Learner Centric: The New Normal

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We see new learning pathways emerging that prove education’s ability to evolve as student needs evolve, yet schools are still delivering education based on institutional-centric practices. Student success today requires a data-driven mindset and a variety of learning vehicles, assets and tools.

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  • Good morning
     
    Introduce self

    Excited to be here today – First ever Blackboard Institutional Performance Conference

    We have an ambitious agenda…looking to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing higher Education today
     


     
  • At bb, we spend a lot of time looking at the industry – reading research, sponsoring – and sometimes doing our own. Wanted to share with you a few recent statistics from some research we did and a recent report from the Chronicle of Higher Ed on innovation in US HE.

    We look a lot at “top 10 lists” – top 10 things on the mind of presidents, top 10 things that keep CIOs up at night.
    One thing that struck me is that we recently did market research regarding the top issues facing HE. Not for a particular persona/ role – but asking people in many roles the top issues facing US HE. All three personas said the same thing – student retention and success, budgets and hitting enrollment targets.

  • And for students, while there was a top 3 – the #1 was so far ahead of the pack it deserves to stand alone. The cost of education.

    Probably does not come as a surprise to you. We are hearing more and more about the value of education. The “ROI” or “ROE” – books published that tell people they are better off not spending on their postsecondary education. Conflicting with studies that show that college graduates earn more.

  • And it’s not just students who are thinking about value.
    In a recent Presidents Survey conducted by The Chronicle of Higher Ed of over 350 Presidents on the topic of change and innovation in US HE, less than half of the Presidents believed we are providing good or better value to students and their families.

    So we’ve got a lot of heavy things on the mind of education – budgets, enrollments, retention & student success.
    We’ve got a lot of external factors, not the least of which are increased global competition and funding agenda moving beyond access to outcomes and gainful employment.
    And we’ve got a good deal of people looking at (and questioning) the value of higher education.
    And one thing is clear: When you have that many business pressures AND you have the primary beneficiary of the thing that you provide questioning the value, something has to change.
  • And Presidents agree. From the same survey done by the Chronicle of HE, Over 98% of presidents believe change is necessary

    67% think the change needs to be disruptive.
  • And 63% say the change that is happening is too slow.
  • So we have a lot of alignment that change is needed – but not necessarily a lot of understanding about what that change should be.

    We’ve talked about the student focus on cost and value as a driver for change. But that’s not the whole story. It’s not just making things cheaper. Because when people are making a value decision – price is only a part of the equation. The quality of what they are getting is the other, very important side. We tend to think of “quality” as it relates to education as how we measure the quality of the delivery of learning, but I will posit to you that we need to think more broadly about the entire experience we provide to students because that is how they are gauging the quality of their education. It’s not just about what happens in the classroom – it is about the experience with student services and other areas.

    So I will say to you – that as we think about what kind of change is needed – we need to think about what students look like today, how they behave and what drives them. Because the change we need to make should centered be around meeting learner needs – it should be based on understanding the people for whom our education system exists and how it is and isn’t working for them.


  • The first thing to understand is that students are “consumers” of their education. We are starting to hear that more and more. Some people hate that, consider it controversial. I think we need to embrace it. Students are acting like consumers, they are exercising choice like consumers, they are shopping around for best fit and value like consumers. And pretending they are not is not going to help us address their needs or figure out how to adapt for the future.

    The second thing is that student interests are evolving.

    They are more interested than ever before in peer-to-peer interactions
    They don’t like websites and having to find services – they like to interact with services through apps
    They want data about themselves – they are active participants in their education process
    And there’s a reason – their goal, more than ever, is job placement. So they are also thinking about skills and competencies – and how they can translate to their desired employment status
  • So interests are evolving. Pathways are non-linear. And, finally, student expectations are changing… And what used to be enough isn’t anymore.

    We’ve been talking for a while about anytime/ anywhere, mobile, personal and flexible – but that is not enough.

    Now we need to add: affordable, modular (stackable credentials)
  • Another thing that is very different about learners today is their pathways. Learners are demonstrating their preferences and exercising themselves as consumers. This, coupled with the increase in post-traditional learners is resulting in a significantly different pathway than we used to see.

    Used to be linear – now it is very dynamic. And not necessarily in a good way. Many of you have probably heard the pathway expressed as “swirling students” – we don’t have to look much farther than our drop out and transfer rates to know that this is true.

