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7 reasons why students drop out? admin Fri, 05/17/2019 - 00:52

Today’s school system, college, and universities are on mounting pressure. There are constant talks going on about student persistence and student success. Regardless of the type of school and the course they offer, there are many reasons that trigger students dropout rates. It could just be an individual issue or a mix of them. But it’s high time to review into the reasons behind these dropouts, revise the factors for those young men and woman to have a successful course completion. This blog aims to pull out the main reasons why students drop out of their higher education.

Why do students drop out? Break the scenario—you don’t deserve to be a statistic.‍

 

 

These questions hammer the current status of the dropout rate. Universities and schools are in deep introspection. In such turn of events, what would you do to avoid becoming just another statistic? What could the vice president, faculty and staff do to retain a student? When can you understand why exactly students enrolled in your high school dropout?
The walk-away from their studies could happen for many reasons. The higher education voyage is never an easy one. College students in large, especially those in the first year of college find time adapting to the expanse of college life. Even before they realize the advantages behind the newfound freedom, the campus quad, and sunny afternoons, the students'drop out of college. Reports confirm that a mere 54% of students in the United States are being able to make it to graduation. Remaining continue to be high school dropouts.

 

 

This blog helps to figure out the potential pitfalls that affect these young people from completing their high school, leading to quit schooling. We have worked out on tips to prevent student retention too. Read through the end.

Reason 1: Expensive tuition fee

“I can't afford my college fees”! This is the first reason why students drop out. The skyrocketing fees increase student debts, pushing those from underprivileged backgrounds suffer further. A survey conducted by the India Times shows that around 50 percent of 2017-2018 young adults who couldn’t afford college, dropped out. Further, the Student Enrollment Trends by high-needs Subgroup (2008-18) confirms the drop out rate due to unaffordability.

Source: Delaware Department of Education. (2018). Detailed Enrollment and Specialty Enrollment Reports (2008-2011).

Reason 2: Just not prepared academically

“I’m simply not ready for it, dropping out of school doesn’t matter to me!” The lack of readiness is a major culprit in high school graduation rates and first-year students are the first prey. They quit higher education because they are simply not ready for it. 2016 report produced by Education Trust shows that about 50% of high school graduates from US drop-out of high school without completing college and career-ready courses of study.

Reason 3: Unhappy with the college

Nagging roommates, overloaded with course works could be the next main reasons for students to drop out of high school. Unhappiness could also arise out of the distrust that develops out of the feeling that in spite of paying so much of fees, the institution forgets to keep students happier. The case is worse when their colleges don’t take them from the process of recruitment through placement appropriately. The number of communications, orientations, events to make student show up for the course goes futile when most institutions forget to keep up the same effort. Hopelessness clouds around them when they feel that they are not up to the job ahead. These feelings force students to leave college and return to the comfort of their communities back home.

Reason 4: Discouraging environment

  • “I quit simply because it bored”!
  • “No one cared if I drop out."

“I quit simply because it bored”! This is yet another reason why most high school students come to a sticky end these days. Lack of student engagement is the main reason. When a student feels less engaged and lonely, he/she is definitely turned down. They feel bypassed when the colleges do not follow Outcome Based Education. “No one cares if I attended”, replied a student who was recently interviewed by GradNation.org survey for his dropping out. Motivation barrier can be seen here in this student’s case. Two types of motivation barriers exist—internal and external. Internal would include a less motivational learning environment, whereas external would be lack of peer collaboration online, fear of isolation and the absence of social cues. Inculcating the habits of success, forming a perfect support system can help here.

Reason 5: Picking the wrong course

  • The major didn’t suit me, it was not up to the job ahead
  • A sense of hopelessness

"I am undecided." Problems bud out from here. Figuring out the right course of study for a successful career path can always be of struggle. This could be a winding road rather than a straight line. It is unbelievable, but the truth is around 80% of college students get confused about changing their major at least once by the end of their study. It is unfair to commit to a course of study only to discover later that the program is not what they expected. Course evaluation done at the early stages can become a right mentor here, where students are exposed to pick courses after much thought, by their own.

Reason 6: Academic inadequacy

Off the big number of students who attempt four-year college study, only a twenty-five percent have met the ACT readiness benchmarks on all the four subjects. A very sad state of affairs, indeed. On an average classroom,  28–40 percent want for remedial classes. When a higher education lack this, there is a dip in the student’s performance, which becomes a major reason for student pull out. Students should be routed with a solid learning management system that includes polls, notifications, quiz, assessments, and rubrics.

Reason 7: Conflict with work and family commitments

1 on 3 students dropped out due to the imbalance between work and college.

The conflict of interest between home, job and study can cause a breach in education. This scene is most common among all department of education, community colleges, and state universities. To back up their education students join part-time jobs. The Labour Market Outcomes of Young Dropouts statistics proved that 1 on 3 students dropped out due to the imbalance between work and college. Unable to maintain stress the work-study gave, they drop out.

Completion of school or colleges becomes an ordeal for the above-said reasons. If not addressed adequately by campus management, these reasons might lead to a significant decrease in student retention. This wakes up colleges and universities to discuss the college student retention crucially. Might look like a thorn on one’s side. Fret not, reading one of our blogs on how to improve student retention in higher education? can help you arrive at an idea on how to boost student retention can help. The result cannot be overnight, but yes retention rates can be curbed down and issues can be straightened up. Learning communities are budding, aiming to increase the school/college completion rates.
There’s a growing body of research which suggests that colleges can improve their students’ chances of success by working to understand student frustrations, providing appropriate supports, and finding ways to help them over the rough spots.

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5 Different Ways to Map Learning Outcomes admin Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:26

When it comes to mapping learning outcomes, the secret lies in various ways it is done. The rising demand in today’s institutions has left the departments to ruminate on course content, curricular goals, a regular and systematic review process of the goals, how courses support the attainment of the goals, and how these goals are assessed. This is absolutely where mapping creeps in. With the advent of outcome-based education, mapping has become a more crucial concept.

The curriculum mapping process happens differently in different institutions. We tried interacting with a few educational institutions to find out their ways of mapping learning outcomes. We inferred that most of the institutions use up to a maximum of 5 levels of mapping when trying to achieve a comprehensive outcome. This blog aims to discuss those 5 levels of mapping. In addition, we’ve tried drawing references to the traditional mapping process which is in contrast to the current one.

The traditional process of curriculum mapping

Being the most common approach, curriculum mapping was entirely done by faculty, but often without discussion with the student affairs or without the students themselves. Hence, the result obtained rarely represented the fullness of a degree or the student learning experience. The following were the three traditionally used approaches to curriculum mapping.

