Today’s students act differently from the traditional students of just a few years ago. They want an array of online classes, just-in-time communications and intuitive technology experiences that extend beyond the pages of a textbook.
Students today expect their institution to provide the latest mobile tools to help them schedule classes, monitor progress, and obtain academic or personal assistance. Many students never set foot on campus and instead prefer to receive their coursework in online modules they can consume at home or on the go. Many are first-generation college students; others are retooling a lifetime of experience into a new career path.
This new breed of student – juggling jobs, children, and aging parents – looks to the flexibility and cost savings of community colleges to attain an associate’s degree, often the first step in an American dream of quality education for all.
Colleges, both private and public, are meeting the demand. Many are offering mobile-first tools and reinvented learning experiences that are engaging and easy to navigate – all essential elements if they are to remain attractive and profitable.
Assets like collaborative online learning environments and personalized dashboards that display real-time data like grade point averages, graduation timelines, course completion calendars and detailed student account information help students track their progress, meet critical deadlines and stay motivated as they move from education to occupation.
Artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbots play a larger role in this new world as well. Unlike web and mobile apps, these conversational interfaces are designed to help guide users with instant and personalized assistance 24 hours a day. These virtual assistants act as on-screen advisors that proactively and reactively hand-deliver advice to prospects, students, professors and administrators – and provide a demonstrable return on investment.
Next-generation experiences like these improve stakeholder experiences and, in turn, elevate the academic reputation of the institution delivering them.
To prototype, pilot and launch new tools and systems in lockstep with the pace of technological change, universities and colleges, public and private, large and small, should move to the cloud.
The cloud can revolutionize the campus experience by:
- Delivering cost savings, flexibility and a framework to bring innovation to campus
- Securely warehousing student population data
- Offering greater interoperability and access
- Enabling expedited app development and deployment
- Automating the use of chatbots for instant engagement through mobile cloud services
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