    So when we ask ourselves what isn’t working – we don’t need to go too much farther than the “swirling” student. Now – it’s not all bad. It means students are actively engaged in their education journey in a way they probably weren’t before – or weren’t able to be.

    But it without a doubt is telling us that today’s learner is not happy with our institution-centric, linear pathway. This is putting pressure on institutions to serve students in new and different ways – to not just enable a non-linear pathway, but to provide robust support to help learners navigate a more complex and option-rich path

     
  • we are seeing innovation emerge through new models – usually starting small
    1. delivery models “competency based”, stackable credentials
    2. business models “all you can learn”

    We believe we are headed to a world of “better with” not “better than” – not the extinction of education as we know it. None of these emerging models will become “the way” – our new normal is a mixture of these based on learner needs. This is how we will reach more people. We will expand the definition of education.

    This is also the new normal.
  • So we are seeing big changes in learner interests, pathways and expectations. And our system isn’t set up to address these emerging student needs. So what do we do? What is the change that is needed?
  • How do we become learner-centric?


  • We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. We think it means addressing the needs of the whole learner.
     
    And thinking differently about how we serve students in all aspects of their educational experience


    To be truly learner centric an institution needs to re-think every aspect how they do business…An institution needs to look to their student population and learn what drives them, how they behave and where they want to go. Then use that information to inform every decision, service and program design – starting with recruitment and lasting through graduation, job placement and even career advancement.

    It’s how we engage students when they are prospects – how we acknowledge what they’ve done before the come to us, how we have the right programs available for them and how we set them up on a good pathway going forward

    It’s how we support them along their journey - not just answering their questions and providing help when needed, but proactively encouraging them along the way, prompting and guiding them to the next right step for them

    Its how we support their learning – not just giving them flexible multiple models and pathways, but by putting data in their hands (and the hands of faculty) so they can ask better questions, and achieve better outcomes

    And it’s how we link them to their end goal - Connections are made early and often to the learners goal (post-grad, employment, career advancement)
     
    We need to address the needs of the whole learner, and we need to do it in a learner-centric way.
  • Can’t do it without these three

    The technology and Services don’t work if you don’t have the data. With out data, you ant do it in a way the learner expects You can’t be generic…you need to be personalized.

    Over the next day and a half, you’ll hear some wonderful examples of how forward thinking institutions are pulling these three ingredients together
  • I’m going to show you some ways in which we are helping institutions do just that…
  • Let’s start with at the beginning, when your developing the very programs that institutions use to attract students, and prepare them for the workforce

    …. Analogous to how a company looks at its product portfolio “what offerings should I take to market? What makes sense for my customers, and my institution? Where's the demand?

    how do we have the right programs available for them and how we set them up on a good pathway going forward

    Data tells a powerful story here, and can help chart the course


    student demand for the program
    competitors offering an equivalent program – identification and market share
    labor market demand

    Combination of primary and secondary research can be used
    Primary
    Surveys of prospective student populations – private panels or client-provided lists (applied and/or admitted but did not enroll, e.g.)
    Surveys or interviews with major employers
    Data from the myEdu
    Secondary
    Degree conferrals by competitor -- National Center for Education Statistics / Integrated Postsecondary Education System (NCES/IPEDS)
    Projected employment growth for this discipline -- Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
    Competition and demand – association websites
    Supply-to-Demand linkage – growth in conferrals vs. growth in employment
    Competitor websites – branding, program features / value proposition, pricing
  • Now you have to find the students, and do it cost effectively. Media budgets are one of the fastest growing parts of institutions budgets.

    (First build) We all know that in this hyper competitive environment finding the right student and enrolling them is critical.

    (Second build) We talked about how students today are dramatically different than they were ten years ago.

    They have tons of choices, are looking for value, schedule flexibility, degree options, and a rewarding career. They live on their mobile devices, and they want personalized answers—immediately. In short, they’re tough customers for marketing and enrollment departments to serve.
     
    How do you find the right students for your programs .. And reach them?
  • Using a data driven approach..

    deep audience segmentation and profiling strategy for the target programs

    Once we’ve identified the target audience segment and understand their specific demographic profiles, this is where art meets science

    Using geo-targeting software (can use like Analytics) , identify potential target student populations who share similar profiles but live in different locations, locally, regionally, and nationally. These targets are represented by size and location in the form of heat maps.

    This data can also inform decisions today, by allowing you to answer questions like:

    Which high schools are my feeder schools? 

    What are the preparedness levels from these schools? 

    What majors do students from these schools pursue? 