  1. Mapping learning outcomes started with a compilation of responses got as a result of sending an excel spreadsheet/template electronically to the faculty or staff.
  2. Completion of the entire mapping by the program head who does it in isolation to be submitted to the assessment management system. There could be less or no conversation with other faculties during this process.
  3. A meeting point where faculty comes together to identify the alignment of the course and to address various learning outcomes. Usually, this step is entailed by a planned examination.

The current scenario

Mapping is nothing but a visual approach that analyzes the underlying framework of a program. Unlike the traditional way, the overview mapping learning outcomes can be achieved in many ways—the creation of charts, tables, and graphs. Mapping determines how the current requirements of your program support the achievement of your learning outcome goals. A much simpler version of a curriculum map is built on a two-dimensional matrix, with the learning outcomes arrayed across the top (as the x-axis) and courses listed down on the left side (as y-axis).

 

  Learning outcomes 1 Learning outcomes 2 Learning outcomes 3
Course 1 x   x
Course 2 x x  
Course 3     x

 

5 levels of Mapping

While there is strictly no right or wrong to handle the mapping process, we understood that each of the approaches below might have strengths and weaknesses of its own. The five levels of mapping learning outcomes are as follow:

  1. PO-Course mapping
  2. CO-PO mapping
  3. Assessments - CO mapping
  4. Syllabus - CO mapping
  5. Questions - CO mapping

Level 1: PO-COURSE MAPPING

This first and foremost step of Learning Outcome is that it should be mapped with Program outcomes. Program Outcomes which were earlier referred to as Graduate Attributes is all about what you expect from a graduate in his 4 years of graduation. Compliable with Bloom’s Taxonomy, this level of mapping lets the Instructor set up threshold value alongside the program learning.

 

 

Level 2: CO - PO MAPPING

Aligning program level outcomes with course-level outcomes is the second level of mapping. This level of outcomes mapping focuses on student learning and it allows faculty to create a visual map of a program. It is also the exact place to explore how students are meeting program-level outcomes at the course level.

Level 3: ASSESSMENTS - CO MAPPING

This level of mapping facilitates the alignment of various Assessments with the Courses Outcomes. The following visual represents what will the students know and be able to do as a result of his course at the course-level. If in case the course outcome relates to a campus-wide learning outcome, they get featured too. In that case, what are the ways used to assess the outcome? Is it by writing a report that you score a rubric or by a presentation? What was the total student performance on the assessment? Was he able to achieve the desired percentage levels? Lastly, as an instructor what did the instructor learn from assessing students which altered his way of teaching?

Level 4 of Mapping: Syllabus - CO mapping

This is the main in the whole of mapping levels. This shows how the entire syllabus gets mapped with the Courses in the given course time.

Level 5: QUESTIONS - CO MAPPING

It is at this level that the students develop an insight into becoming powerful questioners. An authentic inquiry learning with a visual summary on a topic is mapped with the courses. Bloom's various levels are catered to here.

These five levels of mapping articulate how the curriculum and learning goals match together. As a next step, gathering evidence of student learning follows, which involves determining assessment methods and identifying the measures.

Benefits of mapping learning outcomes

Mapping learning outcomes can result in many benefits. Here’s a list of them.

  • It identifies how the required courses add to the achievement of program outcomes
  • Expands the student achievement in achieving program outcomes
  • Works on reflection by revealing gaps in the curriculum and propagates remedial classes
  • The course instructors become fully aware of other courses in which students achieve similar outcomes and can plan their syllabi accordingly. Thus reinforcing the outcomes, helping in skill/knowledge development, and avoiding overlap
  • Helps to determine the course prerequisites and program requirements based on how the outcomes fit together
  • It shows the logic and overall design of a program and captures the relevance of its courses
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10 ultimate benefits of Student Information System admin Tue, 05/07/2019 - 07:15

In an era of digitization, does your institute still store students information manually? Or are you held up handling an inefficient system that wrecks most of your time and data? If your answer is “yes”, then this blog is just for you.

A student information system is all that you need. The advantages a student information system SIS could bring can be immense. However in this blog we aim to figure out the 10 ultimate benefits of student information system.

There is an upsurge happening in technology these days. It is imperative for institutions to upgrade their legacy systems to stay competitive and to offer students better learning experience. Saving information manually results in various cons. A quick answer for this could be - Student Information System.

What is a Student Information System, in short

Student Information System is a software which any institute can implement, irrespective of its size. It helps in managing even the minutest detail of the student in a highly organized way. From enrollment to handling inquiries, tracking students progress, sending reminders and notifications, the student information system does it all. The SIS helps to channelize the faculty’s workload and stay concentrated on students learning and work towards continuous
improvement.

The following are some of the benefits of a student information system.

  1. Hassle free recruitment/enrollment processes - the most wrecking part of any institution can be recruitment. The purpose of student management system doesn’t stop with engaging students. It exceeds their service expectations by guiding them throughout the recruitment and enrollment processes. One of the biggest features of student management system is a streamlined student recruiting and enrollment that helps in many ways. Mainly it attracts and manages prospective students to meet admissions goals and institutions needs.
  2. Managing student information - with students come oodles of data and information. It can be overwhelming for the school administrators to handle student registration, attendance, and to analyze academic progress manually. If only you could do all of this in a few clicks, you would end up saving complex procedures and time of your institution. Going paperless is now easy with an efficient student information system. With an SIS you can input data, organize, analyze & compare information, in a single go. Keeping track of all student activities across the years in one place, maintaining course information and grade book is super easy. Additionally, the school information management system boosts productivity by even troubleshooting the most complex grading errors.
  3. Student portal - this is another important benefit of student management system-student portal. An SIS is a single source of information for students to track schedules, attendance, courses, invoices/payment dues. With the student portal, students can keep a trail of their day-to-day activities, check topics for discussion, schedules, grades, etc.
  4. Academic advising - the demands set by students is high in the recent years. They expose a shift in attitudes about education and expect greater flexibility in achieving their goals. Intentional interactions by advisors is sure to assess students’ progress toward your educational objective. The feature of a good student information system has advisors assessing student profiles with precision. They then guide thriving students toward their goals and get at-risk students back on track.
  5. To foster efficiency - with an online student management system, the entire process of an institute gets automated. A lot of manpower and resources’ time is saved from an admin’s perspective.  On the other hand, the resources can be utilized for a better process that drives students’ progress and outcomes. In short, a student information system makes the job stress free and easy for every stakeholder.
  6. Redundant human errors - Education institutions will have oodles of data. While done manually, there are chances for errors to creep in, which affects the student’s entire year. Such things are ruled out with an SIS where you can input data, organize, analyze & compare information, in a single go. Additionally, the student information system boosts productivity by even troubleshooting the most complex grading errors.
  7. Parental portal - Most of the parents are busy these days and prefer everything on the tip of their fingers. Right from their child’s learning, academic progress, they wish to have everything in an easy to handle format. Quick communication in the form of reminders and notifications is all that they want. The benefit of student information system would rightly help such parents to instantly view their child’s grades, attendance, and progress.
  8. No more data breaches - An efficient student information system should allow registering/deregistering for courses and exams, documenting grades, assessments & results of student tests. It should build student schedules, tracks student attendance, maintains payment information, medical records and many more. The frequency of data breaches concerning educational institutions is not new. Handling such institute’s sensitive data concerning children and parent is crucial. Institutes have to look for efficient ways to store data securely than by simply filing it in their cupboard. This is where the student information system comes to help. With a good SIS comes a perfect solution for data security, where an institution can secure data digitally with protective measures. Most SIS today are cloud-based where the information stored is highly secure, confidential and under a central platform.
  9. Effortless communication - Maintaining healthy communication with the stakeholders of the institution is crucial. A student information system can make it happen. There is closer interaction between student-staff, teachers and parents for a healthy teaching/learning community. All sorts of communication are dished out in an instant with integrated messaging and notification tools, via emails and messaging. Such an effective system builds transparency that leads to overall institutional effectiveness.
  10. Builds Alumni - An alumni network helps in myriad ways. From placements to job referrals and funding, it even improves the curriculum based on the industry’s feedback. An SIS in short, seamlessly manages your alumni relations while keeping students engaged & happy. Most SIS automatically adds students into their alumni network by default with same user credentials after their graduation.

