Digital transformation was already changing the way that technology was used in higher education, but the pandemic created an even more pressing need for overcoming technological challenges. Students, staff, and faculty faced several distinct technological challenges and used several rapidly put in place solutions, according to an HGA study. Now that students and educators have had almost two years of these experiences, automation in education can help provide long-term solutions that offer continued support for remote and hybrid education.
Technological challenges of remote and hybrid opportunities.
Some technological challenges are specific to emergency remote learning situations. Others are faced with both emergency and planned online learning experiences. These challenges became roadblocks for student and faculty access to educational opportunities. Each challenge was handled in several different ways throughout the pandemic, but now higher education needs a more efficient model for long-term support.
Students need a consistent platform to navigate.
Students in emergency learning and hybrid learning environments have faced several different learning platforms. If departments didn’t have time to properly plan their remote learning migration, then staff started using different platforms. It’s time for higher education institutions to reorganize and plan a migration to a single platform.
The learning curve of online platforms can vary, so students may feel frustrated and disconnected as they attempt to learn multiple communication platforms as they attempt to focus on their studies. If a student needs support from financial aid, student services, or admissions offices, this may require them to learn more online communication channels.
Online courses still lack social connections.
Not every online learning platform is designed to offer social connections. As students and staff move to a fully remote higher education learning environment, there has been an increase in reports of social isolation.
A BioMed Central study in June 2021 found that 70 percent of respondents reported negative impacts on their work or studies due to COVID-19. Some of these negative impacts were caused by the unexpected shift to remote learning and the resulting lack of social connections.
Faculty and higher education professionals also need technological assistance.
Faculty and staff going through the onboarding process may also need assistance navigating different systems. While an online learning platform may allow staff to share assignments, create chat rooms, and video call their students, these features are only useful if faculty and staff understand them and are comfortable using them.
Higher education professionals need to keep this in mind as they prepare to coordinate learning platforms. Now that students, faculty, and staff have already experienced a rapid remote learning onboarding process, institutions need to have an accessible knowledge base to help everyone learn new platforms and features of an existing platform.
Support automation platforms can help reimagine these educational models.
Higher education institutions can use AI-powered end-to-end service offerings to address these issues and help create a more efficient remote learning experience. Automation in education offers distinct benefits for hybrid and remote learning environments.
Capacity offers a consistent platform for students and staff.
Higher education institutions can use support automation platforms, like Capacity, to offer a single place to ask questions and automate workflows. Capacity features chatbot functionality to support students and staff making the transition to online learning. The knowledge base is customizable and uses machine learning to answer a variety of questions 24/7/365..
When higher education institutions first implemented large-scale remote learning, it created a lot of frustration and unanswered questions. Chatbot functionality and a vast knowledge base can help students find answers about the syllabus, financial aid, credit requirements, and student support resources. This single feature of Capacity can field questions from all levels of the higher education institution to improve institutional efficiency.
Automation can revolutionize student success.
Automation in education offers opportunities to assist counselors and support professionals. Machine learning can work with student data to recommend courses, employment opportunities, majors, and campus events. For example, students who are struggling with a particular area can be presented with recommended courses in another area where they may excel more. Ultimately, machine learning and chatbot functionality can improve student retention and graduation rates by increasing student engagement.
Capacity can improve administrative efficiency.
Online and hybrid learning can create additional administrative steps. The admissions process in many institutions was already affected by data silos, but transitioning to an online approach created even more data-sharing issues.
Support automation creates a single cloud storage solution. Professionals in every department can communicate, share data, and work together with clear workflow steps. Automation further enhances this teamwork, taking on time-consuming and tedious tasks to improve administrative efficiency.
Support automation platforms can enhance global recruitment.
Online learning opens up global opportunities for institutions to bring in new students and offer alternative learning approaches. Smaller institutions can now promote their courses and degree programs to international students with fewer barriers to learning.
Students can now enroll in courses with fewer obstacles. Faculty, staff, and administrative professionals have reimagined the optimal class size and other baseline features of higher education. Thanks to global recruitment and automation in education, institutions can continue considering scaling strategies without affecting the quality of student learning.
Capacity offers solutions for automation in education.
From a helpful chatbot feature to an automated workflow platform, Capacity can help higher education institutions improve learning technologies and automation.
Universities can attract, engage, and retain students with Capacity. The easy-to-use platform helps faculty and staff with new student onboarding and general student support, so they can focus on tasks that require higher-level thinking. Capacity also automates common processes and can be used as a virtual teaching assistant.