Falling student engagement is one of the biggest problems plaguing universities right now. The ongoing dip in completion rates, community interactions, and other metrics can spell major trouble for educational institutions. In the United States, overall university enrollment has already dropped by 7.5% since 2019, highlighting how much universities are struggling to appeal to representatives of Generation Z.
There seems to be a growing disconnect between institutions of higher learning and younger generations of students. The good news is that powerful tools like Salesforce can be used in education to produce a significant increase in student engagement.
Why is student engagement important?
Student engagement refers to how much attention, interest, and passion a student has while they’re learning. It’s crucial for universities to maintain high degrees of engagement because it’s the best way to ensure students and educators alike get the most out of the learning process. Simply put, lessons are more rewarding for everyone involved.
That being said, higher levels of student engagement have been shown to provide many tangible benefits as well. More engaged students perform better academically and exhibit a deeper sense of community with their university. They’re also more likely to graduate. In addition, heightened engagement is linked to greater motivation and improved mental health.
It’s evident that student engagement is vital for universities today, but many institutions are still dealing with low levels of student commitment. Read on to discover the top five ways universities can substantially increase student engagement.
5 ways to increase student engagement
1. Track classroom data
The first thing instructors, administrators, and entire universities can do is understand that engagement isn’t just a nebulous term that’s hard to quantify — it can be demonstrably tracked with a host of metrics.
Recording grades and attendance is a given, but making the entire classroom experience digital can yield insights into how much a student speaks, how many emails or group messages they’ve sent, and how their performance has changed over time. With online lessons, you can get even more specific, measuring factors as specific as how often students have raised their hands.
Tools like Salesforce can be applied to education to make tracking this data simpler. And with this information at their fingertips, university leaders will have a solid foundation for monitoring just how engaged students are and what actions are the most appropriate to pursue.
2. Identify areas for improvement
Once you start tracking classroom data, you’ll see a sizable uptick in your decision-making abilities. Solutions geared specifically towards student engagement will automatically detect which areas are most deserving of your attention.
With a simplified picture of where students currently stand, universities can easily spot weaknesses and prioritize which corrective measures to take first.
Tools like Salesforce empower universities to act on the metrics they’ve collected to ensure any obstacles getting in the way of students’ progress are swiftly removed.
Salesforce doesn’t just help out with student engagement — it can work wonders in areas like recruitment as well. See how Think Beyond’s Salesforce-based recruitment platform produced a 20% increase in recruited candidates at SWPS University.
3. Share access to metrics
To unlock your full engagement potential, sharing metrics across instructors, classrooms, and departments is vital. Student engagement tools are powerful solutions within a single classroom, but their impact can be even more pronounced when they’re implemented organization-wide.
Making your data transparent gives more parties a clearer view of what student engagement truly looks like. Sharing these metrics is the first step to obtaining a 360-degree view of students, as you can now observe data across subjects, lecturers, and disciplines.
Not only that, but this open communication facilitates greater cooperation between university leaders and lecturers. Asking deans and instructors to form conclusions based on separate data sets will only hinder your progress. Give everyone access to the same comprehensive body of information. This’ll unify all of your teams and, as a plus, will help you further integrate lecturers with the university as a whole.
4. Embrace actionable feedback
To meaningfully increase student engagement, you’ve got to make students themselves a part of the process. If you’re noticing a lack of motivation among students, your best bet for getting to the root of the problem is hearing from students directly.
Not only will reaching out to students help you obtain more accurate information concerning their engagement, but it’ll also go a long way in getting students to feel more integrated with the rest of the university.
Tools like Salesforce can be applied to education to track metrics and analyze any feedback universities receive from students, lecturers, and any other participants in the learning process. By picking up on what stakeholders most frequently cite as their greatest shortcomings and strengths, universities are equipped with actionable insights that enable them to address the problem of low student engagement more effectively.
Learn how powerful Salesforce is at growing student retention rates in our blog post, “What can universities do to improve student retention rates?”
5. Adopt a data-centric culture
An invaluable step in any institution’s journey to improving student engagement is to
combine individual efforts, such as storing classroom data and collecting feedback, to create an enduring culture that thrives on data. Tackling an issue like poor engagement isn’t something that can be done with a one-off solution. Seeing greater engagement over time takes a cultural shift in which everyone involved sees the value in data.
A single metric, classroom, or lecturer won’t be able to boost engagement meaningfully. It’ll take the entire university working in cohesion to get students to be more interested, attentive, and passionate.
Thankfully, student engagement tools like Salesforce offer user-friendly dashboards that simplify tracking performance over time. With a number of built-in features that make the software accessible to diverse groups like administrators and lecturers, these solutions are the most effective way to unite universities around the shared goal of improving engagement.
Engaging students through data — with Salesforce
Getting students more involved in their education — and generating better performance in the process — doesn’t have to be complicated. Rather than simply relying on intuition or hoping for some magic elixir, universities can turn to Salesforce to assist them in several areas.
To see how our platform helps universities take student engagement to the next level, schedule an appointment with one of our Salesforce architects today.