    To be different and to be better than your competitors
    Isn’t it always better to gain an upper hand over your competitors? You might look different from your peers now, but won’t be for long. Adopting to digitally managing student information will help you get recognized among a community that breathes the same. The benefits of these systems can only be experienced. Trust us, at Creatrix we implement a perfect student information system that you can rely on. Contact us at info@creatrixcampus.com for more help.

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6 best ways to improve students’ learning experiences with a course catalog software admin Sun, 04/07/2019 - 14:01 How to improve student experience on campus with course catalog software?

Course Catalog allows students to browse and search for various programs and courses of study. It is an online catalog management system that comes handy to familiarize students with the university structure and study program offerings. It displays information on graduate and undergraduate programs, course requirements, elective options, and academic policies.

Technology can wrap higher education around the needs of the learner

The course management becomes simple and easy in colleges and higher education institutions with a course catalog software. Handling academic content, while reducing their dependence on paper-based catalogs is made simple.   In today’s competitive education industry, if students don’t have a rich learning experience, institutions are likely to notice a fall in students’ enrolment. The situation gets worse where management processes get questioned. Here are the top six ways to help improve student experience with an online course catalog.

 


 

Steps for an enriching student experience using course catalog software
 
  1. Keep students engaged with accurate course information
  2. Automated workflows
  3. Robust, predictive search
  4. Simple and easy registration
  5. Secure cloud-based system
  6. Ensures success
1. Keep students engaged with accurate course information

Students are badly in need of accurate and timely course information and never have out-of-date catalogs. Moreover, editing and checking catalog is tedious and time-consuming. Academic catalog management system allows students to create attractive and engaging content with a comprehensive audit trail of decisions made along the way. They get complete visibility of their course journey.
 

2. Automated workflows

Institutions are unique in their review processes. The academic content you boast should provide clear visibility into its processes for greater insight. Powerful and flexible workflow engine allows institutions to create, manage and publish interactive course information in real time. Simple workflow tools can manage all programs, courses and academic policies of the institution. Increase accuracy and validity in the course catalog with various types of status reports.
 

3. Robust, predictive search

Students can quickly find accurate, personalized information in the online course catalog. Programs, courses, timetable, degree requirements and other learning experiences with robust, predictive search. Students can use filter options such as course numbers, titles, and keywords to refine results and get the right course information.
 

4. Simple and easy registration

The course catalog software promises enhanced learning with technology. There is an easy option for students who are looking for a particular course of study. They simply have to get into the course catalog and search and register for courses offered in the current semester.
 

5. Secure cloud-based system

Cloud-based course catalog with a highly secure role-based authentication system allows you to confidently assign tasks with multiple user roles. You can even store digital information in a single repository and share it in many places. Managing integrated course information of colleges and universities across multiple campuses from one centralized location.
 

6. Ensures success

Course catalog management software is web-based and an efficient, easy-to-use application that has been configured for academic cataloging. Fully-integrated and an intuitive, it lets students access courses and instructional material of their choice from their colleges and universities. Students are proactively deployed with resources that might help them achieve their goals and timelines. The course catalog is a piece of sheer evidence of how technology can improve teaching and learning in today’s world. These six ways of using course catalog software are the beginning of the journey to improve learner’s experience. This will provide accurate and consistent information desired by students and improve their perception as well.

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15 ways to improve education quality and student achievement with outcome-based education admin Sun, 04/07/2019 - 13:21 What does improve education quality in higher education mean?

With economic growth and globalization, there are debates brewing on how to improve the quality of higher education. Education programs focus on bettering student achievements. Focus on career, improve education quality, professional development top the discussion. And here lies the answer. 

A good, high-quality education is to do with outcomes. An outcome is a culminating demonstration of learning. It occurs after the completion of the academic program. It is a result of learning, which is a visible and observable demonstration of three main things—knowledge, combined with competence, combined with orientations. It is these three factors that determine the quality in higher education.
 


15 measures to improve quality education using outcome based education
  1. Mission, Vision & Objectives
  2. Program Educational Objectives (PEO)
  3. Graduate Attributes (GA)
  4. Student learning outcomes (SLO)
  5. Program outcomes (PO)
  6. Course outcomes (CO)
  7. Syllabus, Unit & Lesson Plan Outcomes
  8. Teaching Methods
  9. Assessment & Evaluation Tools
  10. Customizable Rubrics & Marking Schemes
  11. Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)
  12. Outcome-based Education & Accreditation
  13. Student Success
  14. Constructive alignment
  15. Presentation of outcomes with automated mind mapping

 

How can education be improved?

Traditional education systems doesn’t provide students with necessary knowledge and skills and fulfil the performance expectations. OBE transforms education into personalized learning and enable education institutions to design instruction models tailored to learning preferences of students. 

Quality education comes with outcome based education

OBE transforms education into personalized learning and enables education institutions to design instruction models tailored to the learning preferences of students. OBE is growing at astonishing rates all over the world. Every institution has a unique OBE framework to develop competent students to take on a professional career after graduation. All too often, this knowledge is not efficiently captured and used in higher education institutions. It is scattered in documents, spreadsheets, models, people’s minds and buried in paperwork. What if the linking of curriculum processes could be more easily captured in education institutions as higher education software mind maps that can be processed, activated, shared and reused to create better learning outcomes? What if there are better ways to improve education quality?

