Education Workflow Automation – the path to Streamlined and Centralized Education Workflows

Education Workflow Automation

Providing quality education requires strategic planning and implementation of educational processes. A strong and streamlined process is the lynchpin in successful educational institutes. What is the education process? The education process is the core upon which the operations of the institute are built. Strategically planned and executed educational processes enables the leadership to lead the institute toward its vision and strategy, and foster ownership among the faculty, staff, and alumni. Technology is changing the way educational institutes operate by bringing more creative, innovative, and engaging learning and operational methods. Education workflow automation brings accuracy and accountability into process operations at educational institutes.

Challenges faced by Educational Institutes

Educational institutes are bogged down by the sheer volumes of paperwork that arise from admin and learning tasks. Tasks like student applications, diploma requests, budget approvals, student housing requests, course scheduling, and enrolment are labor-intensive and involve a lot of paperwork. For effective learning, the process of education should be simple, streamlined, and easy to execute.

Managing educational institutions and coordinating the work of various departments are the most challenging tasks in today’s educational sector. According to a recent report on the Indian Education Sector, the education market in India is expected to reach 225 USD by the year 2025. The educational institute count in India is a staggering 41,901 colleges and 993 universities with an enrolment rate of 25.8% in higher education. The number of educational institutes across the world is only going to increase in the future. Is the management ready to take on the challenges that the education sector throws at them?

Here are common challenges faced by educational institutes:

Student retention and success:

with hundreds of educational institutions available and cutting-edge competition, it is challenging for educational institutes to maintain their reputation and attract and retain students. The current generation of students wants nothing less than the best when it comes to education. In an effort to make their institute technologically able, educational institutions employ multiple systems to manage administrative operations. Managing and coordinating disparate systems is not feasible in the long run.

Campus management productivity:

maintaining seemingly endless records of students and other administrative activities is an exhausting and tedious process. The effective time spent on teaching comes down drastically if teachers are constantly engaged in admin tasks. In institutes that run a hostel facility, this type of admin work is even more. Campus management productivity is dependent on the coordination between departments, time spent on each task, and utilization of the teacher’s time. All the activities starting from admission to course completion must be well coordinated.

Data security:

the digital era brings with it data threats like malware, phishing, outdated technology, and vulnerability of data loss. Such data security issues are more prominent in higher education processes owing to research papers, patents, etc. that are part of most higher education courses. Maintaining the security and safety of data is a challenge that most higher education institutes face on a daily basis.

Cost-saving management:

the quality of education depends on the finance/investment that runs the institute. Maintaining steady ROI is a challenge for educational institutions owing to the changing employee costs, cost of academic resources, dynamic Governmental regulations, and policies.

Parent-teacher-student communication:

student academic performance is dependent on the communication between students and teachers. It is also important that parent-teacher-student communication is clear and coordinated. Disparate processes across the institute often disrupt this communication path, which in turn affects students’ academic performance and engagement.

Staff and student time management:

the sole aim of educators is to ensure institutional development and ensure delivery of productive, effective, and result-oriented teaching. Educational institutes that rely on manual, disparate systems end up wasting too much time on unproductive admin activities rather than learning/teaching activities.

Tasks and Roles in the Education Sector

Educational institutes like schools, colleges, and universities organize a variety of educational programs and supervise routine admin activities associated with these programs. Keeping educational institutes running and maintaining high educational standards requires such programs to be conducted. Here is a list of admin duties that are performed at educational institutes.

Handling parents, employers, and student relationships:

management of educational institutes needs to collaborate with parents, students, staff, and the community for the betterment and academic progress of students. Maintaining good relationships with them is vital for the growth and success of the institute.

Organizing and supervising student guidance programs:

students join educational institutes to improve their vocational and educational knowledge. Educational institutes integrate and facilitate comprehensive learning for students.

Training and supervising faculty:

the training style and method adopted by the educational institute influence the academic success of students. In addition to organizing training programs for students, educational institutes need to train their faculty in order to stay updated on the latest training needs.

Budget planning and following financial processes:

in addition to tracking and assessing the performance of the staff, it is also important to plan and evaluate the operational and organizational budgets of educational institutes. Cost efficiency in allocating financial resources for various educational activities should be maintained through effective budget planning.

Faculty and staff recruitment:

recruitment of the right faculty who have the patience and professionalism to fit into a particular role is important for the success of the institute. Post the hiring process, the faculty must be supported and guided to excel in the role for which they are hired.

There are two main categories of roles in the education sector – academic and administrative. All the roles that are related to teaching and mentoring may be categorized as academic roles. All the roles that are associated with managing the educational institution are categorized as admin roles.

Workflow Automation in Education

Technology has changed the face of every industry by eliminating the burden and drawbacks of manual processes. It is not possible to imagine a modern-day educational institution without technology. Educational institutes are constantly under the pressure to provide learners with the most powerful learning methods that equip them to stay updated with the needs of the 21st century. Technology is changing the education sector by enabling teachers to make their teaching methods more innovative and creative and administrative staff manage workflows more efficiently.

