The higher ed student experience is critical to an institution's success--here are some of the biggest factors involved.

5 things to know about the higher ed student experience

The higher ed student experience is critical to an institution's success--here are some of the biggest factors

Key points:

The higher ed student experience includes all aspects of a student’s involvement with an institution, from the time they research and apply for enrollment to their time on campus or in virtual learning programs and through to post-graduation.

The higher ed student experience is critical for colleges and universities, and in recent years, higher ed leaders have started to pay more attention to how they can best meet students’ needs and improve learning outcomes, from ease of enrollment and course access to how physical campuses and amenities enhance students’ time.

Let’s take a look at some of the recent developments around the higher ed student experience:

How do you define student experience?

“Academic institutions are becoming increasingly focused on monitoring the complete student experience and taking steps to improve it. They realize that student experience can directly impact a college or university’s reputation, and its ability to attract new students,” according to Qualtrics. The higher ed student experience includes how accessible campus amenities are, how easy it is for students to complete basic tasks like logging into resources and signing up for courses, and also includes their interactions with faculty and staff. Learn how tech upgrades can enhance the student experience.

Why is student experience important in higher education?

The college student experience is critical because it impacts future enrollment, students’ engagement with institutions after they graduate, campus initiatives, and more. And the student experience isn’t just limited to students who are on a physical campus. Higher-ed leaders must continue to find ways to support online learners and non-traditional students–a crucial demographic of learners. As more and more people seek out non-traditional options to earn their degree, it is imperative that higher ed leaders continue to explore how they can support all learners to reach their fullest potential. By offering online competency-based learning options, mentorship experiences and ensuring equitable access to higher education, they can adapt to this evolving student landscape and open up more opportunities for all students in their educational pursuit. Read on for details.

What are examples of learner experiences?

One example of the learner experience–and catering to the needs of learners to enhance the student experience–is ensuring instructors know what students want and how to deliver it. Students benefit tremendously when instructors clearly communicate expectations, provide constructive feedback tailored to growth, and remain accessible. In today’s complex educational landscape, instructors must be proactive in setting students up for success. Paying attention to these variables can lead to a positive experience in school as a student. Discover how one faculty member improves his students’ experiences by tailoring his instruction and policies to their needs.

Why is it important to enhance the student experience?

Students, their expectations, the economy, and the workforce are constantly evolving–that’s why it’s necessary to always examine and enhance the student experience. Technology has a critical impact on the holistic student experience–and it will change higher ed in the future. Key technologies and practices–including AI, accessibility, and mental health supports–will have a significant impact on the future of the holistic student experience. What’s more, this is just a sampling of student experience examples. Read on to learn how these and other practices will influence the student experience at your institution.

Why are student experiences important?

Student experiences are important because they impact future enrollment and student investment in an institution and its initiatives. Universities need an urgent overhaul of their digital education practices and student experience practices to help their teaching staff better meet student expectations, according to a new EY report. High-quality teaching was ranked as the top priority for students surveyed (83 percent selected it as a priority) and while the amount of in-person teaching versus online learning rated low on importance, the quality of online learning ranked lowest on student satisfaction. In looking at a student experience survey, students said they’d like to see investment in training teachers to deliver online learning more effectively (45 percent), developing better online learning materials (41 percent) and providing students more support with effective digital learning (40 percent). Discover more about the importance of the student experience.

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Laura Ascione

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