According to a Chronicle of Higher Education survey, 10% of 3,000 colleges are solely online, with just 3% fully in person and 23 percent primarily in person. Many schools have had to shift rapidly to an online model, without any preparation. The shift to digital learning can and will save lives, but both students and faculty face many challenges as they grow into this evolving situation and teaching and learning approach. The right technology enablement strategy can produce a smoother transition to new learning models that help retain and support more students. A modern campus portal is critical for today’s higher education strategy because it helps students access the information they need to succeed.
Technology Enablement: How the Right Tools Improve Outcomes
Research consistently finds a link between high student engagement and better academic outcomes, including higher grades and graduation rates. A comprehensive campus portal can:
- Convey time-sensitive and urgent campus information: Time-sensitive and urgent campus information may include school closure updates and where to find COVID-19 testing.
- Help students receive the IT support they need: Quality technology can mean the difference between succeeding and floundering during virtual learning. A portal helps IT staff handle student support requests without exhausting IT resources.
- Better communication: Targeted messages can be sent to specific groups such as seniors, on-campus students, or those with a positive COVID-19 test. Better communication with students keeps them engaged even from a distance and amid the uncertainty of an event like the ongoing pandemic.
- Assist struggling learners in accessing support: Students can access information about their classes and grades in the portal, contact additional support services, and quickly find answers to common questions.
- Preserve limited resources: In the wake of COVID-19-related economic damage, many schools face massive budget cuts, but students need more support than ever, especially when they’re unaccustomed to learning online. A one-stop portal answers common questions and makes information more accessible, which means staff spends less time answering student queries—and saves the school time and money.
- Use fewer technological resources: With a single portal, IT staff no longer have to set up and maintain multiple websites and access points. Instructors can even incorporate classroom materials directly into the portal.
- Reach students on their preferred devices: College students are more likely than other internet users to go online using mobile devices, so the right campus portal must have exceptional mobile access. Mobile access fosters ongoing communication from the school to the student, boosting engagement.
Colleges and universities must find new ways to support equitable digital access since using technology may determine whether a student can continue attending class. Many colleges and universities now provide students with free or low-cost devices. Coupled with the right campus portal, increasing access to devices can make education more accessible to disadvantaged learners.
How OneCampus Supports Distance Learning
OneCampus is an efficient campus portal, providing students with more information in less time. Give students access to everything they need, including:
- Online course material, if IT integrates it into OneCampus
- Grades, so that students can track their progress
- Athletic events and enrollment information
- Club information and events
- Campus maps and guides
- Transportation services
- Financial aid details, including application status and key contacts
- Campus updates, including campus-wide blasts and targeted informational updates
Add all of this information to a single access point, and eliminate worries about continually updating multiple websites and portals. A single access point reduces technology overhead and creates a seamless experience for students seeking assistance.
Take a look at the OneCampus Implementation Checklist to know what to look for when considering upgrading a campus portal.