By Jordan Kaufman, Chief Information Officer at Ambassador Education Solutions
The importance of course materials in the learning experience has stood the test of time, yet emerging technologies that support the course materials process are forever changing the way institutions manage and measure programs, as well as the way students access and digest content. Stand alone technologies that support the course materials process are plenty and each bring value, but these component solutions become much more powerful when integrated through a single conduit solution. It is the consolidation of these different platforms, as well as the ability to quickly add and remove them as needed, accomplished through system integrated technologies, that provides greater flexibility, while improving quality, consistency and cost savings.
Whether managing a single campus or a distributed network of schools, a course materials program that is dependent on integrated technologies benefits all stakeholders, from students and faculty, to institutional leaders, IT, purchasing and finance. At Ambassador, we’ve helped institutions take a consolidated approach to course materials, which streamlines the process and provides schools a global view of exactly what is occurring so they can achieve greater operational efficiencies and deliver a more supportive and engaging education experience.
Driving Deeper Insight and Analytics
An integrated approach provides greater visibility by consolidating meaningful and actionable business intelligence from all of a school’s technology components (SIS, LMS, Digital Content Platforms and Publishers) to gain a complete perspective of the entire program. This data can be utilized to model and measure important usage metrics and trends against the full process, as well as each technology component individually. For example, ensuring student registration information aligns with course material transactions can be used to assist with inventory forecasting.
Additionally, this aggregated information helps to recognize how students prefer to access materials by type and course, what they are spending, how and how often materials are being used, and which ones are having significant impact. This vital intelligence allows schools to better manage titles and forecast usage. These data insights also reflect how materials usage translates to desired learning outcomes and improved student success and retention.
Achieving Greater Economies of Scale
From an operational perspective, integrated technologies enable the institution to not only manage course materials program more effectively, but expedite processes that can save time and money. Using a single source to integrate a variety of technologies means greater efficiencies. Schools can focus less on logistics and dedicate more resources to the quality of the education process.
The integrated approach provides significant efficiencies such as a centralized administrative and support processes, consolidated vendor and inventory management, and unification of booklist practices, which means less excess inventory to manage and ensures students have access to the right materials for the right course at the right time. Invoicing and reporting can be customized and consolidated across the entire program, which simplifies financial payment logistics and allows for more prompt reconciliation.
Delivering the Best Possible Student Experience
Students access a variety of technologies in the learning process. By integrating the different solutions through a single source for course materials, the student experience is more fluid and seamless, compared to a disconnected process whereby the burden of accessing many different systems falls on the student. As new technology components are implemented or replaced, students continue to rely on a consistent, integrated process.
Centralized student support processes coupled with data insights across systems reflect student study habits and course progress, providing the information necessary to anticipate how and where students might need additional support to stay engaged and retained. For example, utilizing metrics across the program allows schools to better understand which students are not obtaining their materials or not digesting their digital content fully, and cross reference this against grades and academic performance. This proactive process can provide early indications of possible student dropouts, which serves as the catalyst for intervention and outreach.
As new learning solutions continue to emerge at a significant pace, utilizing school technologies as components of an integrated approach to enhancing course material management and student content fulfillment can be critical. A single source acting as a conduit to the different services allows institutions to more easily plug and play with the many options available. The result is a streamlined course materials and content integration program that relies on data to produce measurably improved efficiencies and provide a learning experience that boasts stronger outcomes and satisfaction.
About Jordan Kaufman
As CIO of Ambassador Education Solutions, Jordan works closely with client institutions and the company’s strategic partners to ensure students have seamless access to course materials, while providing administrators with key insights and intelligence to manage, measure and improve programs and outcomes. Kaufman is a published author on strategy, innovation, outsourcing and analytics. To learn more about Ambassador visit www.ambassadored.com or contact Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org.