Begin with Your End Goals

Supporting truly student-centered learning requires a technology strategy that moves beyond legacy systems to an ecosystem designed to support the complete student journey. When identifying the right technologies to support your institution’s student-centered learning strategy, five key principles will set you on the right track.

One of those key principles is to begin with your end goals. Just like good instructional design, a well designed, student-centered technology infrastructure begins with the outcomes in mind.

What are your goals and what data is needed to help achieve those goals?

You need to know how, when, and in what format will you need to access the data because data is only helpful if it is readily accessible and appears in the right places. If it is buried across a number of siloed systems, the costs of accessing and assembling an integrated picture is often too high. Ultimately it is all about clarity of intentions.

What are you trying to help students accomplish and what data is required to help measure and assess the progress toward those goals?

Without clear intentions, you will have a lot of data, but few insights. It is also important to recognize that any effort to generate meaningful insights must serve different stakeholders who have different needs for the same data. Faculty and student success professionals typically require data to identify and support proactive interventions with individual students, while institutional stakeholders require data in aggregate to inform continuous improvement, accreditation, and other longitudinal needs of the school. Building an infrastructure that can flex to serve multiple needs now and in the future is critical to getting the insights you need.