How Digital Transformation Can Drastically Improve Student Metrics

Katherine Manning August 11, 2021 Higher Education

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Over 1.5 billion students around the globe were forced to leave their classrooms when COVID-19 hit, expediting the digital revolution of education. However, online education is not the only manner in which digital technologies are being used to improve student metrics. 

It may serve as a warning sign for bureaucratic procedures that need improvement. Many in the field of education cannot describe it, or comprehend how it might benefit their schools. 

What precisely is digital transformation (DX), and how can it improve student metrics? How can discerning higher education administrators guarantee that their investments are made in solutions that help them achieve their financial, operational, and strategic objectives? Beginning with a more profound knowledge of digital transformation and how it improves student metrics, this executive brief will provide you with the answers you’ve been seeking.

What is digital transformation, and how does it work in higher education?

Using technology and data, digital transformation may be defined as developing an organization’s fundamental business processes. It is a complete overhaul of an organization’s operations.  The ultimate aim of digital transformation is to improve customer service while also streamlining company processes.

For instance, consider the fact that education is a service industry where the consumers are students with an enormous number of learning choices to select from; such as private vs. public schools, online versus on-campus learning, and full-time versus part-time enrollment possibilities. 

With more options than ever before, college and university administrators are trying to retain a competitive advantage.  This is especially worrisome when you consider the decreasing percentage of high school graduates as a whole. How do educational institutions future-proof their organizations? Digital transformation.

As a result of this transition, many schools are rethinking what students should learn and how they should learn it. Traditional classroom instruction is changing, and technology is taking over the classroom.

The importance of digital transformation for improving student metrics

In the digital age, there is no such thing as a conventional student. When it comes to day-to-day life, it is increasingly typical for students to juggle job, family, and school obligations instead of being on campus full time and solely focused on attending classes.

Higher education institutions may do the following via technology implementation and data:

  • To attract and retain students, use digital channels such as social media, websites, email marketing, and more.
  • Analyzing big data to assess institutional performance and make data-driven choices.
  • Digitizing library assets so that they may be accessed online and by many students simultaneously.
  • Creating mobile applications to keep students informed about school activities, news, and other essential information. Around 98% of people between 17 and 24 own a smartphone.

These are only a few examples of what is feasible in higher education due to digital transformation. Additional benefits may include:

Using data analytics to improve student metrics

With overwhelming sources drowning administrators in big data, it’s crucial to use data analytics to monitor student performance and improve results, among other things. Teachers may better know what individual students and classrooms need by evaluating data gathered via students’ technology usage in the school, which can then guide instruction strategy. 

It is far easier to assist a student course-correct if you can pinpoint exactly what they misunderstand about a particular topic. Technological advancements may assist us in diagnosing such shortcomings much more quickly and accurately than an individual instructor could accomplish manually.

Digitized interactive learning can increase student engagement by providing various learning channels that include micro courses, videos, interactive exams, and games, among others. 

There are interactive language mobile apps, for instance, that promise to reach more students who are interested in learning foreign languages than the traditional education system does. Thus, using mobile technologies and artificial intelligence (AI) can offer instructional techniques such as adaptive learning, which allow each student to learn most suitably based on their preferences and learning style and platform.

Breaking down siloed data sets

The abundance of metrics available in this age of digital data provides schools, universities, and training providers with valuable information about potential students, internal efficiency, user interactions, and other aspects of their operations. To put it another way, knowledge is significant.

Because this information is compartmentalized, it is often inaccurate or outdated. It would help if educational leaders receive fluid, timely, precise, and organized data to make informed predictions, make critical business decisions, and implement new effective educational initiatives. Implementing the right systems to receive fluid, timely, precise, and organized data is essential.

Undoubtedly, by understanding the types of solutions that will benefit your data the most, you can drill down into the insights that matter, filtering out redundant metrics or of little value while selecting the tools that will help you organize and analyze it correctly. And, you can automate data analytics to improve productivity.

Blockchain Technology (also known as distributed ledger technology)

Blockchain is best known for making Bitcoin possible, but it also provides excellent security. Higher education can utilize blockchain technology to do the following:

  • Verify an applicant’s academic credentials.
  • Distribution and sharing of students’ records.
  • Obtain access to employment and criminal history records.

Frequently, the terms Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are used interchangeably. Simple student inquiries, such as where the library is located or what time the cafeteria shuts, may be answered by artificial intelligence (AI) technologies that can be deployed throughout campuses. This may significantly drive a direct and positive impact for first-year students who are still adapting to the campus environment.

Achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act

Providing education that is accessible to everyone is a requirement of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and digital transformation is assisting schools and universities in going above and beyond. Students who are hard of hearing may benefit from tools developed for transcribing services, which can help them easily comprehend an entire lecture.

Students metrics are driving demand for digitization

Expectations are inducing a growing demand for digital services. In terms of student services, many prefer online self-serve portals for communicating. Additionally, students expect higher education services to provide experiences that are:

Omni-Channel: Experience is accessible asynchronously across various devices, providing a seamless user experience.

Hyper-personalized: Individualized information and services that are customized to a student’s location, circumstances, and other factors.

Beyond merely reacting to stakeholder expectations, forward-thinking university leaders are also examining how digital transformation may play a significant role in realizing organizational strategy and goals. The answers to these questions, which will vary from one university to the next, are critical in determining the objectives for digital transformation at each institution.

Form construction, for example, is used by universities to gather information of various kinds from students and staff. However, everything on the form can be completed for less money, with less difficulty, less time, and less manual labor. 

Consider the workflow around processing a refund. Wouldn’t that be more convenient if students could go into a digital student portal, see their account balance, and click a button to have it refunded? A large number of colleges and universities have ceased printing forms and instead made them available online. That is the result of digitization. Still, it can take time to overcome the perspective of “that’s the way we’ve always done it.”

In conclusion

We have only just scratched the surface. In addition to technical advancements, digital transformation in the classroom necessitates a shift in cultural attitudes. Educators and administrators must adopt a new way of thinking to succeed in today’s digitally-immersed environments. Thus, it’s vital to implement a new generation of bespoke software and technological solutions to assist schools in navigating this change and achieving a more promising future for all students.

ProcessMaker provides an award-winning low-code BPM platform that has helped colleges and universities worldwide to automate their workflows and embark upon strategic digital transformation.

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