Digital Experience Journey in Higher Education in the Backdrop of AJCU CITM
AJCU CITM – The Background Story
The Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities (AJCU) Conference on Information Technology Management (CITM) is organized for a discourse on how information and technology can be used effectively in member institutions, and also to bring the latter and other similar organizations under one roof. Further, the association also intends to support its members to leverage the capabilities in different verticals such as telecommunications, computing, technologies, and information services, for learning, teaching, and research from the Jesuit educational perspective. The CITM 2023 is deemed to be held at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, between May 15th and May 18th, and is expected to attract 150+ attendees. The key topic discussed will be Digital Experience in Higher Education – the current and future implications of digital transformation for different segments including faculties, students, staff members, and last but not the least, the alumni.
This year, Suyati Technologies has been conferred with the honor to be the main sponsor for the AJCU CITM event. Incorporated in 2009, Suyati is a CX-focused, IT consulting company that offers customized and innovative solutions across different platforms and services including Salesforce, Analytics, Cloud, and Custom Software development, to name a few. Currently, we have a strong geographical presence in locations such as India, USA, and Canada. Our primary focus is on providing customized Salesforce solutions, and we have worked with numerous US-based clients across different verticals such as BFSI, Manufacturing, Publishing, Higher Education, and eCommerce.
Suyati’s Contributions to the Higher Education Sector
In the Higher Education segment, Team Suyati has worked on diverse projects based on Student Acquisition, Student Enrolment, Student/Teacher Experience, Student Retention, and Alumni Management for some of the ed-tech industry bigwigs including American College of Education, Harvard business school, Solution Tree, and Deakin University, to name a few. Suyati has delivered 20 projects successfully in this domain since 2010.
Solutions We Deliver:
1. Increased lead conversions from a diverse pool of highly qualified applicants.
2. Helped universities control student churn/dropout rates by analyzing student behavior data.
3. Implemented CRM to improve student retention by providing early intervention and support to at-risk students.
4. Provided visualization dashboards for stakeholders with student enrolment and graduation data and insights.
5. Managed the services engagement model for maintenance and support of Content Management Systems.
What Can We Do Further?
· Implement CRM and migration from legacy systems.
· Provide AI-based solutions for operational efficiency.
· Offer predictive models for generating business insights; for example, student retention.
· Provide Cloud infra monitoring and assessment.
· Develop a custom alumni management module for CRM.
Is the Digital Higher Education Expectation Gap Alarming?
With the current student generation engrossed in a digital world filled with slick streaming facilities and self-fulfilling social media channels, it does not come as a surprise that they expect high-quality digital experience in their education as well.
Being able to access lecture notes online, or communicate with fellow students via online chat forums or society web pages, or arrange video calls with the university staff members – all these are the minimum expectations of the students from a university, from the digital experience perspective. Still a majority of the universities do not offer students state-of-the-art digital experiences, even after almost two years of COVID-induced online learning. The approach is purely a ‘one-size-fits-all’ one, which is literally absurd in the post pandemic era. According to Great State’s recent research report, The Higher Education Digital Experience Report 2022 that incorporates findings from a survey of over 2,000 students attending university currently, about 91% of the students seek a robust version of their university digital facilities, to match the interactive lectures and life in a real campus.
Does a Good Digital Experience Really Matters? With the university satisfaction scores in the NSS (National Student Survey) falling drastically during the previous year and the rise in the complaints to the OIA (Office of the Independent Adjudicator), the quality of a university’s digital facilities will be a determining factor in the institution’s success.
A majority of the students choose universities based on not only the course, location, or grades, but also on the extent of learning and campus experience they receive. Great State’s report reveals that the students are quite clear about the importance of a university’s digital experience delivery standards, with 90% supporting the statement “it helps me to perform better academically” and about 92% agreeing that it helps to handle their student life well. Even more, a higher percentage of the students also emphasized that good digital experiences helped with their mental well-being, giving them a feeling that they belong to the university and its student community. The Great State report also discloses the enormous digital experience gap between the expectations of the students and what do they actually get.
Though the universities seek to improve their digital delivery, many of them lack an effective digital strategy. Instead, they consider digitalization as a way of establishing their long-term visions, which may lead to fragmentation in the digital advancement and poor student experience.
Delivering Digital Transformation – Now
Given that it takes at least a couple of years to implement a digital approach across a bigger organization, some complacent universities may go slow to shut down the gap, even when the student patience times out and their expectations upsurge. Once the foundation is set for providing a good digital experience, the opportunities should be centered around providing personalized digital content as well as services to students that enable real-time, personal, automated, and intelligent exchanges.
While some universities are leading the way to a better digital experience, others are still struggling. However, with a plethora of opportunities around for ‘going digital’, there is still hope for an exciting future.
Setting the context for a better and brighter future for digital transformation in the Higher Education sector, the AJCU CITM serves as a promise for digitally-starved universities. Joining hands in this initiative, Suyati also plans to move ahead by creating amazing digital experiences for its Higher Education clientele and explore unmapped terrains.