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How can Higher Education enhance the student experience?

  • 2 Min Read

The topic of the upcoming Higher Education Conference & Exhibition in London on 9 October is Enhancing Student Experience In Higher Education. With a broad range of challenges confronting higher education at this time, D2L is looking forward to attending the conference and sharing insights into how technology can help attract and retain students.

At a time of increasing budgetary pressures, higher education (HE) competes with colleges, apprenticeships and employers. To attract and retain students, the pressure is on HE to adapt to deliver relevant courses for today’s skills needs and to deliver those courses in engaging ways. Here, technology-enabled learning can help.

A range of content types for the modern learner

Supplementing and supporting face to face lectures and tutorials, digital based learning platforms can make use of multiple formats including multimedia to deliver interactive and engaging content. For students used to using technology to manage many aspects of their lives, it’s a familiar – even expected – way of staying up-to-date with course requirements and keeping in touch with their place of learning.

With an ageing population and a trend towards lifelong learning, the post-school-age student population is increasingly diverse, comprising a range of ages, backgrounds and educational history. Meeting the needs of all individuals within this diverse group is increasingly difficult. A ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t ideal; instead, an adaptable learning platform that supports personalised learning journeys can help students get what they need, when they need it, in order to succeed.

Such a digital approach to learning also means that mobile access to materials becomes possible. This is ideal for students combining study with parenting, working or caring for dependents. Students that don’t attend their learning institution on a daily basis can benefit enormously from the capability to learn whenever and wherever suits them, and to pick up their study from their device of choice.

TEF’s focus on learning outcomes

The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), recently brought in to assess the quality of undergraduate teaching at universities and higher education providers, shines a spotlight on student satisfaction and learning outcomes. This is positive for both continuous improvement in education and in support of student choice. For the institution, TEF further intensifies the need to understand what contributes to both positive and negative outcomes, to equip them to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Here, the analytics the learning platform can provide can be of enormous use. By capturing and sorting a range of data, the VLE can help institutions get underneath student satisfaction and learning outcomes, and thereby impact TEF performance.

Technology can play a very positive part in enhancing the student experience in higher education. An adaptable and flexible digital learning experience can help institutions deliver courses in a relevant and engaging way to optimise successful student outcomes. By providing insight into how students learn, the analytics of the learning platform can support not only short and medium-term adjustments to help individuals and groups of students stay on track, but also longer-term continuous development of course content and delivery.

D2L will be showcasing its next generation learning platform Brightspace at the Higher Education Conference & Exhibition. We hope you can join us there to discover how the platform could help your institution get the most out of technology-based learning for successful student outcomes.

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