How to Streamline Your Student Success Workflow

July 20, 2022

Student success teams provide an essential role for online learning programs. These teams are tasked with tracking student progress, providing support where needed, and leveraging insights to suggest continuous program iteration and improvement. 

The primary goal of these teams is to boost student outcomes and experiences, guiding more students to successful program completion and helping students feel genuinely engaged, supported, and cared for on their academic journey. 

These student success teams keep tabs on overall student progress by checking in on a wide range of data points, including attendance, assignment submission, coursework completion, and more. 

For students that fall behind on these metrics, student success teams take the initiative to intervene with at-risk students to more deeply understand what’s happening with that student and to provide resources to get them back on track. These interventions can be in the form of an email, a direct message on a community tool or LMS, or even a phone call. 

Despite the important function that student success teams provide, there are quite a few challenges that these teams face. 

Challenges that Student Success Teams Face

Scaling Programs 

As learning programs scales, it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain the same level of direct support for learners. 

Manual Activities 

Tracking, reviewing, and acting on data to intervene with at risk students is often done manually by student success teams, which can be extremely time consuming and prone to human error. It can also mean that there’s no standardized level of support, with many programs intervening with students in an ad hoc manner. 

Inaccessible and Dispersed Data 

Data is essential for student success teams, but sometimes that data is inaccessible to employees in non-technical roles, requiring data teams to step in and pull reports of requested data using SQL or other coding languages.

Additionally, data may be dispersed across a variety of different tools. It can be challenging to bring that data together into a single place that considers multiple risk criteria in a single view that provides a comprehensive view of student performance.

Limited Intervention Tracking

Once student success teams reach out to at-risk students, it can be difficult to track the sequence of that intervention, the action taken, and the effect that intervention had on the student. While most learning organizations implicitly understand the value of student interventions, few are able to directly track the actual impact of these interventions. 

Unsure which metrics to have your student success team track? See which ones we suggest here

How to Streamline Your Student Success Workflow

Given the challenges faced by student success teams, the best way to streamline your student success workflow is to add automations to repetitive tasks. 

Of course, there are certain activities that need a human touch: 

  • Continued conversations with students 
  • Curriculum and program interaction based on data

However, there a variety of activities that don’t necessarily require a human touch: 

  • Data Collection: With online learning programs, most activities like attendance, assignment submission, and LMS module completion can be tracked automatically. 
  • Data Aggregation: Bringing data together from across multiple tools 
  • Flagging learners: Why waste time interpreting data manually. If you know the specific risk factors that signify a struggling learner, you can automatically flag students that meet your risk criteria. 
  • Initial Intervention: While a human touch is helpful to continued interaction with struggling students, the initial outreach can start with an automated (but personalized) message to students that meet your risk criteria. That outreach (and follow ups until a student responds) is simple enough to be automated. Once students respond, that’s when a member of your student success team can step in and take action. 

From there, it’s important to make sure that the data and actions taken are accessible in a single source of truth that can be shared across relevant stakeholders across your learning organization. 

A few options to consider: 

  • Client Relationship Manager (CRM): You can track conversations with students in a CRM like Hubspot or Salesforce. 
  • Student Relationship Manager (SRM): You can also leverage an SRM to track student specific reports and outreach. 

Not sure what a Student Relationship Manager (SRM) is? Learn more about SRM’s and benefits of leveraging them here

By taking these measures, you can help your student success team spend their time where it can have the biggest impact: interacting with learners. 

These measures also give student success teams an opportunity to more deeply understand your programming, such as where your learners are struggling most, at what points you see the most drop off, etc. so you know exactly where to iterate in order to continue providing an exceptional experience for your students.

The Virtually Student Relationship Manager (SRM) offers a fully automated option to overcome the challenges that student success teams face and streamline their workflow.

The SRM automates data collection and aggregation from across all of your different tools - attendance, feedback, community engagement, etc. -  flags at risk students based on custom triggers you create according to your program’s known warning signs, and automatically reaches out to flagged learners to check in and offer support.

Curious to learn more? Schedule a demo here

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Laura Marks

Laura Marks is Head of Customer Experience at Virtually