How to perfect students’ digital experience on hybrid campuses” – FE News


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The tense student experience

The world of higher education faces numerous challenges. As the government prioritizes funding for secondary schools, universities are struggling. At the same time, increased student expectations for hybrid learning experiences, intertwined with severe cost issues, increased competition and skills gaps, pose new challenges for students and staff alike.

The recent, widespread transition to hybrid learning is increasing the demand for efficient technology and forcing universities to take the leap away from the inflexible legacy technology that is still embedded in many infrastructures.

Universities generate vast amounts of data and face numerous challenges in unifying, processing and intelligently using this data – especially as various disparate systems and applications proliferate across different campuses. As a result, employees attempting to perform administrative tasks such as enrollment, course development, and research publication can face irritating complications such as: B. when key data cannot be found or retrieved. This can slow down already time-consuming processes and ultimately hurt the student experience.

The Hybrid State of Higher Education

The newly emerged hybrid working state has pros and cons – but how can universities safely navigate this new environment and use it to their advantage? Some of the answers lie in the technologies used: cloud-native and agile data integration platforms, for example, help modernize IT systems in a multi-campus environment with heavy dependence on the cloud.

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The transition to hybridity poses challenges for universities, which have traditionally relied heavily on legacy technology and their often disconnected applications and systems. The patchwork applications once used for face-to-face teaching are not sufficient to seamlessly integrate data as they can cause communication problems and sometimes even translate incorrect or contradictory information. Universities must make it a priority to leverage new integration technologies to combat the disconnected systems that are currently impeding the multi-faceted hybrid state of higher education. University IT leaders need to weave their data across mobile, desktop, and social platforms if they want to increase productivity and connectivity for all stakeholders.

Integration, collaboration, communication

The move away from outdated technology creates a flexible computing infrastructure that is key to modernizing IT in academia. Integration solutions are at the heart of this digital transformation initiative, leveraging a single, connected and seamless platform. Cloud integration applications transfer data in a fraction of the time and cost of middleware or custom coding, revolutionizing university technology ecosystems.

Connectivity is the cornerstone of this revolution. Connecting platforms for direct, real-time communication between applications can solve the persistent problems with siled data. This allows people to access information on a trusted platform anytime, anywhere. In higher education, connectivity will seamlessly facilitate the flow of information and data as needed to enrich the student portal and encourage learning through enhanced collaboration.

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Additionally, low-code and no-code integration technologies save valuable time and ensure all resources are easily traceable for students. This can help manage simple administrative tasks like registration, assignments, and grants, and simplify the use of virtual classrooms. Low-code/no-code solutions are an increasingly important approach to perform integration and application development without the need for skilled programmers, which are in short supply. Low-code integration platforms allow “citizen developers”, i.e. people in less technical roles, to build and manage their own applications, allowing them to easily connect systems with minimal support and maintenance while saving time for IT teams. This makes educational organizations more agile and scalable.

The technology that can help: iPaaS and smart connectivity

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is the only harmonious solution to overcome connectivity problems by transferring all data in a timely and fluid manner. Low-code, cloud-native iPaaS trumps traditional integration methods by taking hours or days to integrate applications and systems, rather than weeks or months. Enabling a fast connection to the digital ecosystem reduces disruptions and risks, thus improving the user experience in all aspects.

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Additionally, by using iPaaS systems, universities can gain meaningful insights and use their data effectively to save money, scale and focus on higher-value work. For example, the University of Sussex used integration to maximize their virtual learning capabilities and revitalize the classroom as a whole. Using integration systems, the University of Sussex achieved two key outcomes: evaluating student portals in real time and processing over 20,000 records every 24 hours. Now it can continue its quest to become a leading transformation institution.

Integration: The future of educational success

In the current digital age, all industries need to keep up with ever-evolving technology. The higher education sector experienced particularly strong domino effects in the course of hybrid operation. Seamless connectivity ensures the seamless integration of applications, platforms and IT systems at all levels. By adopting integration solutions like iPaaS alongside low-code/no-code technology, students and teachers can focus all their energy on educational goals, enriching the overall experience and outcomes.

Through Derek Thompson, Vice President, Business Development, EMEA.

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