A tech boost for university administrators

Ran Oelgiesser, chief marketing officer of vCita, talks to Education Technology about improving admin via the latest tech

What advantages can technology offer University professors and administrators during the beginning of the school year?

Admin tasks take up too much of an educator’s time. A study conducted at Boise St University in 2014 estimated these admin tasks are taking up 30% of an education professional’s weekly workload, taking away from their abilities to properly serve their students.

With simple online scheduling and client management tools, these education professionals can automate some of their most time intensive administrative tasks, freeing time for what’s most important – serving the needs of the students.

Some specific advantages for teacher include online scheduling, which can be a tremendous help for teachers or counselors with hundreds of students. They can easily manage their class rosters and automate simple notification and communication tasks instead of using manual, time-intensive processes. Also, with a Mobile CRM, usually used by small businesses, teachers can track communication history, past activity and private notes — tracking student or parent interactions.

What are the top three features University administrators and technology managers can introduce to a website to eliminate the hardships of starting a new school year?

Self-service Scheduling – by using online scheduling technology managers can ensure the education staff availability is displayed online, and available for students and parents to choose a time for a meeting that works best for them.

Online scheduling can be part of the school’s website, or accessible via a link on each of the professor’s or counselor’s emails. This helps to eliminate the need for follow up multiple emails and phone calls to determine a best time for a meeting. Online scheduling software will also take care of reminders to avoid no-shows and give both sides easy way to reschedule if necessary.

Document & File Sharing  – No matter the time of the year online document sharing that is set up through a simple communication portal on a website offers these professionals a great way to keep track of student background and contact information forms, class syllabi, and even student assignments that are submitted digitally.  Instead of emailing files, students and parents can upload files directly through the institutions website.

Online Engagement  – help visitors to your website find what they need. Prompt them with an invitation to call, contact or chat, and get the help they need.

How can transitioning to digital processes for these more administrative, yet critical tasks during this time of the year pay off for Universities and their staff?

This digital process can consolidate and streamline these administrative tasks – saving staff members time during the busy fall quarter and throughout the year in general. By allowing education professionals to streamline things such as an entire scheduling system, it helps the staff to consolidate efforts related to these types of administrative tasks. Furthermore, by automating how these colleagues interact and schedule meetings teachers now have more time to do what matters most – educate the students. If done correctly, these technologies can eliminate tens of thousands of administrative tasks each year.

Should they be looking to incorporate a mobile technology strategy?

With the growing on-the-go education professional, mobile is key. As today’s consumers and students prefer quick answers and often use mobile to find them, the channel will only help education professionals to manage these administrative tasks more efficiently, allowing them to serve their students and work with their colleagues more efficiently. As things such as requests from students and staff inquiries come in through a client engagement platform, by using a solution with mobile capabilities education professionals can access info and immediately respond to requests directly from their phone. This allows them to rapidly increase their ability to get these administrative tasks done as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Ran Oelgiesser is chief marketing officer of vCita. He has nearly 20 year’s experience in startups and large organisations with technology, product management and marketing.


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