Jeff Dunn, Sr. Director, DVX, DeVry Education Group
Tackling the technology challenges in the growing Education Industry
Every educational organization serves students with diverse backgrounds, needs, interests, and abilities. Meeting students where they are is a huge challenge. Although it’s tempting (and common) to use a “one size fits all” approach for instruction and service delivery for purposes of simplicity, scale, and affordability, it’s clearly not optimal for students.
"Digital teaching and learning platforms permeate every aspect of educational process"
What if we could provide an individualized educational experience for each and every student to improve their outcomes, while also doing so efficiently, effectively, and affordably? That would be a huge win for everyone. The question is whether technology can help make that happen, and we believe the answer today is yes. The wish list includes adaptive learning systems that automatically adjust the level of instruction to keep each student appropriately challenged, but not overwhelmed or bored. It also includes the ability to deliver the right student support service to the right student at the right time. Data analytics underpins these capabilities and allows us to get increasingly scientific about the educational process, down to the individual student level.
Integrating education data to provide 360-degree view of the customer
Yes, this is critical to enabling mass personalization. It’s a challenge that’s growing as the number of digital learning tools and, consequently, the volume and diversity of data for each student, grows. How do you connect and analyze the data at scale, in real-time? How do you deliver a 360-degree view that teachers, advisors, and even students can easily understand and action?
The first step is to understand the types, diversity, volume, and meaning of data that exists today. That’s no small feat. There’s no single person who understand it all, and it’s very likely that most of it has been migrated and transformed over the years. This process is invaluable and really helps you understand the full body of knowledge that’s available to leverage. The second step is to decide how to bring it all together for analysis. It starts with a one-time process, but for optimal results, you’ll need to process it daily.
So far, this sounds like your traditional data warehouse process. But, your audience isn’t looking for more chores to do (e.g. navigating complicated data cubes or dashboards), it’s looking for solutions to problems, right now. That’s where it becomes important to think about automating the analysis and delivering actionable insights to educational leaders in real-time.
Types of Technologies to Address Market Competition
It’s more about how technology pieces fit together to generate value greater than the sum of its parts. Gone are the days of a single uber system that does it all. Meeting each and student where they are requires a big tool box filled with thousands of tools, so that you have the right one for the job. Educators who figure out how to deliver the right tool for the right student at the right time, automatically, quickly, and seamlessly, will deliver superior student experiences and outcomes. That’s the differentiator.
Trends that Impact Enterprise Business Environment and Industry
It all goes back to data. Digital teaching and learning platforms permeate every aspect of educational process. This not only includes traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS) used for online learning, but also smart phones and tablets and the apps they run, lecture capture and digital whiteboards in the physical classroom, content management and analytics platforms, social collaboration systems, game and simulation systems...the list goes on. These generate mountains of data every single day, and it’s valuable information. It’s not enough to simply store and archive it across multiple systems. It needs to be continuously aggregated, analyzed, and transformed into value for students, teachers, administrators, and leaders.
Technology Revolutionizing Business Environment with Advanced
Education used to be delivered in a specific way at a specific place and time. Increasingly, it’s delivered where ever, whenever, and how ever students need it. Low-cost cloud and broadband technology will enable these seismic shifts, just like it did in other sectors, like banking, for example. People no longer think about onsite banking, online banking, mobile banking, or phone banking. It’s just banking, there when ever, where ever, and how ever you need it. That’s the new standard, and it’s what our students expect. We have to meet students where they are in every sense of the word.