Prioritising students: How technology is changing education

Learners and students, from primary school to tertiary education are expecting more from their educational experience. Raised with their fingers glued to digital devices, they go to school or university and expect the same digital speed and ease they’re used to in their everyday life to find answers to questions or queries. From using predictive analytics to determine if a student will pass or not, to using machine learning to mark papers, we can’t deny that technology is moving rapidly in the academic world.  

Chris Harrison, CTO of Nova South Eastern University notes: “One of the biggest challenges that higher ed has, in general, is really supporting the most important constituent—which is the student. For us, the students play a critical role at the center of what we do here on a day-to-day basis. And really, we’ve been struggling for years to provide the service that the student needs surround.” Students, Chris points out, are hyperconnected, often equipped with three or four different devices: a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, and a smartwatch. “They are,” Chris emphasizes, “constantly engaged, and they want to be engaged with the institution. They want to establish that connection.” 

Nova Southeastern University took supporting their students very seriously and decided to deploy AI chatbotto answer student questions about courses, class schedules, university facilities, and even payments. Universities get an influx of queries and human help desks or call centre’s that students can contact are usually in place but have limitations such as only being available during certain hours or not having enough staff available or lack of training to sufficiently answer these queries.  

Their chatbot answers these concerns with being able to work 24/7, 7 days a week, and are available on in any channel where chat works – WhatsApp, Social Media channels, or the portal or website. Instead of sending the students to one location, it’s available in any location that they’re currently using, making it less of a chore to get the help they need.   

NSU uses Power BI to see their chatbot KPI’s in real-time and although it has only recently been deployed, 8000 unique students have exchanged more than 55,000 interactive messages with it, relieving the help desk from many queries.  

This is the only the beginning of their journey and will continue to empower students by elevating the student experience through innovation.  

 

Managing the student lifecycle  

Managing the student lifecycle is a priority for most institutions, and leaders and administrators should be asking these questions:  

  • Are we taking advantage of the latest technology? 
  • Are our enrollment efforts identifying the best students for our institution? 
  • Do we have meaningful and actionable data to make smart decisions that can elevate our institution’s performance? 

Higher education institutions are under pressure to achieve strategic goals in several key areas, from government compliance to funding to return on their investment. They must adapt to the modern student journey, which is dominated by mobility and social media. Using Dynamics 365, institutions can: 

  • Attract and retain students 
  • Anticipate and fulfill student needs 
  • Identify and predict student performance 
  • Maintain reinvestment from alumni 

Grand Canyon University, based in Phoenix Arizona, has drastically increased the number of students they’ve enrolled by using Dynamics to predict and fulfill student needs, managing the entire student experience, changing education formats as well as tracking alumni once they have left.  

 

What technology can you implement to innovate? 

1. Personalised student profiles – Showcases the student profile which displays all aggregated personalised data about a student from across all departments to enable more efficient & effective delivery of services and personalised learning experiences. The profile can be used to manage prospective and enrolled students and can be infused with data from disparate systems, including SIS, LMS, ERP, and data warehouses. 

Watch how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gm3SywFJ7U 

2. Student portals – Schools can use Dynamics 365 portals to enhance the student experience. Highlights include use of the Knowledge base and Case/Ticket creation. Blogging, Polls, and Application Submissions highlighted as well. 

See how this works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CcXeCaZE8Y 

3. Case, requests, and ticket management – Tickets can be submitted from people across the school, including students, Faculty and parents.  

Watch how Case Management works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ70twvudUs 

4. Self Service knowledge base  A knowledge base allows faculty, staff, and students to resolve their own issues in a self-service manner. See how to create, edit, and publish knowledge base articles and how this content answers your questions from within the portal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXF7zKv1NUI 

 5. Social Engagement  Social Engagement puts powerful social tools in the hands of relevant personnel helping them to communicate with students and gain insight into how people feel about your institution. 

 

Other innovative implementations 

Keeping studentand their families safe is also a priority in South Africa and institutions are placing CCTV cameras that have number plate recognition on their properties. These then automatically send a text message to the student that their lift has arrived, and flags security should number plates not be recognised.  

Microsoft Teams have helped classes continue during lockdown with digital classroomsLecturers and teachers can set up a team for each class, with different lectures and class dates assigned to different channels. Each channel could have a series of tabs that would, in effect, constitute the class. No textbooks are used and real-time digital inking and problem solving with in-class chat streams and collaboration from the learning community would serve as the course material.   

Although there are multiple challenges and obstacles to re-imagining and re-designing education, the opportunities are enormous. Increasingly, those opportunities can be found in savvy technology solutions that reflect an emerging philosophy around learning. 

We have helped many universities, such as Nelson Mandela University, engage their students, and would love to start your organisation on its digital journey.  

 

Get Started  

  1. Identify your priorities.  
  2. Choose which tech you think your organisation needs.  
  3. Fill in the form below and we will contact you.  

Prioritising students: How technology is changing education

Learners and students, from primary school to tertiary education are expecting more from their educational experience. Raised with their fingers glued to digital devices, they go to school or university and expect the same digital speed and ease they’re used to in their everyday life to find answers to questions or queries. From using predictive analytics to determine if a student will pass or not, to using machine learning to mark papers, we can’t deny that technology is moving rapidly in the academic world.  

