How holistic digital transformation strategies help students find success

With a wealth of data at every university’s disposal, new technology solutions that harness data’s power can improve the student experience and free up tutor time for meaningful connections

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14 Mar 2023
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Anthology provides data-informed education technology experiences to enable and empower the global education community

In 2020, the pandemic forced higher education providers to rapidly incorporate digital solutions into all aspects of learning and administration. Three years on, the landscape has changed forever. Digital transformation strategies that focus on student success and teaching support are now essential.

At Times Higher Education’s Digital Universities UK 2023 event, these solutions will be explored by leaders from higher education, industry and policy. During the event, Anthology, an edtech firm with more than 1.5m users globally, will host a round table titled “Utilising strong digital transformation strategies to boost student success”. Ahead of the session, which will be held on April 18, THE spoke to Lisa Smith-Welsh, managing director (EMEA) at Anthology.

“In a post-pandemic world, Anthology knows how important it is to have systems that are scalable, agile and specifically focused on the student success of our Gen Z society,” Smith-Welsh says. “There remains much opportunity to enable better support for our learners to improve access, retention and student success globally. By engaging in meaningful feedback and investing in technology resources to deliver personalisation across everything from course delivery options to career services, higher education leaders can position their university to provide an experience that meets the needs of today’s learners and those of tomorrow.”

With rising tuition costs and a focus on employability, today’s students demand more than ever from their education providers. “Students expect faster response times to resolve both academic and administrative issues with an elevated level of accessibility,” Smith-Welsh says. Anthology has identified that leaders cite a lack of technology as the biggest obstacle to meeting these changing needs. With this in mind, the company has created solutions that span the entire student ecosystem, investing in technology that supports enrolment, retention, teaching and learning.

“Universities need solutions that will give them early alerts, technology that can create success networks and pathways,” Smith-Welsh says. The correct use of data can help educators identify pain points and prompt early intervention, and so Anthology supports institutions to make use of this wealth of information.

Some solutions focus on freeing up time for meaningful interactions between staff and students. Smith-Welsh recommends that institutions “give staff automations and efficiencies via technology, allowing staff to have the space and time to invest in the personal connections that elevate student experiences and outcomes.”

With data available at every step of the student experience, Anthology is determined to help institutions make use of this information to better understand what their cohorts need. “A holistic technology strategy underpinned by data creates a 360-degree view of individual learners. This enables educators to identify specific needs for student support, such as assistance with meeting course expectations, referral for counselling or mental health services, medical attention or financial support,” Smith-Welsh says. “This approach also supports better outcomes for students because faculty, staff and university leaders have a better understanding of the right action to take at the right time.”

The round table at Digital Universities UK will allow Anthology to share its innovations and learn what educators need as they continue to adjust to student expectations. “It gives us an opportunity to share our wealth of knowledge, best practices and how we are investing in intelligent experiences to help elevate student and learner success,” Smith-Welsh says.

Register for Digital Universities UK 2023.

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