A move to implement software tools to support outcome-based learning, teaching, and assessments will benefit in many ways. It will improve learning outcomes and accelerate continuous quality improvement processes. Here are the 10 steps to improve education quality and student achievement with outcome based education software:
 

1.  Mission, Vision & Objectives

The central feature of OBE software is modeled to improve quality education. Thus, OBE prepares the mapping of the mission, vision, and values set by the institute with the program educational objectives (PEOs).
 

2.  Program Educational Objectives (PEO)

In terms of student achievement, PEOs are assessed for a longer duration. What the graduates are envisaged to achieve in their career 4-5 years after graduation. PEO attainment is based on stakeholder inputs using an online survey questionnaire. This will reveal that graduates are broadly satisfied with their achievement in all PEOs. 
 

3.  Graduate Attributes (GA)

Graduate attributes are often known as key skills, generic attributes, transferable, employability and/or soft skills. Curriculum management software allows you to map graduate attributes to the curriculum design. And this is to achieve the desired learning outcomes in real time. 
 

4.  Student learning outcomes (SLO)

A learning outcome is what a student can do as a result of a learning experience. It describes the attributes of their ideal graduates based on their visions, missions, institutional goals or outcomes. And using these as bases for developing specific program outcomes. The three broad types of learning outcomes are disciplinary knowledge and skills, generic skills and, attitudes and values.
 

5.  Program outcomes (PO)

Program outcomes are the sets of competencies (related knowledge, skills, and attitudes) that all learners are expected to demonstrate. These desired outcomes are mapped to the expected learning outcomes in specific courses. The desired course and learning outcomes are attained through assessment and evaluation tools.       
     

6.  Course outcomes (CO)

Course outcomes refer to the knowledge, values, and skills all learners are expected to demonstrate at the end of a course. Learning outcomes are mapped to course outcomes and program outcomes.
 

7.  Syllabus, Unit & Lesson Plan Outcomes

Course outcomes lead to lesson outcomes. Create a syllabus, unit, and lesson plan to link with the learning outcomes of each teaching activity. This aids coherence and cohesion in student learning.
 

8.  Teaching Methods

Technology-enabled performance demonstration of pedagogical learning through video lectures, podcasts, and slide presentations would innovate and enhance students’ learning experience. Technology-aided teaching methods and assessments would enable education institutions to accurately and perfectly map with the targeted outcome. This enables students and faculty to work together as partners toward achieving a visible and clear goal.
 

9.  Assessment & Evaluation Tools

Implementing OBE further translates to the quality and orientation of the faculty members. The core mission of teaching is to build the learning competencies. Online tests, assignments, quizzes and puzzles, and evaluation of courses/faculty through a survey questionnaire for the attainment of PEOs.
 

10.  Customizable Rubrics & Marking Schemes

Assessment of writing, oral communication, critical thinking, or information literacy often requires rubrics. Automated rubrics are standardized scoring guides that assist evaluators to make assessment more transparent, easy, consistent, and objective. They even determine the quality of student work in a consistent manner.
 

11. Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

Quality in higher education comes with CQI. Online assessment and evaluation process provide critical information to faculty and administrators. They also give real-time reports on the effectiveness of the program design, delivery, and objectives. CQI tools based on digital feedback loops through course/faculty evaluations easily. They will enable the institution to enhance the quality of education and the process will continue year after year.
 

12. Outcome-based Education & Accreditation

Yet another way for enhancement of quality of education in schools, higher education is by gaining accreditation. Accreditation Management System offers automated tools which enable higher education institutes to easily measure the achievement of the outcomes. It also lets an institution improve the quality of higher education accordingly.
 

13. Student Success

There is a paradigm shift from traditional OBE to technology-based, learner-centered result-oriented OBE. This is reflected in the key purpose that technology enhances learning and performance abilities of students before they leave the institution. Structuring colleges, universities and higher education institutions to achieve and maximize learning outcomes of students is the key to OBE principles.
 

14. Constructive alignment

Constructive alignment or linking learning outcomes to multiple curriculum elements are unique to OBE. Mapping skills, competencies, PEO’s, PO & CO, teaching methods and assessments with the learning outcomes foster better student achievement and educational quality.
 

15. Presentation of outcomes with automated mind mapping

Mind maps can be used to trigger & represent complex ideas and relationships, to assist one's thinking, writing, and decision making. Students gain a non-linear form of outlining with mind mapping.  The power of auto-generated mind maps represent the way curriculum elements are arranged, classified and grouped instantly and easily.

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What are Learning Outcomes? admin Mon, 01/07/2019 - 08:44

To simply put, Learning Outcomes are any measurable skills, abilities, knowledge or values that the student demonstrates as a result of completing a given course or class. Effective learning outcomes can be articulated at several levels, including lesson, course, program, degree, etc. It is completely student-oriented and describes what both the students have to learn and what the instructor will teach. This blog gives a clear picture of what learning outcomes are and what are its constituents.

 

  Advantages of learning outcomes

Even while designing a course, it is crucial to plan how its learning objectives will align with the given curriculum. Such is its importance.
Some of the advantages of Learning outcomes are,

  • It sets shared expectations between students and instructors
  • Lets student set learning goals easily
  • Helps students learn more effectively
  • Instructors have a clear direction while making assessment decisions
  • Gives a program level overview of learning across courses and years
  The Zero Hour - advent of learning outcomes

Teaching without Learning Outcome is similar to Teaching without Learning. A jarring reality is that most often teachers are unclear about what kind of learning is desired and the criteria against which it could be assessed. This realization was perceived by the National Policy on Education (NPE) in the year 1986, which revised the Programme of Action (PoA), emphasising that the Minimum Levels of Learning (MLLs) should be laid down with learners being assessed frequently to ensure the achievement of NPE goals. It is this understanding that paved way for the advent of Learning Outcomes for different curricular areas. Learning outcomes was definitely a method to relook into the whole process of teaching/learning with a fresh perspective.

 

What makes a good learning outcome?

A good learning outcome contributes to the learning management system of an institution. It aims in focusing on applying and integrating the knowledge and skills acquired in a particular unit of course program. Hence it is crucial in any part of any institution, which cannot be dodged when developing a course content. It taps the knowledge and skills out of any student. Learning outcomes is a quality assurance given to a chosen framework of study. They are the key element used by programme designers to validate and explain their external bodies, prospective students, and colleagues of what is expected of a successful graduate on a particular course of study. Though some staff may fondly try to forget the learning outcomes, students these days pay greater attention to them, which shows its inevitability.

A good learning outcome should have the following prerequisites:

  • It should follow S.M.A.R.T. attributes
  • Use behavioral verbs that are observable and measurable
  • Leverage Bloom’s Taxonomy
  Can a learning outcome be buttoned down as good or bad?Read down

 

Bad learning outcomes Good learning outcomes

The students will understand the concept government

The students will appreciate cultural practices of the people in India

The students will learn about the Robotics

The students will describe major notions of government

The students will identify and demonstrate  the varied cultural practices of the people in India.

