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Edtech providers on student/faculty ties

University Business, August 2018

What is the biggest challenge administrators have fostering trusting relationships between students and faculty? What’s the most innovative way you’ve seen a college tackle this challenge?

“Engaging in communication is the foundation of any trusting relationship, yet this is often difficult for students and faculty to do. There are generational gaps and technology changes constantly. We’re working with schools to build cutting-edge tools that will help support their initiatives. Working directly with users has helped us identify and build mobile interactions that provide instant feedback for both advisors and students that ‘bubble up’ key information with high visibility or trigger those texts or emails that nudge the two sides to keep working collaboratively and keep students on the path to successful completion.”

—Jeff Elliott, senior product manager – team lead, Jenzabar


Link to main story: Ties that bind a higher ed campus together


“Research shows that sense of belonging is the number one factor in student engagement and success, but enabling faculty to foster this with students is challenging given today’s campus climate issues. Something as seemingly simple as enabling instructors to use correct name pronunciations and gender pronouns from day 1 goes a long way.”

—Praveen Shanbhag, founder & CEO, NameCoach

“If we want to increase trust, we must be transparent in our actions. Innovative universities utilize programs that increase transparency, such as publishing the university’s mission publicly with visible actions, and providing student with advocates outside the classroom (i.e. diversity supporters).”

—Tom Tonkin, principal consultant, thought leadership and advisory services, Cornerstone OnDemand

“Trust is built when students feel that they receive feedback, coaching, and mentoring that progresses them towards their professional goals. Innovative models that prioritize mentorship and career-applicable focus through a network of professional faculty can help to address this specific challenge, as can strategic alignment around faculty development and connecting faculty with employers and successful alumni directly.”

—Krysia Lazarewicz, senior vice president of curriculum development and general manager of advancement courses, Learning House

“The biggest challenges relate to assumptions--that students are interested only in a transactional relationship with faculty, or that faculty and students know how to approach one another—and to overlooking assets. Administrators have access to resources that they can use strategically. If supporting these relationships is truly a priority, the college can set aside meal passes for a student to invite a faculty member to share a meal on campus, or funds for faculty members to invite students to dinner, or set aside tickets to campus events for a small group of faculty and students to attend.”

—Melora Sundt, chief academic officer, Noodle Partners

“With so many solutions driving information forward, institutions face the challenge of being subsumed by the noise of all the ‘big data.’ Those who succeed leverage human minds—both faculty and students—combined with visual assessment tools to discern the specific elements that impact positive difference on an individual level.”

—Susan Nelson, customer enablement manager, Campus Management


Elaina Loveland is a freelance writer based in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.