Monday, January 5, 2015

Smarter Education through Collaboration

Today’s college students are a collaborative bunch by nature, but on many campuses there’s a gap between students’ desire to collaborate and the resources available to let them do so. Many colleges are currently lacking robust solutions that would allow students to link up and advance their education collectively. The result can be disconnected and under-supported students, many of whom underachieve or even ultimately drop out.

One institution of higher learning that is doing something about this is Brockenhurst College in England. As part of an effort to better attract, motivate and retain students, Brockenhurst has chosen marketing, predictive analytics and social portal solutions from IBM. On the social side, the college is launching its own private social network built on IBM Connections and IBM Sametime.

This social portal solution will give students access not only to learning resources such as course materials and videos of lessons, but to each other and teachers as well. Dom Chapman, Head of Division, Creative, English and Computing Studies, says that “IBM Connections and Sametime will allow students to learn and interact in ways that were simply not possible before.” Homework, for example, has traditionally been very much a solo activity. The goal of Chapman and Brockenhurst is to turn it into a social one, giving students access to online groups and instant messaging so that they can share knowledge and tackle assignments together.

Empowering students through collaboration and giving them a built-in support network from the moment they step on campus are part of the college’s larger goal of setting a world-class example for overall student experience. By doing so, Brockenhurst expects to improve student recruitment and retention by 15 percent over the next five years, while potentially boosting its reputation by 30 percent.

To read more about Brockenhurst’s efforts to increase collaboration among students and build an exceptional college experience using IBM solutions, click here.

from Social Business Insights Blog


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