Organisations across different industries are constantly looking to adapt to technological advancements and the emergence of new generations (millennials and Gen Z). As a result, digital workplace solutions have progressively gained popularity as they provide these organisations with an all-in-one solution capable of improving communication and collaboration, and streamlining business processes.
In this blog post, we will discuss the different challenges facing educational institutions and how eXo Platform, with its multidimensional approach, can help address these challenges.
Educational institutions of all levels are always looking to attract the best prospects (whether to work within the campus or enrol on a specific programme) and to provide them with the right tools to succeed. The formative nature of educational institutions, coupled with the high expectations of tech-savvy users, makes it essential to have solutions capable of meeting these needs.
Below are the main challenges facing the education sector:
Relying on traditional tools such as email and static intranet portals for communication between faculty members and students can lead to disengagement. The availability of a multitude of business applications and social media platforms encourages users to visit these sites to communicate. Facebook groups are often created for a specific course in which different types of content can be exchanged. Although practical for small teams, these groups act as a limited short-term fix for a more complex problem and do not provide faculty staff and students with a central place to communicate.
- Knowledge dispersion
Finding a way to store knowledge in a centralised location and make it accessible for users is the main challenge facing educational institutions. Not having an internal knowledge base capable of storing all types of data (files, training videos etc.) contributes to the dispersion of knowledge and an increase in the amount of time spent looking for information. Cloud storage platforms such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are often used by individual users or groups to collaborate and exchange documents. This constitutes an issue in terms of knowledge accessibility as well as data security, as faculty administrators do not have control over the shared documents.
- Onboarding and continuous learning
Whether in a business or educational context, onboarding is often a challenging task for organisations. New students or workers have to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings to facilitate their integration into the campus. The absence of a solution capable of conveying campus news and policies can make the onboarding process harder and longer. Furthermore, if an onboarding space dedicated tor newcomers is not available, students/workers may find it hard to access training materials.
To address the challenges mentioned above, educational institutions often turn to digital workplace solutions. The vast array of features included within solutions such as eXo Platform brings a number of benefits to these institutions. Below are the main benefits, along with some examples of use.
- Improved communication and collaboration
eXo Platform allows educational institutions to improve communication and collaboration between faculty members, students, alumni and business partners. With a large number of built-in functionalities – such as an enterprise social network (ESN), a knowledge management system (KMS), intranet portal and instant messaging, eXo Platform appeals to the education sector.
Intranet portals, with their top-down capabilities, allow faculty members (typically communication and HR specialists) to post news and announcements. This keeps users aware of the latest developments within the organisation and further improves engagement.
An ESN, on the other hand, allows users to post different types of content on an activity stream., and to interact with their peers via likes, comments and shares. This improves the organisational culture (a top priority in the education sector) and breaks down barriers between faculty members and students.
Within eXo Platform, users have the opportunity to create spaces dedicated to courses, cohorts or shared interests in which they can communicate and collaborate via the spaces activity stream or using the chat application. This eliminates their reliance on other tools, such as email or social media platforms.
- Improved knowledge sharing
An integrated knowledge management system focuses on locating, capturing and storing all types of knowledge, and making this available for users. Typical users within this context include faculty members, students, alumni and business partners.
A rich knowledge base with an effective search function helps users find what they are looking for in a quick and timely manner. This significantly reduces the time spent looking for information, thus improving the overall performance of the institution and its students.
- Onboarding and continuous learning
One of the most sought-after functionalities in a digital workplace is interoperability. A solution capable of integrating third-party applications, in this case e-learning platforms, facilitates onboarding and ongoing training. This way, students can access e-learning platforms and different training materials directly from eXo Platform.
Users can also learn more about the institution news and policies via the portal or dedicated spaces for newcomers in their ESN.
In summary, a disengaged workforce and students, a lack of communication and a decrease in overall productivity represent the main challenges facing educational institutions. In this blog post, we have discussed how our solution can help these institutions overcome these challenges.
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