Like many organisations in education, the team at Edalex is always curious to see each year’s Top 10 IT Issues list from EDUCAUSE. It is an opportunity to learn from the challenges institutions face globally, consider our clients and assess where we can and do contribute to solutions. With a focus on the ultimate goal of student success, we believe that openEQUELLA, Full Measure Education and Interfolio – the platforms that we provide to our clients – address a number of these key pain points.
Here, then, is the Edalex perspective on the top 10 issues:
- Information security strategy – Security considerations must be paramount in any educational environment. While EDUCAUSE makes the point that technology is only part of the equation, it is still critical. Having recently been accepted as an AWS EdStart member, we are already exploring additional services and capabilities to further heighten the security of our EdalexCloud and other environments.
- Student success – Student success is at the core of the FullMeasure (FME) platform – using data to deliver personalised mobile communications and rich interactive content across the student journey. From point of first expression of interest through alumni relations, and beyond into lifelong learning, FME is ultimately focused on engaging students throughout their educational journey.
- Privacy – Leaks of personally identifiable information are unfortunately in the news regularly – the burden of care needs to be even higher in an educational context. More broadly, rules and regulations such as GDPR highlight the need for privacy requirements. Edalex has implemented enhancements in openEQUELLA to comply with GDPR; learn more about our partners’ privacy initiatives from Interfolio and FullMeasure.
- Student-centered institution – Again a very strong match with FullMeasure. The EDUCAUSE report lists the application of “technology to optimize the student experience” which should improve enrolment and retention rates. As a data-driven organisation, FME has a demonstrable and measurable ROI, when assessing enrolment and retention on enrolment and retention, with improvements of up to 7% and 11%, respectively.
- Digital integrations – A vendor agnostic approach, combined with standards support, has always been central to the openEQUELLA platform. We are currently extending openEQUELLA to facilitate the integration of cloud technologies from a number of providers into the repository. The Edalex team has also implemented bespoke solutions to seamlessly and securely integrate systems, such as between LMSes and other systems. Both Interfolio and FullMeasure cater to a variety of integration approaches to ensure those platforms deploy into existing educational technology infrastructure.
- Data-enabled institution – Providing the right view of the right data to the right teams is essential in supporting institutional decisions. Our team has recently delivered client-requested reporting enhancements to openEQUELLA, with further enhancements under way. FullMeasure solved its challenges of dynamic data structures by integrating the Periscope Data platform to generate a series of dashboards, for institutions to have real-time views of critical KPIs for decision-making. Interfolio’s solutions incorporate flexible reporting, with their Faculty180 module focused on faculty activity reporting to better support accreditation, equal employment opportunities and other critical activities.
- Sustainable funding – Both FullMeasure and Interfolio have developed ROI calculators to help demonstrate how investing in student engagement and academic support, respectively, can ultimately provide institutions with financial savings, as well as improved experiences for students and staff.
- Data management and governance – The benefits described above under Data Enabled Institution can be applied to provide accurate, up-to-date and meaningful data – the “institution’s lifeblood.”
- Integrative CIO – Given this imperative is more focused on the CIO role, we’re not claiming to do everything! However, we do work with visionary CIOs who are seeking to deliver a vibrant and transformative educational technology ecosystem at their institutions – and they can see the value in our solutions.
- Higher Education affordability – The demonstrated ROI from Interfolio and FullMeasure ultimately enhance an institution’s services while also providing financial returns. FullMeasure’s focus on student success can improve institutional financial performance through increased enrolments, as well as providing better value for students through increased retention and graduation rates.
Across the past 20 years, 3 passions have driven Dan: shaping collaborative teams, evolving services businesses, and enabling innovation in education. These passions fuelled varied roles from a start-up developing the CODiE award-winning EQUELLA software to global educational powerhouses Blackboard and Pearson; from small teams to leading a team of 65 delivering an annual product and service portfolio of $55 million.