Technology is a strategic tool in any educational organization when applied to maintain high standards or as part of improving existing processes in order to improve the learning experience for students. Higher education institutes and schools that rely on conventional, manual processes get at risk of process delays and inaccuracies. Unexpected failures, process slowdowns, and missed deadlines are some of the disadvantages of working with manual systems. The dynamic nature of the education market constantly challenges schools, colleges, and universities to deliver a superior learning experience by adopting education workflow automation. Educational institutions deal with voluminous paperwork and changing regulations that need to be managed on a daily basis. College automation software and school automation systems help institutions automate education workflows for better efficiency.

Automation in education helps in improving the efficiency of day-to-day processes like grant proposals, operations requests, student enrolment, budget allocations, etc. Workflow automation in education is implemented in 3 steps. The first is to assess the current state of existing workflows. The second step is to monitor and evaluate the efficiency of current workflows. The last step is to create an automation roadmap.

Importance of Workflow Automation in Education

Students are the customers of the education system. Like customers in any other sector, students value convenience above everything. Manual processes are banned on the productivity of the institute by slowing down process speed and increasing paper-based working. This is where university automation or school process automation solutions come into play.

Workflow automation in education can streamline the entire process workflow by cutting out repetitive steps. Workflow automation eliminates redundant steps and combines several manual steps into a single step. All the documentation related to academic courses, student information, accreditation, and affiliation is neatly organized and stored in digital cabinets that can be accessed easily from anywhere at any time. Documents and information can be easily exchanged between stakeholders freely without the need for human intervention. Automated admission systems make students’ lives easy by registering via apps and clarifying doubts with chatbots.

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Some of the processes in schools that can be automated effectively are:

1. Registration and admission:

processing admission and registration forms at scale can be effectively done through workflow automation.

2. Parental consent forms:

parent consent is needed for student participation in field trips, sports activities, information recording, and volunteering activities. Parents’ consent can be obtained through electronic signatures and PDFs of the consent letter are sent to them through email.

3. Emergency contact:

filling out emergency contact information can be effectively automated.

4. Maintenance and IT requests:

filling out maintenance and IT forms can be done online.

Workflow solutions for higher education processes:

1. Admissions processing and Financial aid grant:

admissions and financial aid applications can be processed quickly through automation.

2. Communications and marketing:

automating aspects of communications and marketing helps improve community relations.

3. Student support:

equipping students to stay connected with the college community throughout their course can be done by automating rollcall, attendance record keeping, and student engagement.

4. Curriculum approvals:

curriculum proposal approval can be automated for quick and easy approval of higher education curriculums.

5. Staff and Faculty Onboarding, Development, and Training:

majority of the faculty recruitment and onboarding processes can be automated.

Benefits of Workflow Automation in Education

The obvious benefits of education workflow automation are time and effort-saving. Some of the key benefits of automating learning and admin workflows in education are:

Effective marketing communication:

prospective students get to know various courses offered by the college through marketing communications. Workflow automation improves the effectiveness and reach of marketing communications.

Evaluating scholarship applicants:

verifying the information on scholarship applications can be done quickly and accurately through automation.

Planning course programs and schedules:

automation of the planning process for course programs and schedules improves the efficacy and reach of the courses.

Better student experience:

automating education workflows improves the student experience and engagement.

Streamline approval processes:

approval of student requests, staff travel requests, stationary requests, and IT requests can be done quickly and efficiently through workflow automation.

Centralized and secure data access:

important data student and financial data are stored in a centralized repository by workflow automation solutions. Role-based access can be given so that only authorized persons can access the data.

Improved regulatory compliance:

schools, colleges, and universities are closely governed by Government regulations. Automation improves the regulatory compliance of educational institutions by keeping track of all regulations.

Cflow Workflow Automation Solutions for Education Institutes

Cflow from Cavintek is a workflow automation solution that automated key process workflows within minutes. Key education workflows can be effectively automated by Cflow. Higher education processes, school admin processes, student information processing, and other education workflow automation solutions are available in Cflow.

Some of the workflow solutions in Cflow are:

Admissions processing:

most of the admissions and financial aid application processes can be automated in Cflow. Admission tasks such as confirmation of dual enrolment, course withdrawal, Enrolment, and Graduation certification, application for a graduate business dual degree, graduate request for research review, and request for change of Program or Advisor are some of the admission-related processes that can be automated.

Admin processes:

Some of the admin processes that can be automated are Academic petition application, FERPA Privacy release details, providing Letter of Good Standing, the process of Declaring Major or Minor, Course substitution form, course withdrawal procedure, and issuance of the transient letter some of the admin processes that can be automated.

Conclusion

From improving operational efficiency to extending the reach of marketing initiatives, education workflow automation provides several advantages to educational institutes. Higher education processes, school admin processes, and college admin functions can be effectively automated by Cflow. The visual form builder enables educational institutions to create customized workflows within minutes without any coding or technical expertise. To explore the insane automation capabilities that Cflow brings to the education workflow, sign up now for the free trial.

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