COVID-19 and the Effect on Higher Education

Yadira Tate
By: Yadira Tate
Date: September 18, 2020

Faced with COVID-19, higher education institutions have had to do things differently. With virtual learning, staff working remotely, and many colleges and universities using outdated systems, all eyes are on digital transformation. Institutions that have made the switch to modern, cloud-based systems have provided an easier transition in a COVID-19 world, by connecting students, faculty, and staff while they are no longer on campus.

We asked our Workday Student team to share what they’re seeing as institutions navigate the new normal, their suggestions for moving forward, and how higher ed is using the Workday Student system to their full advantage.

Consultant Melissa Feehan noted that higher education institutions have had to redefine themselves as a result of the COVID pandemic and many are moving to fully online.

“Workday Student helps make the transition from in-person to online seamless by keeping students engaged from start to finish,” she said. “Students have easy access to their student profile where they can view, interact, and engage with their academic progress, housing assignment, account activity, total account balance and due now payments as well as personal information, financial aid and action items, and holds.”

A cloud-based system connects students regardless of location, and allows for up-to-date records, payments, and other vital student information. This is especially important as for many institutions, advising and learning are no longer taking place in face-to-face settings.

Consultant Josh Kelley recognized that traditional classroom instruction is being modified to account for social distancing, with some universities allowing students to opt-in for in-classroom instruction, while letting those who opt-out to attend largely online. Hybrid and online class offerings are expected to continue to increase.

“Other institutions are adjusting their academic calendars in an attempt to limit virus exposure on campus and to mitigate adjusted schedules for the virus,” he said. “Student systems can directly accommodate the academic calendar adjustments to allow for the adjusted class offerings. Facility information such as classroom capacity can also be leveraged to aid in the planning of which spaces will be utilized for on-site instruction.”

As universities adjust for distance learning in traditionally in-person settings cloud-based student systems for managing day-to-day student interactions can keep student academics on track and keep higher education institutions moving in the time of a new normal.

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