The students will explain the major trends in Robotics

  What is the big deal about Learning outcomes? Ways to write them

An appealing learning outcome has three sections. It answers three main questions about the students learning experience.

  1. To do what? (refers to the Bloom's Taxonomy action verbs)
  2. For what? (this is what you will evaluate)
  3. With what? (refers to the content)
  Examples of course level outcomes:
  • English:
    Students will be able to read a variety of texts critically and demonstrate it either in writing or speech by analysis, comprehension, analysis, and interpretation of those texts.
  • Chemistry:
    Students will show demonstrated ability to explain the fundamental laws of thermodynamics and apply those laws to chemical reactions.
  • Business / Finance:
    Students will learn to complete a finance-related project with efficiency along with a set of financial reports.

The target is, by the completion of the class, students should be able to Recall… Explain… Interpret… Compare… Differentiate… Implement… Judge… Create the outcomes.

WHAT COMES NEXT?

There is more to Learning Outcomes. It is followed by two more steps—Forming learning activities and Assessments to form a Constructive Alignment.

 

  Exclusive teaching approach with different learning activities

The next step is to measure whether students have met those outcomes or not. Pick relevant activities and assignments that will allow students to meet these outcomes. Can they demonstrate it through any carefully drafted exam questions, project, essay, assignment, poster or other presentation?
Based on the above learning outcomes, appropriate writing skills should be developed. For example, if the learning outcome is to test writing skills then the assessment can have a short essay instead of a multiple-choice exam. The learning activities might have to include collaborative working in groups with a mix of peer-led training to improve the weak one.

  Assessments/Testing

Assessments are an on-going evaluation process that help students understand and improve learning by measuring the learning outcomes they might have achieved. This helps students have a clear idea of why they are being assessed and what they need to do to get higher grades in their courses.

Accumulating all of these outcomes attainment and calculating them can be hectic and time consuming. This might even result in errors if done manually. Efficient tracking of outcomes can only happen with an outcome based education softwareImplementing outcome based education can guide instructors through the anticipated outcomes, their requirements, and electives. It can thereby provide an execution for situating your course in its appropriate curricular context. With such a software in place, setting up of threshold values and mapping questions for calculating attainment can get easier.

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20 step guide for implementing Outcome Based Education admin Fri, 12/14/2018 - 07:24 OBE Implementation Process
  1. Establish Mission statements, Program Educational Objectives
  2. Map Mission Statements with Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)
  3. Define PLO with Bloom's Taxonomy
  4. Map Program Educational Objectives with PLO
  5. Define CO (Course Objectives)
  6. Define CLO (Course Learning Outcomes) with Bloom’s Taxonomy for each Course
  7. Map Courses with PLO at suitable levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  8. Map CLO with PLO at suitable levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy
  9. Map Assessment Pattern with CLO of each course
  10. Map Topics with CLOs
  11. Define pedagogical tools for course outcomes delivery
  12. Preparing session-wise Course Lesson Planner
  13. Map Questions with CLO’s at Bloom’s Taxonomy levels & Assessments
  14. Define rubrics with Bloom’s Taxonomy and CLO
  15. Track students performance by proposing proper remedial measures
  16. Measure students performance against CLO threshold, course-wise
  17. Measure students performance against PLO threshold, semester-wise
  18. Measure the attainment of each PLO through Direct/Indirect assessments
  19. Compare PLO for last 3 academic years and propose remedial actions
  20. Assess the attainment of Program Educational Objectives

In our earlier blog, we have covered Outcome Based Education in great length. But how do we adapt this educational theory to a educational institution.  The time has come at last! Organizations and Institutions have started raving about implementing the Outcome Based Education of William Spady 1994. There is more and more talks ongoing about the business outcome that will be achieved through this implementation. This blog aims to give a clear picture of steps to implement Outcome Based Education in your premises.

What does it exactly take to implement an Outcome-Based Learning Framework?

One cannot eschew the fact that organizations, irrespective of their sizes are meddling amidst ups and downs, with many stumbling blocks on their way. Failing economies, unpredictable GDPs, rising demographic challenges and many others. Whatever be, an organization’s goal to move forward is only with its ROI in mind. Not just Institutions pertaining to Learning but Development units are growing keen on tracking and showcasing the outcome of learning programs. Gone are the days when focus was more on off-the-desk work which doesn’t reflect on the business goals. Rather, there is a new shift now where clarity of focus is vested in designing learning management solutions that would directly impact on the business goals. Every single training done, thus focuses on the impact or the outcome-based learning solutions and its expanded opportunities.

What are the components and areas of governance which would synchronize for a realistic framework with specific outcomes? This left us thinking, which made us come out with this blog. Hence, here is a 20 step guide for effective Outcome Based Education implementation in your Institution.

 

 

  1. Establishing mission statements, Program Educational Objectives.

    Establishing the mission statement of any institute should be the first and foremost step when implementing OBE. The statement you chose should be futuristic and the mission should help achieve the Program Educational Objectives (PEO).

    To arrive at this indulge in surveys of all kinds. This will help you get into the nerves of the current industry, meet-up with the challenges, existing norms and learn the prevailing demands of the particular industry. These following surveys could help.

    • Employer survey
    • Student survey
    • Alumni survey
    • Parent / Guardian survey

    Pool in employers, students, alumni and parent/guardian into your survey list. There could leave you with cue for building your personalized Outcome Based Education (OBE). This could easily result in streamlining 5 levels of mapping, Assessments & Assignments, Outcomes Attainment, along with Accreditation Support.

  2. Mapping Mission statements with Program Educational Objectives.

    This should be your next step for a successful implementation. Without doubt, the program educational objectives should fall in line with the organizational business goals. All levels of employees in an organization should be transmitted about the clear and transparent mission statement alongside the PEO.

  3. Defining Program Learning Outcomes with Bloom's Taxonomy.

    Ruling out William Spady and his school of thought could become a sin here! Therefore, structuring the learning outcomes with Bloom’s Taxonomy as a framework is vital. Bloom’s Taxonomy breaks down learning into six categories and further each into a set of specific skills which can be used to demonstrate learning at higher levels.

  4. Mapping Program Educational Objectives with Program Learning Outcomes.

    The next important step to be followed is Mapping PO with LO. An efficient OBE should have a set of threshold values and mapping questions to calculate the outcomes attainment. Mapping Learning Outcomes is nothing but aligning course-level outcomes with program outcomes. A faculty can explore the students program-level outcomes at the course level using this mapping.

