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What is a student engagement platform?
A student engagement platform is a centralized tool where students can access their academic information and personal profiles. The tool allows students and faculty members to communicate and access information in real time. It can also be used to promote events, increase attendance, and maximize student involvement.
The platform’s intention is to help educational institutions increase student participation on campus and in the classroom.
The benefits of a student engagement platform
In this section, we’ve listed a few benefits of implementing a student engagement platform on your campus:
- Increased student engagement: The software tracks student participation and measures the effectiveness of a course from their feedback. Emerging technologies, such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), could increase engagement levels, especially of students who find it difficult to follow text-heavy courses.
- Better understanding of student needs: Detailed analysis and reports about student participation can help schools decide which events or course delivery methods to retain or scrap. These decisions will help you plan for the future and make data-backed decisions.
- A more personalized learning experience: A student engagement platform allows institutions to personalize and contextualize learning for each learner. The course content is tailored as per the learner’s strengths, interests, ethnicity, regional culture, and community needs. Students are encouraged to participate in activities and learn about topics that interest them from the available pool of activities.
- Automation of tedious tasks: Automating time-consuming tasks speeds up processes such as performance tracking, grading, and marking student attendance. Engagement tools streamline the process of grading the assignments, conducting discussions, and managing participants for events.
Typical features of a student engagement platform
- Reporting/Analytics: View and track reports such as revenue earned, enrolment, attendance, and staffing.
- Communication tools: Communicate with your students using email and mobile devices.
- Information hub: Centralize the data repository to host all the relevant information that students need to use.
- Event calendar: View and schedule events and activities on a calendar.
- Mobile app: Access or operate the system using a mobile application.
Considerations when purchasing a student engagement platform
- Availability of mobile learning apps: A dedicated mobile app or website has many benefits such as letting teachers update parents about their child’s progress in real time. Students can study on their own using e-books on the app, watching video tutorials, and playing educational games. Also, it facilitates online fee payments.
- Support for different communication channels: Effective communication is vital in keeping students and learners engaged. The platform should offer multiple communication channels such as email, social messaging, alerts and notifications, as well as newsletters. These channels can be used to inform students about new schedules, conferences, school activities, and upcoming tests.
- Student data privacy and security: Educational institutions have to handle massive amounts of information and protect student privacy. Every country and state has its own student data protection laws. Check whether the software adheres to the data security and privacy laws that are applicable in your region(s).
Relevant student engagement platform trends
- VR to make learning an immersive experience: AR and VR technologies can simulate real-life situations and provide more value than a traditional classroom. Students can have an immersive experience by exploring lessons in 3D. For instance, Intel’s mobile computer science lab gets students interested in coding and learning through VR. However, you’ll have to first train your teachers on using these technologies.
- Gamification can increase student engagement: Many course developers are trying to harness the momentum of video games in learning. A gamified learning experience increases student engagement as it affects the analytical, social, and emotional aspects of learning. Gamified learning has point-based rewards for all the listed activities under an assessment, for each student. This instills a sense of competition and motivates students to earn more points than their peers.
- IoT to automatically track attendance: Using internet of things (IoT) devices, such as microchips, which could help institutions track student movement on campus. You could automate attendance by tracking a student's chip-enabled ID card when they pass through sensors to enter a classroom. This technology could also automatically schedule and plan activities, so that teachers can focus on research and teaching.