EDUCAUSE 2021: Reinventing services and student success

The platform will also present the information in a way designed to be shared on social media. “One of the benefits of this platform is that you can easily connect students with alumni to see what skills and activities have helped them on their journey,” he said.

He noted that the website will provide blockchain-enabled services that will allow students to control the information and personal data shared.

The platform will document badges, endorsements, completion of massive open boot camps and online courses, internships and other types of corporate training. The site will be available for students to use throughout their lives as they continue to expand their knowledge after college.

And it will be a creative way for colleges to earn income. “We would expect employers to be very interested in advertising to our members based on their skills and abilities,” Suess said.

MORE ABOUT EDTECH: Colleges innovate to support at-risk students.

McMaster University student Dione Leung asked how the institution would identify skills. “What metrics do you use to distinguish soft skills? What are the certifications and how are you going to balance that between a student’s experience and a need for standardization? ” she asked.

Suess pointed out a variety of career service organizations that analyze soft skills. “These are things that can easily be micro-accreditations,” he said. “One of the key things we’re going to leverage are the micro-accreditations and badges that can follow when you achieve learning outcomes and other skills in your courses. “

The point is, professors already do most of this work when planning curricula. “We just don’t make it transparent to students,” he said. “It’s a start that will allow us to do it. “

An easier way for students to navigate college

Keith McIntosh of the University of Richmond wants to develop a portal to make it easier for students to strategically navigate their academic careers.

“Success often depends on who you know, and when you know,” he said. “Despite graduating, many have missed out on contacts with people, topics and opportunities that can improve – or perhaps change – their life and career trajectory.”

McIntosh recalled a former student who said he was unaware there were mentoring services he could take advantage of until his senior year. And he only heard about the services by chance. “He would have liked to know during his freshman year,” McIntosh said.

Such oversight can result from an excess of information and choice, making it difficult for students to find the services and experiences that support their aspirations and needs.

“We strive to merge academic, extracurricular and extracurricular activities and aspirations into one space for students to strategically and thoughtfully plan their time at university,” said McIntosh.

His presentation struck a chord with shark students, who may have their own difficulties with information overload. They chose his initiative – and Lum’s smart tutoring system – as the winners of the IOC Shark Tank.

Learn more about EDUCAUSE 2021 coverage, including interviews and advice from higher education experts.