Reimagining higher education in the age of digital transformations

Reimagining higher education in the age of digital transformations

The author discusses impact of digital transformations in the domain of higher education. She opines that educators must therefore adopt technology and digitise the learning and teaching experience. She talks about how innovative tools like Power BI can be used to implement and design cutting-edge learning pedagogies

In the age of rapid digital transformations and advancement led by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Big Data across industries, it is imperative to reimagine the way teaching and learning are imparted at higher educational institutions.

With digitalization, horizons of higher education have expanded exponentially with a wide landscape of information pool and creative ways of communicating to an ever evolving audience.

To cater to the several digital transformations taking place in the real world, learning processes must be integrated with the latest technologies.

One way to bring about digital transformation in higher education is to upgrade faculty skills and encourage them to leverage technology to enhance the quality of education and efficiently impart learning among their students, which is more relevant in the changing scenario.

Digitisation of higher education will not only lead to advancement in teaching pedagogies but will also result in management and administrative efficiency at higher and technical educational institutions. Every institution must incorporate the technological upgradation with broader vision.

However, while embracing digital transformation, what has always bothered faculties across the board is how must they effectively measure and monitor the impact of their actions and interventions on student learning. The answer to this is the application of a combination of leading and lagging indicators to track and evaluate the performance of the learners from time to time.

In education parlance, lagging indicators are the long-term goals that an institution wishes for its students to achieve, and leading indicators are short-term goals ‘leading’ to the long-term goals. While lagging indicators are non-controllable and non-actionable since they occur in the long term, leading indicators are actionable as well as controllable in nature owing to their present occurrence. By tracking leading indicators, from time to time as per course outline, educators can ensure students achieve the goals set under lagging indicators.

Moreover, tracking student performance through leading indicators helps educators not only evaluate student progress but also ensure improvement by tailoring the learning pedagogy according to students’ needs and requirements, thus making the learning experience personalised. A personalised approach to education makes learning more engaging for the learner, ensuring higher compliance. This way educators won’t have to resort to conventional forms of dealing with non-compliance that called for harsher actions such as detentions, suspensions and forced compliance.

In hindsight, one of the technologies that can aid faculties in the implementation of leading and lagging indicators is Power BI, a business analytics service that provides interactive visualisations and business intelligence capabilities. Power BI can help educators create personalised dashboards and reports that display various metrics and indicators of student learning outcomes on both qualitative and quantitative parameters.

Power BI can also allow for disaggregation of data by different variables like gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status or special needs to ensure that all students are provided with the support they need to succeed. By using Power BI, educators can also share their dashboards and reports with other stakeholders, such as students, parents, administrators or researchers. This will help enhance the transparency and accountability of the teaching and learning process, as well as promote collaboration and communication among different parties. Moreover, Power BI also allows faculties to access their dashboards and reports from any device and any location, which can increase their flexibility and convenience.

NMIMS has been a front runner in embracing technology as a part and parcel of teaching techniques, curriculum, library resources as well as examination process.

NMIMS as an institution of higher learning has been tenaciously putting timely efforts to shape the norms and practices of higher education so that it adapts and evolves in the dynamic scenario of digitalisation.

(Dr. Jaskiran Kaur, Campus Director, SVKM’s NMIMS Deemed-to-be-University, Chandigarh Campus)

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