    What are the various graduation rates from these cohorts?


    This enables you identify and target student populations at zip code level and provides an addressable market size to inform your media-planning and lead generation forecasting process with real data.


  • It’s no secret that student retention is a massive challenge for leadership in higher ed. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by the Chronicle of Higher Education and Blackboard, retention was marked by far and away as the biggest challenge facing college and university Presidents, with 58% considering this the top issue.

    Left Side: Fiscal Opportunity
    More statistics from the New England Journal of Higher Ed, shown on the left of the screen here, showcase just how dire the situation is – (1) 16 billion dollars of collective lost revenue due to attrition, which averages to $9 million dollars by each school. This means that even incremental improvements could mean a incredible fiscal windfall for institutions willing and able to confront these issues.
    Right Side: Downgraded Credit
    Again in 2013, Moody’s investors services gave the entire North American Higher Ed a negative outlook, as almost all traditional revenue sources for colleges and universities remain under pressure, and are likely to remain so. “The U.S. higher Education sector has hit a critical juncture in the evolution of its business model”, says the published report. 

  • So its never been clearer - Once you find the right students, you need to keep them.
     
    The business of being a student is complicated these days, and as institutions serve more post traditional learners, the service gap between what students want and what institutions can deliver, is widening.

    What makes it complicated?
    Financial aid,
    Admissions
    Enrollment and Re-Enrollment
    … these are not easy processes for students to navigate.

    And most institutions have another problem – most of their services are still built to serve residential students.

    Against the backdrop of students who are used to always on, anytime access to content and information… student expectations are high for timely, personalized, convenient 24/7 access on any device

    And as post traditional learners dominate the Higher Ed landscape, they are busy! Working mothers, returning vets, full time workers seeking a degree
  • Students need help getting from admissions to employment.

    In order to help make the business of being a student easier, you need to know where the students are stumbling so you can step in to help them.

    Have they accepted the offer of admissions?
    Do they have their FA paperwork complete?
    Are there absences?,
    Are the grades poor,
    Have they re-registered?

    You not only need to monitor and track students from admission to graduation but you need to know whos stumbling, where they are stumbling and nudge them through the process of being a student.
  • Most institutions have the data on these pieces of the student journey.

    Here is a case where data in the hands of students can act as the first line of support.

    A critical part of retaining students is getting them answers to their questions in a timely manner, with convenient self-help tools like knowledgebase articles, personalized Trackers guiding them through complex process like Financial Aid and Student Accounts as well as providing flexible access directly through student preferred methods like Integrated Voice Response (IVR) even Chat from any device, anytime

    Convenient and scalable 24/7/365 multi-modal support (phone, email, chat & self service)
    Personalized student activity trackers and self-help content
    Data-driven reporting dashboard


    Example: Ivy Tech Community College we have partnered on their Student Success Center to help them reinvent the student experience by delivering immediate, personalized, and connected levels of service. The results are impressive,

    with reduced wait times from 19 minutes to 30 seconds and abandonment rates from 49% to 1.46% helping lead to increased enrollments during fall to spring periods


  • We also deliver Administrators the data that provides complete transparency to why your students are calling, what their searching for and what their questions are we also help you monitor student satisfaction with anytime access to your personalized operation center metrics – from average speed of answer, interaction type and frequency - even monitoring the quality of conversations with students

    Through our outreach campaigns around recruiting and enrollment services we help you survey the reasons students aren't registering, enrolling or re-enrolling


  • We all know student attrition is a complex issue, not just about one thing!

    But without data, all students can look the same.

    However, as we all know, they are nothing of the sort; students are individuals with unique backgrounds, dependent on academic, geographical, demographic, financial and social conditions

    You have lots of touch points with students that impact their experience. You can capture information about the student from all of these areas and be able to build a profile of the student that will help you to understand more about them.

    The most successful schools build those profiles, and they use them to help students to be successful—and dispel myths.


  • We all know student attrition is a complex issue, not just about one thing!

    But without data, all students can look the same.

    However, as we all know, they are nothing of the sort; students are individuals with unique backgrounds, dependent on academic, geographical, demographic, financial and social conditions

    You have lots of touch points with students that impact their experience. You can capture information about the student from all of these areas and be able to build a profile of the student that will help you to understand more about them.

    The most successful schools build those profiles, and they use them to help students to be successful—and dispel myths.


  • We all know student attrition is a complex issue, not just about one thing!

    But without data, all students can look the same.

