Where Does Technology Fit into Student Success?
How instructors and advisors can reach more students, while still giving them the one-on-one attention they need.
Last time, I talked about how academic advising plays a crucial role in improving student success. But the more I’ve talked to educators, industry experts, and colleagues, I’ve realized from a technology perspective, ‘student success’ often gets a narrow treatment. We tend to focus solely on the advisor and student dynamic.
Don’t get me wrong, the advisor and student relationship is a huge part of it. But when we look at the spectrum of experiences and interactions the student has, there’s an entire system that contributes to the bigger picture. There’s a lot of other areas we need consider for engaging students, from advising on courses to ensuring each individual concept is well understood.
The student, their instructors, and the advisor are all important in how we should look at the overarching system of student success. They all act from different perspectives, based on different information, and at varying scales which are ultimately concerned with one thing: an individual achieving their learning goals.
Here’s where we start to think about technology as part of this system. By using the right tools, we can really start to bring within our reach a practical approach to engage each individual, tailored to their success.
For example, the right tools can help instructors make predictions of which students are at-risk and then create specific interventions for these individuals, or patterns of behavior.
Student success efforts are most effective with a system level approach because:
- Advisors can provide clear recommendations to students and help them choose the right courses
to graduate on time.
- Instructors can setup personalized notes that automatically send to students who are exhibiting
patterns of at-risk behaviour.
- Students can see their progress, and plan and manage their work to match the demands of their program.
Here’s what it looks like:
The important thing here is the student reach. Technology’s role in student success is to bring the decision making and expertise of advisors and instructors to a much broader audience. This gives more people the opportunity to take an active role in the student’s achievements. As a result, students benefit from those who have a stake in their success.
This is still only a small fraction of factors contributing to student success – there are many more that could present opportunities to understand and optimize student success, but that’s another post, for another day.
In the meantime, I encourage you to learn more about how you can make a positive impact on degree completion and graduation rates at your institution. You can start by watching this webinar that will help you learn more about how to scale advising with the data you already have.
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