Hilbert College was the host of the Western New York Blackboard User Group workshop. Terianne Sousa, JD, Blackboard Principal Strategist, Enterprise Consulting and Naveen Ramnanen, Customer Success Advocate gave the keynote presentation.
Terianne led the discussion. As a principal strategist, she speaks on non-product issues. She specializes on student success. Three key points:
- Technology is just a tool
- Student-centricity is the key to improving completion rates
- Students don’t want to be retained, they want to succeed
Student success is a key point of discussion at virtually every educational conference. Institutional research is a key player to understanding student success.
Why does your institution regard student retention and graduation rates as important?
92% of business leaders see effort focused on retention as a revenue strategy. $16 billion is lost revenue due to attrition. Institutions with downgraded credit have doubled in 6 years.
Education is a business. There is a need to bring in more money than we spend. There is increased competition.
3 Big Financial changes
- Performance-based measurement
- Budget constraints – Students disillusioned because of increased debt and little ROI.
- Increased competition – MOOCs, private, etc.
Students have changed
- Changing demographics
- Changed expectations on service levels have changed. Expect more engagement and use of technology. If you can bank online and order a pizza online, we can we not do the same with educational services, e.g., financial aid.
- Students are consumers. To students, is education worth it?
Student Centricity is the key to improving completion rate
We need to understand the motivations of different groups, e.g., millennials, vets, non-traditional, etc. The better we understand our individual students, the more engagement we can achieve.
Students don’t want to be retained. They want to succeed.
We need to understand a student’s definition of success. Why do they want to go to college?
We need to identify and reach out to students who are struggling and provide assistance to help them succeed. Technology can be used to help identify struggling students. Ways to design a reactive system:
- Frequent grading – lots of feedback. Put grades in Blackboard. The more grades the better.
- Open door policy.
- Work with instructional designers.
- Use the data you have.
- Use video conferencing.
- Have in-depth
- introductions to get to know students.
- Use the technology you have.
We talk to students about all the resources available to be successful. Faculty also have resources available. They also should be using the resources for student success.
If you want to hear more about occurred at this learning opportunity, please contact Stan Skrabut or Connie Pilato. I certainly enjoyed my day.