Even before the pandemic, technology was becoming an increasingly important resource for education bodies all over the world. The potential for digitally-driven, remote learning to support traditional face-to-face teaching has been embraced by forward-thinking organizations wanting to improve outcomes. And the benefits have been clearly felt: Schoology research found that 9 percent of US education professionals feel digital learning has a positive impact on student achievement.
COVID-19, however, has accelerated the pace of this shift: the vast majority of education bodies have been forced to adopt blended learning models that combine online and physical lessons. These models are likely here to stay, and so organizations must strike the right balance of delivering excellent education online, while still keeping physical experiences relevant and valuable.
How workspaces are used and managed – both by students and educators – is an important part of this, and there are three reasons why technology can play a vital supporting role:
It delivers better experiences
When students are learning across a mix of physical and online, it’s vital to make sure that there is no compromise in switching from one to the other. Students need a seamless experience, wherever, whenever and however they learn, so that they can focus on the subject matter at hand and not be distracted by any administrative burden. This not only means having access to the spaces they need at the times they need them, but also have access to all relevant resources and materials.
A good workspace management system can deliver this level of integration and coordination in a way that’s user-friendly for students. They can book a space for a particular time in moments, and as the system can be set up to apply certain rules and permissions for certain spaces, the resources they need can be automatically allocated to them. That way, they can simply arrive at the allocated space and start working right away, without hassle or wasted time.
It helps attract students
While higher education bodies do their part for wider society by helping train the business stars of the future, they are also businesses in their own right. They exist in a competitive marketplace where students are, to a certain extent, a commodity. More students means more income, a healthier bottom line and an opportunity to make bigger investments to further improve student outcomes. But to get those extra students interested and enrolled, organizations have to demonstrate that they represent not only excellent education, but excellent value for money, too.
From a workspace perspective, these student expectations can be met by making it as quick and easy as possible to check workspace availability and make a reservation. This is where a workspace management and scheduling solution with mobile app integration really makes the difference, as students can make or change their plans on the go, completely independently, in a matter of seconds.
It maximizes real estate use
The rise of blended learning means that huge changes are on the horizon for physical education spaces, whether they’re individual study desks in a library or vast lecture theatres that can house hundreds of students at a time. Building new facilities to respond to these changes may not be financially sustainable at the current time, and so organizations must make the best of what they have and make space use as efficient as possible.
When every space is loaded into a workspace scheduling solution, every student and educator can not only see the availability of each space, but also their relevant capacities. This means that when making a reservation, users can secure a space that is right-sized for their needs. But in the longer-term, if it transpires that certain study desks just aren’t getting used, or if a particular lecture theatre is far too big for modern learning, then integrated analytics tools can highlight these findings so that changes can be made to better suit student and educator needs alike.