read Part 1 here.