The higher education market has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, as many signature college experiences were abruptly shuttered and replaced by online learning. What was once inconceivable – virtual orientation, registration, testing, and even graduation – was made a reality, thanks in large part to secure, enterprise-grade cloud systems. Now, universities and colleges must prepare for a new era of education, where a hybrid campus including remote and in-person students may be the norm.
Whether in person or remote, learners today act differently from the traditional students of just a few years ago. Responses to a recent digital learning survey indicate that the majority of students–73 percent–somewhat or strongly agreed that they would like to take some fully online courses in the future; 68 percent indicated they would be interested in taking courses offering a combination of in-person and online instruction.
This new breed of student wants an array of class offerings, just-in-time communications and intuitive experiences that go beyond the textbook. These students–many of whom are juggling jobs, children, and aging parents–also expect their institution to provide the latest mobile tools to help them schedule classes, monitor progress, and get academic assistance, all without ever setting foot on campus.
Universities’ ability to offer these new types of educational experiences has been made possible in large part thanks to emerging technologies such as analytics. It’s critical that schools have access to data that shows that their programs are leading to student satisfaction and success in school and careers, and analytics platforms can provide that insight.
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