Online learning has skyrocketed in recent years, with loads of bootcamps, cohort-based courses, and online schools cropping up all over the world in a relatively short amount of time.
It makes sense, since online learning has a ton of benefits.
It offers flexibility, allowing students to incorporate learning programs into their lives and manage their own schedules without having to commute to a physical location. It grants access to teachers and fellow students from around the world. And online learning means that students don’t have to change where they’re based in order to access world class education and top educators in their fields.
Despite these benefits, running an online learning program certainly has its challenges.
Without sharing a physical classroom with learners, it can be challenging to know what they’re actually doing or learning. After all, for students that have fallen behind or given up on your program, closing a laptop is significantly easier than having to walk out of class in front of all their peers.
While online learning means that there are more digital footprints of student activity - assignment submissions, learning management system (LMS) logins, community platform involvement - tracking and aggregating that data can be a huge time suck. Not to mention interpreting that data to understand where your students are struggling most and taking action to make sure that struggling learners receive the support they need.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software exists to track the lifecycle of clients for businesses based on that client’s interactions with your team. And while online learning programs have sometimes leveraged CRMs to keep track of their students, the CRM use case isn’t exactly aligned to their needs.
Enter the Student Relationship Manager (SRM).
An SRM is like a CRM built specifically for online learning programs. With relevant language and integrations, SRM’s help learning organizations keep track of their learners, maintain student relationships, and leverage data to continuously innovate and improve on their programming and student outcomes.
SRMs use automations to help you get the most out of your data and save you time so you can focus on what’s most important: providing an exceptional learning experience for your students.
Here’s how an SRM can help your learning program:
SRMs can help your team auto-track student data via their native integrations. For example, SRMs with a Slack integration can pull in Slack activity data for your learners from posts, comments, and reactions.
From there, SRMs help you aggregate your student data across all of the tools you use for tracking. In addition to any data tracked via native integrations, SRMs enable you to port in data that your program already tracks in other tools such as LMS logins or assignment submissions.
Once your data is imported, SRMs help you tie all that data together to give you a big picture view of your students and learning program. SRMs do this by auto-flagging students that meet customized risk criteria set by your program.
For example, if a learner misses 2 classes in a row and doesn’t post on Slack for a whole week, they’ll get flagged as at risk. Catching these at-risk students before they fall off is key, and by automating this process, SRMs give you insights faster than manual data interpretation ever could.
Knowing who is at risk is just the first step. Just as important is taking action by reaching out to at risk students and offering support. SRMs can automate this process by auto-sending communication sequences across multiple tools (email, Slack, etc.) to make sure your students know you’re there to help them get back on track.
Curious to see intervention in action? Check out our case study on how the best online schools use active intervention to reduce drop-out rates and boost student engagement.
A huge added bonus of using an SRM?
SRMs make data accessible to whichever team members need to be aware of that data, whether or not they’re in technical roles. This reduces roadblocks to action, since your Student Success team no longer needs to request reports from your Data team, for example.
The Virtually Student Relationship Manager is leading the way in the SRM tool category.
Virtually’s SRM offers a fully automated option to keep tabs on your learners and intervene to prevent churn.
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 is Head of Customer Experience at Virtually