Today, students have high expectations for how colleges should be supporting them, and they can be disappointed at times with how fragmented the experience can be. Students have options and they want things that are personalized, highly accessible, modular, and convenient. They price shop, compare, and they want pathways that are personalized and prescribed. Students are driven by choice and value. They are selective, practical, and results oriented. They want personalization, flexibility, and expediency. These are the conveniences similar to what they have when they go to Amazon or Apple – always available and easy to use. And they don’t necessarily want to speak to anyone to get their issues solved. That means empowering them to make the right decisions for themselves.

Thinking about this can make us feel paralyzed, not knowing where to start. But the fundamental notion is that if you can align your approach around the student, you can create an experience that is deeply valued.

We know institutional resources can be constrained and don’t have the capacity to meet every student’s need. So to better understand how institutions are keeping up with student expectations around learning support, we decided to survey our customer base. Last fall, we surveyed more than 100 instructional and academic technologists, system administrators, and student support leads from a variety of higher education institutions. We wanted to learn 3 big things: how institutions are providing learning support for today’s students; how satisfied they perceived their students to be; and what services are institutions implementing who have the highest satisfied students.

Here are some key findings from our State of Learning Support Report:

There is a general lack of anytime, anywhere support.

Only 1 in 5 of surveyed institutions currently offer 24/7 live support. The majority still only provide support during traditional business hours.

We see a strong tie between student satisfaction and multi-modal support options.

Very few institutions provide multi-modal support options such as text message support, mobile apps, chat, and monitoring of social media even though students are expecting them.  There is a clear relationship between digital support options and significantly higher student satisfaction.

There’s a need for better insights from data.

About 1 in 4 surveyed institutions do not track any learning support metrics such as types of requests, response times, number of requests, and satisfaction. 42% of those surveyed do not measure the specific metric of average speed to answer for phone calls. This data is essential for teams to better predict student behavior, prepare for peak volumes, improve responsiveness, and operate more effectively.

Results show a positive movement toward faculty support.

While many institutions now provide dedicated faculty support, the results revealed 15% of institutions still do not provide any dedicated faculty support. As the availability of online and blended program grow, faculty will need additional support to navigate the latest technology features and updates.

To read more about the findings and insights, download our 2016 State of Learning Support Report here.

New Report: the 2016 State of Learning Support

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