Blogs

Back
Selecting the Right Software to Engage Learners
October 28, 2020

Colleges and universities thought they had a digital backbone that could pivot swiftly, securely and sufficiently to handle the coronavirus epidemic. They quickly realized they were instead aboard the Titanic of conference software as the COVID-19 tidal wave overwhelmed their transition to remote learning.

One third of U.S. college students had some online course experience before the pandemic, the data show.[1] During pandemic, nearly 100% went online for at least a period of time. This dramatic swing was necessary, and created challenges — but also underscored the need for resilience, with a true digital backbone.

EDUCAUSE defines digital transformation for education as a series of deep and coordinated workforce, culture, and technology shifts that enable new educational and operating models and transform an institution's operations, strategic directions, and value proposition.[2]

The task of installing a transformational digital backbone has been accomplished widely, in other industries. Cloud-based systems that offer all-in-one solutions — already successful in the music, financial, retail shopping and other sectors — are readily available. Now, higher education is taking the leap to catch up.

Start-up companies and private capital are driving higher education’s digital transformation. The first half of 2020 proved to be the second-largest half-year for global ed-tech investment — at $4.5 billion — three times greater than the average six months of venture-capital investment during the prior decade.[3]

While the digital backbone doesn’t lead transformation, it enables it.[4] It is inextricably linked with digital process. Much like the human spine, any strain in the backbone causes pain in other core functions. The backbone gets fortified by reducing IT complexities, risks and exposure, and boosting agility and scalability.[5]

Research shows colleges and universities have started the proverbial yoga stretching that their backbones so desperately need. As a result, 13% of colleges and universities are working toward digital transformation, 32% are developing a digital transformation strategy, and another 38% are exploring digital transformation, the research shows.[6]

THE LIMITATIONS OF FOCUSING ON CONFERENCING SOFTWARE

Conferencing software dependence raises serious concerns, though there’s no shortage of vendors such as WebX, Zoom, GoToMeetings, Skype, Google Hangout and others offering it as a solution. Web conferencing software costs from $0.15 to $0.67 for each user, with more robust solutions costing $49 to $225 per month.[7]

Less apparent are the risks of implementing technology that undermines learning, creates distraction and fragments attention. These problems can be measured using student self-questionnaires, teacher reports and observational data.[8] This is a critical consideration because failing to consider the complex relationships among content, technology, pedagogy, and context can lead to underwhelming results.[9]

HOW AMESITE CAN HELP LAUNCH RELEVANT, ENGAGING PROGRAMS QUICKLY

Amesite is specifically designed for engaged learning, and has a retention rate of 99% in its professional programs. This is an unprecedented number, and one which speaks to the very high level of engagement that Amesite’s platform offers. The platform offers unparalleled ease of use, features that build communication and engagement, and compelling custom content that Amesite creates for customers.

Artificial intelligence drives some of the most compelling experiences on the internet, and Amesite brings these tools to education in a novel and transformative way. Amesite’s product is easy to acquire, use and scale, and offers:

  • A branded, customized platform that’s scalable and cost-effective
  • An engaging platform that proves the value of online learning
  • Integrated content and digital backbone buying in one
  • Service setup in 24 hours
  • Complete customer support on an easy-to-use platform that reduces administrative burdens
  • Best-in-class technology that offers all tools in one place

By correlating learner behaviors with specific outcomes as identified by qualified instructors, Amesite trains its algorithms specifically for important learning outcomes, enabling it to be a useful tool for instructors. The combinations of information collected through Amesite’s educational products, and outcomes measured using our online learning products are easy to use and implement, and offer resilience to every organization.


[1] Harvard Business Review. Sept. 29, 2020. “The Pandemic Pushed Universities Online. The Change Was Long Overdue.” https://hbr.org/2020/09/the-pandemic-pushed-universities-online-the-change-was-long-overdue ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER 2020.

[2] EduCause Review. How Colleges and Universities are Driving to Digital Transformation Today. Jan. 27, 2020.https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/1/how-colleges-and-universities-are-driving-to-digital-transformation-today ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER 2020.

[3] Harvard Business Review. Sept. 29, 2020. “The Pandemic Pushed Universities Online. The Change Was Long Overdue.” https://hbr.org/2020/09/the-pandemic-pushed-universities-online-the-change-was-long-overdue ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER 2020.

[4] BDO Insights. October 2019. “Building a Digital Transformation Strategy. https://www.bdo.com/insights/business-financial-advisory/strategy,-technology-transformation/building-a-digital-transformation-strategy-(2) ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER 2020.

[5] BDO Insights. October 2019. “Building a Digital Transformation Strategy.” https://www.bdo.com/insights/business-financial-advisory/strategy,-technology-transformation/building-a-digital-transformation-strategy-(2)

[6] EduCause Review. How Colleges and Universities are Driving to Digital Transformation Today. Jan. 27, 2020.https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/1/how-colleges-and-universities-are-driving-to-digital-transformation-today ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER 2020.

[7] Transparency Market Research. Video Conferencing Market to Reach Valuation of US $6 Bn by 2030. https://priceithere.com/web-conferencing-software-cost/ ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER 2020.

[8] Microsoft: Transforming Education. 2018. https://news.microsoft.com/uploads/prod/sites/66/2018/06/Microsoft-Edu-Book-Final-Edition-2.pdf ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER, 2020.

[9] Harris J., Mishra P. & Koehler, M. (2014). Teachers’ Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Learning Activity Types: Curriculum-based Technology Integration Reframed. Pages 393-416. ACCESSED 21 OCTOBER, 2020.