Chris Harrison, CTO of Nova South Eastern University notes: “One of the biggest challenges that higher ed has, in general, is really supporting the most important constituent—which is the student. For us, the students play a critical role at the center of what we do here on a day-to-day basis. And really, we’ve been struggling for years to provide the service that the student needs surround.” Students, Chris points out, are hyperconnected, often equipped with three or four different devices: a laptop, a tablet, a smartphone, and a smartwatch. “They are,” Chris emphasizes, “constantly engaged, and they want to be engaged with the institution. They want to establish that connection.” 

Nova Southeastern University took supporting their students very seriously and decided to deploy AI chatbotto answer student questions about courses, class schedules, university facilities, and even payments. Universities get an influx of queries and human help desks or call centre’s that students can contact are usually in place but have limitations such as only being available during certain hours or not having enough staff available or lack of training to sufficiently answer these queries.  

Their chatbot answers these concerns with being able to work 24/7, 7 days a week, and are available on in any channel where chat works – WhatsApp, Social Media channels, or the portal or website. Instead of sending the students to one location, it’s available in any location that they’re currently using, making it less of a chore to get the help they need.   

NSU uses Power BI to see their chatbot KPI’s in real-time and although it has only recently been deployed, 8000 unique students have exchanged more than 55,000 interactive messages with it, relieving the help desk from many queries.  

This is the only the beginning of their journey and will continue to empower students by elevating the student experience through innovation.  

 

Managing the student lifecycle  

Managing the student lifecycle is a priority for most institutions, and leaders and administrators should be asking these questions:  

  • Are we taking advantage of the latest technology? 
  • Are our enrollment efforts identifying the best students for our institution? 
  • Do we have meaningful and actionable data to make smart decisions that can elevate our institution’s performance? 

Higher education institutions are under pressure to achieve strategic goals in several key areas, from government compliance to funding to return on their investment. They must adapt to the modern student journey, which is dominated by mobility and social media. Using Dynamics 365, institutions can: 

  • Attract and retain students 
  • Anticipate and fulfill student needs 
  • Identify and predict student performance 
  • Maintain reinvestment from alumni 

Grand Canyon University, based in Phoenix Arizona, has drastically increased the number of students they’ve enrolled by using Dynamics to predict and fulfill student needs, managing the entire student experience, changing education formats as well as tracking alumni once they have left.  

 

What technology can you implement to innovate? 

1. Personalised student profiles – Showcases the student profile which displays all aggregated personalised data about a student from across all departments to enable more efficient & effective delivery of services and personalised learning experiences. The profile can be used to manage prospective and enrolled students and can be infused with data from disparate systems, including SIS, LMS, ERP, and data warehouses. 

Watch how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gm3SywFJ7U 

2. Student portals – Schools can use Dynamics 365 portals to enhance the student experience. Highlights include use of the Knowledge base and Case/Ticket creation. Blogging, Polls, and Application Submissions highlighted as well. 

See how this works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CcXeCaZE8Y 

3. Case, requests, and ticket management – Tickets can be submitted from people across the school, including students, Faculty and parents.  

Watch how Case Management works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ70twvudUs 

4. Self Service knowledge base  A knowledge base allows faculty, staff, and students to resolve their own issues in a self-service manner. See how to create, edit, and publish knowledge base articles and how this content answers your questions from within the portal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXF7zKv1NUI 

 5. Social Engagement  Social Engagement puts powerful social tools in the hands of relevant personnel helping them to communicate with students and gain insight into how people feel about your institution. 

 

Other innovative implementations 

Keeping studentand their families safe is also a priority in South Africa and institutions are placing CCTV cameras that have number plate recognition on their properties. These then automatically send a text message to the student that their lift has arrived, and flags security should number plates not be recognised.  

Microsoft Teams have helped classes continue during lockdown with digital classroomsLecturers and teachers can set up a team for each class, with different lectures and class dates assigned to different channels. Each channel could have a series of tabs that would, in effect, constitute the class. No textbooks are used and real-time digital inking and problem solving with in-class chat streams and collaboration from the learning community would serve as the course material.   

Although there are multiple challenges and obstacles to re-imagining and re-designing education, the opportunities are enormous. Increasingly, those opportunities can be found in savvy technology solutions that reflect an emerging philosophy around learning. 

We have helped many universities, such as Nelson Mandela University, engage their students, and would love to start your organisation on its digital journey.  

 

Get Started  

  1. Identify your priorities.  
  2. Choose which tech you think your organisation needs.  
  3. Fill in the form below and we will contact you.  

Written by

Tania Camacho

As a digital storyteller and marketing professional at Enterprisecloud, Tania helps businesses understand the importance of their customers and how to be truly customer-centric using customer engagement tech. She studied Industrial Psychology and did her research in Consumer Behaviour, which is where her fascination for marketing began. She has written content for companies like Mastercard, Internet Solutions, and Blue Label Telecoms. 

Written by

Tania Camacho

As a digital storyteller and marketing professional at Enterprisecloud, Tania helps businesses understand the importance of their customers and how to be truly customer-centric using customer engagement tech. She studied Industrial Psychology and did her research in Consumer Behaviour, which is where her fascination for marketing began. She has written content for companies like Mastercard, Internet Solutions, and Blue Label Telecoms. 

Does your organisation need to manage work more efficiently?

CONTACT US

Does your organisation need to manage work more efficiently?

CONTACT US
EC Logo
© EC 2020 All rights reserved