  5. Defining Course Objectives for each course.

    A training or course cannot simply progress without an Objective. Designing the Course Objectives keeping in mind the specific leaner group is essential for a successful implementation of OBE. The finality lies in cross checking if those course objectives were met during the tenure of the course. Remember the course objectives should be broader, similar to aspirational statements which instigates learning in any given environment.

  6. Defining Course Learning outcomes with Bloom’s Taxonomy and Threshold for each course.

    Do you believe that the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) are vital to your course curriculum? Completely measurable and observable, it has to be aligned with the Bloom’s Taxonomy objectives for an effective learning environment. Most of the resources link Bloom’s taxonomy to appropriate verbs for their level of activities. Consideration of these can be a useful way to inspire aligned methods of assessment.

  7. Mapping Courses with Program Learning Outcomes at appropriate levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Mapping level I).

    Considering the level group a learner belongs to, PLO’s should be mapped in line with Bloom’s Taxonomy.

  8. Mapping Course Learning Outcomes with Program Learning Outcomes at appropriate levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (Mapping level II).

    Applicable to all levels of learners, this particular step of mapping LO with PLO can never be ignored.

  9. Mapping assessment pattern with Course Learning Outcomes of each course.(Mapping level III).

    Assessments could take any form. They could be graded with student’s project, rubric, presentations made by student or even more. When these assessments get mapped with the course learning outcome, it promotes a perfect OBE based enhanced learning. It results in measuring the right level of student performance harvested for a meaningful assessment of a student learning.

  10. Mapping Topics with Course Learning Outcomes (Mapping level IV).

    This step cannot be evaded when trying to implement an Outcome Based Education. Inheriting an ill-fitting syllabus will blindfold the learner’s in a long journey. Similarly, following someone else’s syllabus cannot do the needful. One has to effectively meet the expected course learning outcomes by mapping well-thought-out topics alongside. A cue - an effective Course Evaluation Software can make your job easy here.

  11. Define Pedagogical tools for each course outcomes delivery.

    MR. ORS Rao from ICFAI University, Jharkhand, explains the impact of pedagogy on Learning Outcomes. He goes on to say that defining pedagogical tools while teaching subjects add to the learning effectiveness depending upon the profile of the learner.

  12. Preparing session wise Course Lesson Planner.

    A well-knit lesson plan is call for the day! Exciting and effective lesson plan is fundamental to instigate the learners and help them attain educational value. However, teachers sometime fall a trap by failing to do so.

  13. Mapping Questions with Course Learning Outcomes at appropriate levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy and maps it with assessments.

    Ensure to frame questions using the Bloom’s Taxonomy verbs (both during class and written assignments) from the Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analyze, Synthesis, and Evaluation levels of taxonomy pyramid. This is a sure criteria for Outcome Based Education implementation to happen. So do not miss this out!

  14. Defining rubrics for each activity, appropriate enough to measure the learning of the students based on the level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and its mapped Course Learning Outcomes.

    Outcome Based Education without a set of rubrics is a sure failure. Rubrics should cater to the different levels of learners, should measure their capabilities, and should be mapped with the learning outcomes.

  15. Measuring performance of the students after each Assessment component, and thereby proposing remedial measures to increase the learning process of each student.

    Tackling the arduous steps of any learner should be a pivotal criteria in any Outcome Based Education. Remedials should be redesigned innovatively that aims at grooming knowledge and skills to the learner. Providing a well accompanied curricular support adds to the intensity of Outcome Based Education (OBE).

  16. Measuring performance of the students against Course Learning Outcomes threshold for each course, and finding out the strengths and shortfalls of the learning taken place, proposing necessary changes in Teaching-Learning Process, Course Content, Topics of the course.

    Can’t ignore, but this a watershed when it comes to implementing OBE. Any teaching/learning is supposed to have shortfalls. Ignoring it is, but a big fault. An OBE established class will gauge the teaching/learning happening, analyse inadequacies, and propose ways to improvise them.

  17. Measuring performance of the students against PLO threshold for each semester.

    This can be attained by taking course outcomes reports from each course Instruction team, and identify the levels of expectations fixed, level of learning actually took place and the gaps therein. Thereby propose necessary remedial actions to fill the gap in regard to each course and each student of the course.

  18. Measuring the attainment of each Program Learning Outcomes through Direct and Indirect assessments.

    A sound education platform cannot rely on just a single method of Assessment. A comprehensive higher education software, Crearix’s Assessment does a whole lot of help here. It only reflects on part of students’ achievement and not whole. This will result in an inefficient way of producing SLO. For an effective SLO, both direct and indirect assessment methods are highly fool proof. While responses from student surveys may be informative, the student’s paper pen test cannot be ruled away. With a combination of both of these, we get a meaningful, valid, and a reliable SLO.

  19. Comparing Program Learning Outcomes attainment for the last 3 academic years and propose remedial actions.

    This works the best, trust on us! Aligning PLO’s with the LO at the end of the academic year and proposing remedial actions can get your OBE run high spiritedly in any organization.

  20. Assess the attainment of Program Educational Objectives between 3 to 5 years of graduation for every batch of students and propose suitable changes.

    Assess the attainment of Program Educational Objectives between 3 to 5 years of graduation for every batch of students and propose suitable changes.

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Understanding Blended Learning admin Thu, 12/13/2018 - 04:39

While growing up, probably the only way of knowledge transfer from teachers to students was through a traditional classroom setting. As kids of the 90’s, we hardly had any access to computers at school let alone having one at home. The dawn of the new millennium brought us much closer to desktops and laptops. Now, these devices were being used to complete assignments, do research and swimming through a vast sea of knowledge. Higher education institutions saw this change and adopted it fervently. The concept of Blended Learning also started gaining prominence during this time. Blended learning as a concept is often mentioned in the same vein as personalized learning and hybrid learning sometimes even interchangeably so. It would actually be better if we try to define blended learning to understand it better.

What is Blended Learning?

It is an educational approach that combines the brick-and-mortar classroom setting with online learning medium. Unlike popular beliefs, blended learning doesn’t do away with teachers or instructors. In fact, it is imperative that both the instructor and the student are physically present. The online learning medium provides some element of student control over the time, pace, place, and path of study. This mix-mode of learning is what is being considered as a benchmark by educationalists.

