Think About Data Needs to Manage Security

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 think about data needs to manage security.

Data security, confidentiality, and privacy are crucial concerns.

At the same time, student-centered learning requires people be able to access and share information easily and securely. Resolving this tension is a crucial piece of any student-centered learning strategy. A more flexible approach to data privacy is possible, but it requires schools to be able to configure data in more precise ways. The rigidity of legacy systems typically means information security becomes an either/or proposition. People are either in the system and can access all data – whether or not they need it – or they are denied all access.

A configurable system can allow for a more tailored approach that provides a flow of the right information to the right people at the right time. For example, a faculty member might benefit from a richer view of a student’s academic history, but fears that this might create bias or violate student privacy usually preclude such sharing. A more nuanced architecture would allow faculty members to access a student’s work history, understand their progress toward key learning outcomes, and facilitate learning outcomes more timely and tailored support without sharing an overwhelming and potentially bias-inducing amount of student information. If your learning technology forces you to limit usability and impact on student support in exchange for security, it will hinder your efforts to improve the student experience.