    However, as we all know, they are nothing of the sort; students are individuals with unique backgrounds, dependent on academic, geographical, demographic, financial and social conditions

    You have lots of touch points with students that impact their experience. You can capture information about the student from all of these areas and be able to build a profile of the student that will help you to understand more about them.

    The most successful schools build those profiles, and they use them to help students to be successful—and dispel myths.


  • We all know student attrition is a complex issue, not just about one thing!

    But without data, all students can look the same.

    However, as we all know, they are nothing of the sort; students are individuals with unique backgrounds, dependent on academic, geographical, demographic, financial and social conditions

    You have lots of touch points with students that impact their experience. You can capture information about the student from all of these areas and be able to build a profile of the student that will help you to understand more about them.

    The most successful schools build those profiles, and they use them to help students to be successful—and dispel myths.


  • We all know student attrition is a complex issue, not just about one thing!

    But without data, all students can look the same.

    However, as we all know, they are nothing of the sort; students are individuals with unique backgrounds, dependent on academic, geographical, demographic, financial and social conditions

    You have lots of touch points with students that impact their experience. You can capture information about the student from all of these areas and be able to build a profile of the student that will help you to understand more about them.

    The most successful schools build those profiles, and they use them to help students to be successful—and dispel myths.



  • What do we see coming next…and what are we building for?

    All of that learning activity yields useful information for each role at an institution. And the cloud offers us opportunities to gather the data to provide more insight across all of our capabilities.

    Blackboard is investing in Platform Analytics to develop a core competency around providing insight into usage, correlations, and meaningful analysis across Blackboard’s entire platform, 

    Exciting developments / Optimistic

    Two big areas
    Improve Learning outcomes - your core mission - by putting data in the hands of faculty and students
    Connect students to employment opportunities



  • Throughout our discussion today, you’ve heard us talk about the need to be learner centric in everything we do – from marketing and recruiting, retention to how we interact and serve our students. At Blackboard, we’ve spent the last few years getting to know students who use our software, and interact with our call centers and support staff, the result is:

    Blackboard is a company that knows students better than anyone else.
    Blackboard is in a unique position to use data aggregated from our MILLIONS of interactions with students over the years, to better personalize their experience and improve outcomes.
    Student success is (ultimately) a complex issue, and there are few “real-time” indicators of success beyond the LMS interactions they have every day.

    Let’s look at how this might work. Here, we can compare Sarah’s performance to that of her peers.
    As the instructor I want to learn more. I click on the graphing button within the same page
    And what I see is that is something of an exception. Other students are doing well.
    It seems to be just Sarah. I do not have a systemic issue and do not need to change my curriculum.
  • From the student perspective, we are serving up their performance to them that is built into a workflow they use everyday – their LMS – and empowering them to take ownership of their learning process and outcomes. Showcasing to them:

    Their performance against their peers.
    High performing students from last term.
    And More

    The end result of this evolution from Blackboard is a holistic approach to data – across the student lifecycle – from marketing + recruiting, enrollment, retention and now learner engagement within the academic technology they use every day, to better serve them and raise the likelihood of their success.
  • Transition: Skills Gap …. A global issue

    Worldwide, there are 75M young people without jobs…yet 57% of employers say they can’t find enough entry level candidates



  • The result of this skills shortage has real economic and human costs

    The scope of the problem in the US: 11M unemployed/4M jobs unfilled
  • We are doing a lot of thinking about this, because increasingly the measure of value for todays learners is a job, not just a diploma


    How do you marry and use data
    Student Interests, passions and accomplishments (badges) + What skills needed for a field of study
    And connect that student to an employment opportunity.

    How?
    Capture Competencies: Students can communicate skills and competencies acquired through numerous universities or professional experience
    Link competencies to evidence – From self-validation today to verifying competencies through the LMS platform to specific course grades, assessments, projects, practicum, etc
    Merchandising these skills and competencies to employers




    Example: Once I know you are good fit for a vocation….already taken 20 courses…you are 60% to an accounting degree ….or 40% to a a business degree

  • …and merchandising these skills and competencies to employers looking for those skills


    Helping student centric learning delivery: from advancing competency-based frameworks to giving students tools to track what they’ve learned along the way competencies, badges and, of course, course completions
  • So we all agree change is needed. We believe the change needs to be about the learner needs. And that you need to create learner-centric technology and services – and empower yourself (and your students) with data to do it.

