Improving the ed-tech experience in a hybrid world

For many years, the education sector has followed the traditional structure of an in-person learning experience. However, the rise of Covid-19 forced many educational institutions to embrace a hybrid method of learning, adopting remote IT technology for teaching, and advanced systems to manage the student experience throughout the crisis.

With almost 1.6 billion learners across the globe affected by the large disruption of Covid-19, increasing numbers of institutions are becoming eager to adopt a digitally-driven learning experience for students, but knowing where to begin this journey has proved difficult for some.

For many, the challenge comes down to the ability to digitally transform. While some higher education providers have started to adapt to emerging technologies, many are still confined to outdated, legacy technology or a complete lack of IT infrastructure altogether. While the pandemic highlighted this problem, it has also been the catalyst for much-needed improvements, and has accelerated the digital transformation journey for many educational institutions.

The University of Aberdeen, one of the oldest universities in the world, is a prime example of an institution eager to improve the digital experience and service its staff and students receive. It wanted to harness the power of analytics and automation to unify internal systems and enhance service delivery to students, teachers and staff.

The University of Aberdeen found it difficult to generate any insights or create tangible metrics from the significant volume of data created from interactions with its IT service desk. As a result, data had to be exported to a third-party software platform and shared with analysts to shape the data into insights – a cumbersome process that made it hard for the staff to identify opportunities for improvement. Ultimately, it resulted in slow resolution times for IT tickets, which negatively affected the student experience.

By implementing a cloud-based IT service management platform, the University of Aberdeen has been able to bring all reporting capabilities back in-house, making it easily accessible to all IT staff - without the need for data experts or coders on standby. The adoption of AI and automation also helped streamline all tasks and processes across the team. Today, the University benefits from a modern, user-friendly and flexible solution that has revolutionised the service that they provide to students, educators and colleagues across campus and beyond.

This demonstrates just how important the implementation of effective IT service management is in creating a seamless staff and student interaction within the education sector. At a time when hybrid learning is flourishing, and students require greater IT support, this is more important than ever.

Though universities and schools were not alone in facing challenges brought around by the acceleration of hybrid education. Learning Ladders is a curriculum management tool that provides an all-in-one suite that is designed to support teachers, parents and children at school and at home. It provides data analysis for school leaders and incorporates formative assessment, summative assessment, and GL assessments. Over the last few years, online assessment tools like these have become key to assessing and providing a well-rounded picture of every child alongside whole school and vulnerable group summaries.

Outstanding customer service had always been at the heart of Learning Ladders, but multiple, disparate systems were leading to duplication of efforts and errors in customer communications. By implementing a complete CRM solution from Freshworks, Learning Ladders now has a unified view of customer experiences through which it can manage all new and existing business and improve the service that it offers. The solution has almost completely replaced emails for all of Learning Ladders customer communications. By automating as much of the user journey as possible, the company has improved the team’s efficiency, delivered much more targeted communications to customers and increased customer retention from 65 percent to 90 percent.

The simplicity that is built into these IT service management and CRM systems is what makes the solution so easy to implement and get up and running, even for those without IT experience. Employers can seamlessly access the required data without the need to have a dedicated IT expert in house. What’s more, from increased customer retention to improved team efficiency, the use of such technologies is a no brainer, as they can create a significant impact on the level of user experience, during such a pivotal milestone in the education sector.

It’s also important to consider the impact on overall learning experience, not just for the student but also the teacher. Equipped with the right tools, course leaders can have easy access to data, reducing input and ticketing time and also providing them with automatic back-up and saving of files. With happiness on the job often impacted by how well workplace technology works, tools like this are a win-win, for both students, parents, and teachers alike.

With the implementation of the right technology that improves all interactions between educational institutions and their staff and students, more effective learning experiences can be created with educators focussed on teaching and students focussed on learning.

Whilst historically more resistant to change than other sectors, education is slowly moving away from the hand-written exams and face-to-face lectures that have defined its evolution up until now. Equipped with the right tools which streamline interactions between all groups working in education, our institutions will have what they need to adapt to the changing world of learning.