Measuring Success in Higher Ed: Online Learning Technologies for Long-Term Growth

Measuring Success in Higher Ed: Online Learning Technologies for Long-Term Growth

Male student wearing headphones watching webinar, online class

In our ongoing series on the return on investment in online education, we've explored the imperative of integrating financial-oriented ROI considerations into university strategies and the pivotal role of student retention in achieving sustainable success. As we turn to the future in this third installment, we delve into the evolving landscape of digital education. New technologies that reshape how we learn and teach are rapidly entering physical and virtual classrooms. Adapting to these advancements is not merely about keeping pace with technological change; it's about leveraging these innovations to enhance student engagement and academic success, ensuring that educational institutions not only survive but thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.

Level Up Your Learning Management System to Measure Educational Outcomes and Boosting ROI 

Building online and hybrid programs on the right learning management system (often shortened to LMS and sometimes referred to as e-learning platforms) allow you to measure student progress more effectively—leading to stronger student retention and thus stronger ROI for students and for colleges and universities.

Robust learning management systems come equipped with powerful learning analytics that evaluate data, optimize teaching strategies, and improve student performance by identifying learning patterns. Learning analytics and the ability to monitor student progress at granular levels enable faculty, staff, and administrators to measure learning impact and program efficacy. With easy-to-access metrics in hand, stakeholders can make data-driven decisions to create and improve course and program design. Furthermore, tools are provided to faculty to streamline planning and grading. Ultimately, this enables the efficient monitoring, adjustment, and optimization of student engagement and outcomes, ensuring the achievement of ROI goals.

Technologies Shaping the Future of Higher Ed

Tapping into new technologies can enable personalized learning experiences, facilitate better communication, and create more interactive and flexible educational environments, ultimately leading to improved academic outcomes and student retention—key metrics that are known to drive strong ROI. Six technology-enabled learning strategies that are redefining the higher education learning environment and can contribute to prolonged stability are:

  • Gamification: Uses game-like elements such as badges, leaderboards, and points to boost learner engagement and achievement.
  • Adaptive Learning: Customizes content, using machine learning and AI, to match individual learning speeds and styles, enhancing engagement and outcomes.
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR): Provides immersive experiences ideal for fields requiring visual and hands-on learning, like medicine and engineering.
  • Assistive Technologies: Includes tools such as screen readers and speech recognition to ensure accessible learning for all students.
  • Multimodal Learning: Combines online and face-to-face learning to offer flexible and comprehensive educational experiences.
  • Microlearning: Breaks content into small, digestible segments, suitable for learners with limited time.

Harnessing the Power of Data and Technology to Drive ROI

Throughout this series, we've explored integrating ROI with educational strategies, the importance of student retention, and the transformative role of new technologies. Adapting to these changes is crucial for enhancing engagement and ensuring the viability of educational institutions. We encourage university leaders to embrace the wealth of data within their learning management systems and take a proactive approach to ensure it is analyzed and used to enhance student performance and ultimately drive significant ROI.

We invite you, our readers, to join the conversation and share your experiences and insights in this dynamic digital education landscape. How have these technologies influenced the ROI of your educational initiatives? What challenges and opportunities have you encountered in quantifying the financial and educational returns on digital investments? Your contributions are invaluable as we continue to navigate and optimize the impact of education technologies.