One of the best ways to reach today’s active, tech-savvy students is to deliver learning where students already are: on smartphones and tablets. Since studies show that smartphone users spend the majority of their phone time on apps, and nearly half of all students already use smartphones for school-related tasks, leveraging mobile platforms is an easy way for schools to connect with students whether they are on campus or on the go.
That’s why we developed Blackboard Mobile Learn and Blackboard Mobile Central, two robust online platforms that give learners, educators, and school communities access to all aspects of the educational experience on their mobile devices. Blackboard Mobile Learn extends the experience of the online learning management system, Blackboard Learn, onto mobile devices. Blackboard Mobile Central is a suite of features in a single mobile application that provides campus life resources and information – like student and faculty directories, news, brick-and-mortar campus maps, dining menus and more – on mobile devices.
If your professional college or university is looking for ways to go mobile, here are my top 5 reasons to choose Blackboard:
You don’t need to work in the education space to see that technology is playing an increasingly important role in higher education. These days, it isn’t unusual to see innovative tools such as Smart Boards, e-books, and even mobile devices in the classroom. This pervasive state of technology in higher education is especially evident at professional colleges and universities, which have been leaders in bringing disruptive technologies to the classroom.
Just as career colleges have been leveraging new technology for education, we at Blackboard have also been working to drive innovation in our own solutions. We’ve asked ourselves:
- How can Blackboard course administration become more efficient and effective for instructors?
- How can our solutions give instructors more insight into their classroom and help them retain students?
- What can we do to improve the student experience on Blackboard?
“For more than a decade, for-profit colleges and universities have been agents of educational change—driving innovation by promoting online learning as an alternative to traditional classroom instruction. Now it’s time for these institutions to use their years of experience as leaders on the online learning front lines to shape what must come next for higher education: increased student success.”
As higher education becomes increasingly important in today’s job market, student success at all institution types is key. But what can colleges and universities that focus on professional education do to lead other institutions on this path to student success? We address this question in our new position paper, “NOW is the Time to Raise the Bar for Student Success: How Professional Colleges & Universities Can Use the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Drive Change.”
From where we sit, career colleges must continue to embrace disruptive innovation to bring effective change to higher education, even if this requires overturning norms that are taken for granted. For example, we believe some of the most important disruptive trends today – which are already embraced by career colleges – include:
- Focusing on competency-based outcomes instead of credit hour completion.
- Increasing rigor in the course-building process to better emphasize learning outcomes.
- Integrating of professional skills into coursework.
On this blog, we often discuss the reasons professional and career colleges can offer tremendous opportunities to non-traditional students who may not otherwise have a chance at higher education. But what exactly is a non-traditional (or “at-risk”) student, and how can those of us in the higher education space ensure that those students receive the best education possible?
First, let’s define what it means to be a non-traditional student. According to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), students are considered non-traditional if they have one or more of the following characteristics when they are first-time, first year students:
- Financially independent
- Over the age of 25
- Delayed entry into college
- Full time work
- Attending school part-time
- Have dependents
- Single parent
- No high school diploma
Recently, there has been considerable discussion about the need for professional colleges and universities to better assess learning outcomes and student success. What we have learned, however, is that before measuring student outcomes, institutions must first consider the risk factors that affect their students and how those factors will impact educational outcomes. This presents both unique challenges and opportunities for career colleges, who enroll more at-risk students than their traditional counterparts and face higher drop-out rates as a result.
With this in mind, how can professional colleges and universities best identify at-risk students, in order to help them overcome these potential challenges? In our recent white paper entitled “Stop the Drop: How Professional Colleges and Universities Can Use Learning Management Systems to Identify and Engage At-Risk Students,” we discuss the ways schools can leverage tools contained in learning management systems to engage and monitor at-risk students. In other words, career colleges and professional universities can pull the information they already have about students from their LMS to help identify those who might be at risk. Since demographic and past-performance clues are already in learning management system and admissions data, schools simply need to employ the right analytical tools to turn these clues into actionable information.