Blended Learning Models

This is where blended learning becomes a bit more complex. Educationalists and researchers alike have found it difficult to agree on a common definition for this term. There is even a bit of disagreement on the number and type of models. The reason is actually quite simple - just like the term itself, various models of blended learning can be used together. Here are the six most widely agreed upon models of blended learning:

  1. Face-to-face driver model - This model resembles the traditional classroom setting the most. Here the instructor in addition to giving face-to-face instruction also adds digital tools for improved student learning.
  2. Online driver model - Thematically opposite to face-to-face driver model, the entire course is taught through an online medium. The instructors too, can answer questions and provide support online. Although face-to-face meetings can also be scheduled.
  3. Rotation model - Here the students alternate between scheduled classroom study, laboratory setting, and online study. This model is more prominently being used across elementary schools.
  4. Laboratory model - In this model, the course content is delivered online to a comparatively small group of students in a location or learning center. While invigilators are present, they only guide the students. This model is most useful for courses that cannot be offered through traditional setting.
  5. Flex model - Blended learning programs under this model are offered online. Instructors are available for support and face-to-face consultation.
  6. Self-blend model - In this model, the students have the option of opting for online learning on top of existing classes. While it might cause a bit of overlap between the two forms, it is generally recommended for self-motivated students. The courses offered through this model can be accessed anywhere anytime.
Advantages

Some key advantages of blended learning are:

  • The blended teaching methodology is better than purely online or purely face-to-face setting.
  • Proven to be an effective learning tool for at-risk students.
  • Helps in developing self-reliance and collaborative learning among students.
  • Gives the option to the school or university to offer more courses as it reduces infrastructural costs.
  • Better and effective use of school resources.
  • Helps in assessing progress better.
  • Assists students to learn at their own pace.
Disadvantages

Just like other educational theories and models, blended learning would be unsuccessful unless proper tools are used for implementing it. For instance, if the Learning Management System used for delivering course content is not up to date, reliable or easy to use then it would have a negative learning experience on individual students.

Useful tools for implementing blended learning

Here are some tools that would help your K-12 or higher education institute in implementing blended learning effectively -

  1. A good Learning Management System that allows you to share videos, content and answer questions from students from anyplace anytime.
  2. Curriculum Management System that allows you to effectively map courses with learning outcomes. This would, in turn, help you to track online learning progress.
  3. Flipped Classroom is another concept that can be used for effective learning. Instead of doing homework at home, students study course topics. Whereas, a classroom is used for discussions and presentations on topics of said courses.
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Outcome Based Education - what is it all about? admin Mon, 05/07/2018 - 06:32

Even William Spady, the self-proclaimed father of Outcome Based Learning (OBE) when he first initiated OBE, he wouldn’t have thought that his brainchild would come this long way in the field of Education. This blog aims in pondering on what is Outcome Based Education and what constitutes it  on a larger scale. It also tries to find, how it fits into today’s educational system and the advent of automated OBE.

A sociologist who innovated Outcome Based Education, Spady (1994) ruled out spelling out the objectives for this student-centered approach. Rather he outlined the following ground principles for his Outcome-Based Approach which is worth perusing.

  • Student-centered - It is an approach by which the learner’s mastery over a particular skill is demonstrated and measured.
  • Clarity in focus - A learning outcome has to be made obvious to the learner even at the outset of learning. This outcomes-based model works on bringing out the specific outcomes from the learners.
  • Design down, deliver up - It means the curriculum has to be designed with a clear definition, outlining the expected outcomes. This will pave a way to achieve the expanded opportunities in the student’s performance.
  • Exceeding expectations - All students can deliver the highest level of performance. The only kick start needed is to make them believe and encourage, the only way to attain high expectation.  
  • Expanded opportunities - It means giving countless chances and ways to show the students that they have met with their objective. Not all learners learn the same thing, the same way, and at the same time. However, extended opportunities can help achieve high standards.They help students to learn what is mostly needed for the time and hour.
Outcome Based Education - in a Crux

In short, outcome-based education (OBE) formulates content around activities that leads to specific outcomes. It directly leads to increasing the proficiency of a particular skill, knowledge, or behavior of the student. In Spady’s (1994) words, Outcome Based Education is
“An OBE curriculum means starting with a clear picture of what is important for students to be able to do, then organizing the curriculum, instruction and assessment to make sure this learning ultimately happens”.

The need of the hour - A sudden blow up at the right moment

Outcome Based Education exactly made its way when there were ruckus going on about decentralization within educational institutions. The time when long hours spent in class, no. of years spent in schooling, courses opted, dollars spent with no steady academic outcomes were questioned. It is quite shocking to read the National Employability Report 2016 by Aspiring Minds. It reveals the sad state of affairs about the employability of Indian graduates. Only 3.67 percent of graduates were found employable in IT product companies and 18 percent in the non-IT services companies.

This dwindling figure clearly indicates that the entire scope of education should be expanded where skills be expanded beyond inputs.  In spite of gaining educational experience, the pool of population lacked necessary skills to adapt themselves to the changing times and employability. Thus Outcome Based Education blended in perfectly with this new school of thought and aimed at improving students.

“Errors are no surprise” - Manual OBE - an analysis

Outcome Based Education without a speck of doubt is a rival against the conservative idea of Teaching and Learning. It is a competency based education which got blown up, keeping criticisms at bay. This growth was only with the help of progressive educators who got a good grip of it. Today OBE is a firestorm with a great clarity of focus. It has embedded into learning to match up with the country’s curriculum standards. Institutions are adopting and implementing OBE on a massive scale. But here too lies a catch! Managing it manually leaves one to face the following challenges.

  • Data Pooling and Curriculum Management seemed a humongous task!
  • It analyzed data on a single platform.
  • Assessments, activities, quizzes, tests, all in one place proved to be difficult to tracking.
  • Manual calculations of attainment often lead to error.
  • These leads to mistakes in the system and misjudging of outcomes through the course or curricula.
  • Outcome mapping with attainment analysis, a crucial domain of OBE consumed a huge amount of effort.
  • Inadequacy when it comes to mapping between CO and PO

It is here the need for an automated Outcome Based Education crept in. The same education, but not manual anymore, rather automated. One of our earlier blogs on technology based education program is worth peeking in at this point of time. Right from Recruitment through Course Evaluation, Outcome Based Education to Faculty Management System, everything is done without flaw..

How is Learning Outcomes set in OBE?

The success-producing hub, OBE-built classroom has a clear set of learning outcomes. It’s not all about assigning a textbook, homework, quizzes, and an assortment of tests for every student. Rather it is something over it. It is definitely a tedious process when done manually. An efficient OBE’s Learning outcome should have a set of threshold values and mapping questions to calculate the outcomes attainment. They should encourage students to support by providing a detailed analyses of the performance and programs for improvement. The necessary action to improve the grades is all that a good Outcome Based Education should possess.

Mapping Learning Outcomes - here is a tip.

OBE is without doubt a wide keyword mapped on all industries for higher education. It evaluates the performance of students based on their qualities, skills and knowledge as their outcomes. A correct LMS system should integrate well with the outcomes, giving room for improvement and quality. After all, education’s outcome is to be mapped.

