Universities today have to prepare to be digital universities. A digital university is not only one that can give classes online, it is one that has all the classes very well planned with the appropriate tools, with digitized materials, and is able to save the evidence of those classes in a good repository, and also to be able to have all the academic history of the student and the evidence of their progress in education systems such as Blackboard, Banner, CRM, UPLanner, etc. It is not simply a matter of distance learning via Zoom, Teams or Skype, this may work in an emergency model, but now it is time to take the next step.
We have to understand that the new regulation on online classes approved by Congress is going to demand that all institutions transform themselves and provide all their services online. This implies offering the student a complete university experience in a virtual way, from responding to their requests for information, as well as being able to give them psycho-pedagogical support, advice on their enrollment or ensuring that the entire retention process is being done in an automated way to know what to do with each type of student. There are students who, due to the nature of their requirements, need personalized attention, and the system must be able to recognize and classify them in a virtual way. Here it is key to have a good retention team and a predictive system based on statistical models with the entire history of the student. In a CRM environment we must be able to know what your academic performance is, if you have pending payments, your level of attendance at classes. This information will help us to know if the student is at high risk of dropping out, and in what way we have to act to retain him.
If we talk about the part of digital management, obviously it has to be a university that knows perfectly and can measure the quality of everything it does in real time, in order to quickly solve any problem that may arise. In a service institution like ours, many unforeseen events can arise, but the challenge is having the capacity and speed of response without our students noticing. For this, it is important to have AI systems that serve students immediately, and that with predictive models we get closer to offering students what they need.
On the accounting and financial side, the dashboards help you to clearly see the indicators, if we are meeting our goals, if we are meeting the SLAs of the service in each type of channel, etc. The entire management environment also has to be digitized, imagine having to attend to requests from people whose information we only handle in physical formats. At this juncture it would take us weeks to find the information and respond to them.
When you think of a digital university, you not only have to think about the classes and the experience inside the classroom, you have to think about the entire 360 experience outside the classroom, and the entire management of the institution. In this way, we can really say that we are offering a 100% digital university service. As leaders of our educational institutions, where do we feel we are? Do we feel that we are ready to offer the entire university service online? Do we have student service management to solve their requirements, claims, payments and extra-curricular activities in an integrated way? Do we have total control of all the variables and indicators that influence the development of the university in an automated way, available 24/7 and with access to all leaders? If we do not find an affirmative answer to these questions, we cannot be ready to be an online university, even more so, if we think in this new legislature that semi-face-to-face classes are allowed.