One would be hard-pressed to find a sector that has been more consistently under the gun when it comes to calls for modernization, improvements and overhauls than higher education, as the United States has appeared to recognize a wealth of problems. For one, skills gaps and talent shortages are bearing down on the average industry, making it increasingly difficult for businesses to find the staff members they need to run their companies properly.
This is not entirely the fault of higher education facilities, but it certainly falls into their scope of influence and is a negative trend that they can potentially work to end through more effective strategies and practices. On the other hand, the national student debt in the U.S. has exceeded $1 trillion and continues to grow, at once showing that financing for continued education is simply not available and perhaps indicating that the costs of attending a college or university need to be lower.
These and other major trends and catalysts have made it clear that something needs to give in higher education to ensure that the private sector's workforce is replenished, students are encouraged to continue their coursework past high school and the costs of doing so are reduced. Like many other industries facing modern challenges, it might be time for higher education to begin refining its processes through more efficient and effective content management and automation.
In terms of improving the educational experience on a smaller scale, many universities, colleges and other establishments have started to use more advanced data analysis tactics to get the job done. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently affirmed that predictive analytics has been an increasingly prominent trend in teaching environments, and these systems have been especially useful when working to quell issues with particularly challenging students.
According to the news provider, predictive analytics were a hot topic at the latest American Association of Community Colleges conference, where teachers, administrators and others discussed the methods that have been most effective in reducing dropout and failure rates. As is the case with virtually every analytics strategy, schools are using advanced data management systems, assessments and intelligence tools to get a more accurate perspective of need among students.
The source went on to point out that the technology seems to be carrying its weight thus far, as one assessment adviser affirmed that the process of building sound predictive models has been adequately ironed out to this point. However, that same individual told the Chronicle of Higher Education that the real complexities are contained within the action stage, in which teachers and administrators need to draw up a plan that uses the insights to effectively improve a student's performance.
Finally, what has become clear is that a wider range of establishments are becoming more interested in using these tactics to improve education, which means data volumes garnered from special assessments will increase rapidly.
Streamlining the technical side
Because teachers will face an uphill battle when it comes to turning insights into effective action, the backend processes involved in gathering, storing, accessing and analyzing data must be automated and streamlined. With the right solution in place, higher education facilities can automate a wealth of document management procedures to ensure staff members are free to think and act strategically without being bogged down by manual data entry.
Additionally, an effective content management system will help reduce the strain of organization and general oversight, all the while keeping this valuable information in a centralized, safe and highly functional computing environment. With more advanced technologies, higher education industry players might be able to progress.