Mapping Learning Outcomes is nothing but aligning course-level outcomes with program outcomes. A faculty can explore the students program-level outcomes at the course level using this mapping. Mapping such course outcomes can get tedious for both staff and management, alike. Remember, a proficient Outcome Based Education maps at 5 different levels by aligning itself to the Bloom’s Taxonomy’s cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. This 5-level of mapping offers a level of control that is unprecedented. It completely changes the way a staff looks at workflows and tasks related to Outcome Based Education.

How to assess better using Outcome Based Education?

Outcome Based Education breaks the stereotypes of paper, pen test. Rather, they assess students’ performance, knowledge and skills through many other ways. Quiz, solving puzzles, giving an online presentation, modelling something, taking up a multiple-choice assessment, are some of the few. Assessments are criterion-focused which the student’s achieve during the learning period. Students are expected to go with the flow, think out of the box in order to implement outcome based education. Today’s school systems should set clear cut rubrics to route the student through success. OBE settles these burning issues that scorch the current Education scenario with super ease :

  1. Students were not assessed uniformly - The traditional method of teaching waited for the end of the course to assess the students. Similarly, it didn’t assess them uniformly. Rather it completely vested on the biased nature of the teachers. OBE shunned both these practices by building up a rigid education platform with patterned assessment techniques that made education fun and entertainment.
  2. Outcomes were not assessed uniformly - OBE matches with the 21st century skills and values every single outcome of the learner.
Why Outcome Based Education (OBE), of all?

Along with the above, these following pointers sum up the mastery behind outcome-based education.

  • Clear-cut criteria for what constitutes mastery
  • A thoughtful way of instruction that adapts to specific learner needs
  • Complete assistance for learners as and when they face challenges
  • Adequate time given to achieve mastery
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The 15 definitive features you need to have in a Learning Management System (LMS) for your Higher Ed. College admin Mon, 04/02/2018 - 00:23

“An LMS is a web-based software application that enables organisations to create online reading material, administer courses, document and track learning, assess learning and provide training for the said courses and reporting. Through an LMS; higher education institutions and corporations alike, aim to enhance learning and identifying training gaps”.

In the earlier blog, I wrote about Learning Management System and why a higher education institution needed one. With hundreds of LMS software in the market, choosing the right one for your college might be trickier than you would have thought. To help you choose better, here is a list of 15 definitive features that you need to have in an LMS for your Higher Ed. College:

  1. Blended Learning Gone are the days when the only way of knowledge transfer was through a traditional classroom setting. Blended learning as a concept, relies on using digital media with a classroom setting to improve learning. The difference lies not on the course content, but the delivery of the said content. If the LMS you are looking for doesn’t support blended learning, then it is not an LMS, to begin with.
  2. Self-paced Learning While often used in conjunction with blended learning, self-paced learning is a definitive feature in its own right. It involves the learner setting up the pace at which he wants to learn. In an ideal scenario, self-paced learning would even do away with a faculty. A good LMS would even provide small tests or quizzes at the end of each topic to assist the students to track their learning progress.
  3. Collaborative Learning Give a boy a broccoli to eat and chances are that he would end up hating it. But, sit him beside a kid who likes eating broccoli and you would see the results almost immediately. The broccoli experiment is the simplest example of collaborative learning. Try arranging the students of a class into small groups and assign them tasks where each of them depends on and is accountable for one another. The results would be faster & improved learning and better team coordination. A good LMS should allow for that and a similar more.

     

  4. Mobile assisted Learning Various studies say that millennials spend close to one-third of their entire day on their mobiles. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same group also preferred mobile apps for newspapers. Mobile phones have become the preferred medium for consuming information. Wouldn’t it be actually beneficial if students were actually using this technology to access reading material and relevant videos? Needless to say, a state-of-the-art Learning Management System should rightly be able to do that.
  5. Testing and Assessments An unmissable feature in an LMS is assessment. Incidentally, it is also a feature that most software systems lack. Assessments allow you to judge the performance of your student better. It could be through quizzes, assignments etc. Once the student has submitted the assignment, you should be able to evaluate them in the system. Based on the mapping of learning outcomes, the system would then be able to tell you their attainment levels, individually.
  6. Customized assessment management With customized assessment, instructors should be able to assess individual students’ learning attainment levels. Better yet, a top-shelf LMS should allow you to customise tests for students with different attainment levels. This will allow instructors to focus on weaker students in a much better way.
  7. Integration with Course Schedule A good LMS platform should be able to integrate the Scheduling feature with the LMS to help instructors and students alike to track topics better. Isn't it great to imagine a student being able to access course information missed due to absenteeism? This would also help the college management track whether the courses are being completed as per the schedule.
  8. Content Management A good LMS should allow instructors to upload and create content based on relevant data. Earlier, the course material was only available in text format. The need of the hour has demanded that an updated LMS should allow one to upload lecture videos, share relevant PDFs, PPTs, website links, and even Youtube videos, which ours does.

     

  9. Discussion forums & messaging A bit of Google search would allow you to see the number of time students spend on social media. Sites like Quora and Reddit are amazing discussion forums for peers to help out each other. Your LMS should allow the same. Probably a discussion forum or message board that allows students to post questions, polls, and documents to the faculty and the students. Not only will it be a faster prognosis, but will also foster Collaborative Learning.
  10. Student learning tracking An LMS should not only let you upload content but also show you analytics on how many students are accessing your content. This will also allow the instructors to engage themselves in a better way to improve the course content. After all, online learning is a way to go!
  11. Student performance tracking Your LMS should help you track student performance on quizzes, assignments, and exams. It should also provide useful analytics and AI to do this.
  12. Gamification A user-friendly LMS isn't enough if it only drives students interest in using it to its full extent. In addition, it also should have a good user interface including elements of game playing to make learning extra fun and interesting experience.
  13. Reporting Another definitive feature needed is real-time reporting. Instructors and college management alike should be able to generate real-time reports not only for purposes of better campus management but for Accreditation too. Why spend additional time to prepare reports before the Accreditation team visit, every time? Let the LMS do it for you and store reports for years to come.
  14. Customization and branding Each student is distinct and so is each college’s needs. Why would then, a simple open-source LMS be of any benefit to your college? They are not bad, but they don’t know your specific needs. The system would be stiff and more often do not accommodate your internal process flows. The solution is thus a cloud-based LMS that keeps you stay up-to-date with the fast-paced technology. Branding in such a case would become the icing. Additionally, a friendly Chatbot can assist the instructor and students alike to utilize the system better and provide access to relevant training material.
  15. Distance learning support Why should colleges restrict themselves just to a classroom environment? Isn’t it entirely possible, that a good candidate situated in a different geography might find a better use with online courses? With dwindling admissions and/or the need to reach out to more students, colleges are now more open the idea of distance learning. A good LMS coupled with an online Admission and Enrolment System would allow a college to provide their content in the form of e-learning courses.
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