Before the pandemic, the discussion surrounding higher education moving more and more online was simply that, a discussion.
In one year, higher education was forced online. The move from lecture halls to virtual classrooms brought along some operational and logistical considerations. Can campuses be socially distanced? How will students attend lectures? Are struggling students going to be visible in the virtual world?
Engaging and retaining students online has become a necessity. However, it doesn’t have to be a daunting or arduous undertaking. So, take a breath, and read on to find out how to maximize student success in the new normal.
Overcoming issues facing higher education today
Students now require unprecedented flexibility interacting with their classes. Create an environment where students can seamlessly engage with their studies, in-class and online. An environment where faculty have full visibility over a students’ overall progression.
Consider the following EdTech solution features for student success in the upcoming academic year.
Planning and creating academic timetables
The introduction of online learning, whether complete or blended, has added another level of complexity when planning and creating academic timetables for higher education. As well as being hybrid-ready, able to create online classes, look for a solution with space management functions.
The safety and well-being of students and faculty are of the utmost importance. Trying to optimize lecture hall capacity with social distancing measures in mind can be a difficult task in and of itself before considering the effect it will have on your overall campus management. How do you successfully assign students to online and physical classes? With a scheduled class of 150 and physical room capacity set at 75, the obvious approach would be to alternative online and physical classes between the students. However, there will be students who do not wish to attend any physical classes.
Give students the option to reserve their own seat for lectures. And when capacity is reached, allow for online attendance.
Add Online Lectures
Ideally, your chosen student scheduling solution should have the functionality to update legacy timetables with online lecture access details. This means that students will be able to log in to their classes seamlessly, all in one place.
Schedule Off-Campus Activities
Look for internship management capabilities to schedule work experience, clinical placements, apprenticeships, and other off-campus aspects of your student's education.
Tracking Online Student Attendance
A key indicator of student progress is attendance. Monitoring attendance can help identify and intervene with at-risk or underperforming students early before any irreparable damage is done. Again, before the pandemic, this task was by no means easy or straightforward. And with the forced inclusion of an online aspect to your education offering, capturing and reporting on this data has become another potential headache to find relief from.
Finding a software solution that can alleviate the stress and time spent tracking student attendance has become ‘a must have’ in today’s world. So, what practical advantages should you look to gain from your student attendance management system?
Simple Onboarding Process
Take note of the level of complexity involved in onboarding your existing data. Does the solution integrate with your current VLE and other campus technologies?
Ease of Use
Find a solution that is intuitive for both the faculty and students. This is key in ensuring maximum uptake and positive engagement with your chosen solution.
Comprehensive Reporting Capabilities
This point may seem self-explanatory, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Imagine you’ve just gone through buying and implementing an attendance monitoring system only to realize that there is no way of reporting or analyzing all that data you’ve collected. The data becomes largely useless without comprehensive reporting.
Switching from traditional paper-based attendance monitoring to a fully automated approach will dramatically improve administrative staff efficiency while reducing the administrative burden. The elimination of manual data entry will improve data accuracy and reliability.
Monitoring student engagement online
What happens after you’ve created your timetables and set up attendance tracking? What conclusions can you draw from the data on a student’s engagement levels?
To get a complete view of a student’s engagement with their education, find solutions that integrates with your existing campus technology, collecting data from several physical and digital data points and collate the information into an accurate picture of engagement.
In summation, the new normal is here, and higher education needs to be ready to deal with the potential problems that may arise from offering a blended learning experience. Adjusting to life post-COVID is a collaborative effort. Find a software provider and solution that can make this adjustment as easy as possible, from the initial discovery call all the way to everyday operational use.
Give your students the best chance of success. Grant your faculty the visibility required to be effective.
As marketing manager for SEAtS software, a leading global provider of EdTech software and solutions, I am afforded invaluable insights into current industry trends and software updates. I hope to share some of these insights with the people it could really help.