    We are here to help – so are many others. We look forward to continuing the dialogue with you – and advancing the cause of learner-centric education with you and the rest of the partner ecosystem that serves you.
  • Learner Centric: The New Normal

    1. 1. Learner-Centric: The New Normal
    2. 2. 58% 58 % say “Retaining Students” is most critical issue facing Higher Ed % Critical to Solve by Persona (C-Level, Academic & Administrative, Tech Leader, Faculty) 53% 48% Rising Costs & Decreasing Revenue Recruiting/ Enrolling Students Blackboard Market Research The top three issues facing Higher Ed are consistent across multiple personas, from Presidents, Technology Leaders and Faculty
    3. 3. Blackboard Market Research The #1 issue facing students: The cost When students are asked their top issue, one issue dominates
    4. 4. Chronicle Survey of Presidents Only 49% of those surveyed believed that the US Higher Education system is providing good or excellent value 49% 38% 11% Very good Excellent The Innovative University, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2014, sponsored by Blackboard Presidents’ rating of value that the US Higher-Education System is providing to students and their families
    5. 5. Chronicle Survey of Presidents 98% 98% say change is necessary 67% Disruptive Some change The Innovative University, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2014, sponsored by Blackboard 31% Presidents’ rating of the need for change in American Higher Education
    6. 6. Chronicle Survey of Presidents 63% 63% say the pace of change is too slow or far too slow 52% 11% Too slow Far too slow The Innovative University, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2014, sponsored by Blackboard Presidents’ rating of the need for change in American Higher Education
    7. 7. Catalyst for change
    8. 8. The Post-Traditional Learner Attend multiple institutions Follow employers Listen to peers Pursue skills & competencies Engage with apps Consumers of data/info
    9. 9. Flexible Personal The “New Normal” Anytime/ anywhere Engaging Interactive Modular Affordable Accessible
    10. 10. New Student Journey
    11. 11. The “New Normal” Expanding the Definition of Education Pay-by-Credit All You Can Learn Competency- Based Traditional Degree Course-Based Badges and Credentials
    12. 12. ?
    13. 13. Learner Centric
    14. 14. Rethink Teaching, Learning And the Business of Education Program Selection & Marketing Student Support & Retention Learning Delivery Career Placement
    15. 15. Core Components
    16. 16. Forward-looking statement Statements regarding our product development initiatives, including new products and future product upgrades, updates or enhancements represent our current intentions, but may be modified, delayed or abandoned without prior notice and there is no assurance that such offering, upgrades, updates or functionality will become available unless and until they have been made generally available to our customers.
    17. 17. InstitutionPresent Future Data-Informed Program Viability • Conferral Trends • Student Search Data • Student Preferences • Employer Demands • Current Competitors • Brand Position • Resources • Growth Objectives • Job Growth • Market Trends • Future Competition
    18. 18. Find and Attract the Right Students
    19. 19. Cost Effectively Reach Your Target Audiences Highly effective, geotargeted media outreach Obtain targeted, relevant messaging See segmentation by motivations to enroll Gain an understanding beyond demographics Identify successful and underserved audiences
    20. 20. Student Retention and the Cost to Higher Ed Sources: New England Journal of Higher Education; Moody’s Investment Services. $16 billion Collective lost revenue due to attrition for colleges and universities $9 million Average lost revenue by school due to attrition 12 28 20132007 Institutions with Downgraded Credit Doubles
    21. 21. The Business of Being a Student Should Be Easier
    22. 22. Many Points Along the Path Where a Student Can Stumble Admission Graduation
    23. 23. Personalized Support Along the Journey
    24. 24. Analytics for Administrators
    25. 25. The Staff to Student Challenge Identifying At-Risk Students
    26. 26. low income zip code, late fin aid app The Staff to Student Challenge Identifying At-Risk Students
    27. 27. failed developmental math, first gen The Staff to Student Challenge Identifying At-Risk Students
    28. 28. low LMS engagement, high credit load The Staff to Student Challenge Identifying At-Risk Students
    29. 29. The Staff to Student Challenge Identifying At-Risk Students
    30. 30. Data and the Evolving Learning Environment
    31. 31. Better Insights Across the Learning Environment… In Design
    32. 32. …and Directly in the Hands of Learners! In Design
    33. 33. 75Myoung people without a job 57%of employers say they can’t find enough qualified entry level candidates
    34. 34. 11Munemployed 4Mjobs unfilled
    35. 35. Capture and Publish Skills and Competencies
    36. 36. Connect Students with Job Opportunities
    37. 37. ®

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