Digital Transformation In Education: Trends, Problems, and Best Practice [2022 Update]

6117 05.05.2022
Vasyl Polych

Founder & CEO at Northell

5/5

Table of contents

During the period of “new normality” that came with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it became especially noticeable how much the modern world has changed. The transformation has affected all spheres of life and not least education. Thus, according to Deloitte, online education, among other categories of Internet services, occupies one of the main places on the radars of Internet analysts.

What is Digital Transformation In Education?

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Digital Transformation In Education

Digital transformation in education is the use of a unique opportunity that brings digital technologies that radically change the economy, social sphere, business and other areas, comprehensively rethinking educational activities.

The digital transformation in education is a necessary condition for the transition to a digital economy. The process itself means not only the development of the material and technical base but also the process of building an infrastructure that will actively introduce innovative technologies, give flexibility to the management system, introduce the latest educational technologies and build individualized models of learning.

Digitalization is changing both online and offline education. With the advent of a large number of digital solutions for education, online education is becoming faster and more effective. More and more automated scoring systems are emerging, machine intelligence and AI are beginning to be used, more advanced LMSs are emerging, etc.

Changes in offline learning are manifested in the transition from class-by-desk education to online learning. Students may not attend schools or universities but study anywhere in the world. Moreover, virtual teachers appear in online classes, and the system for passing tests or exams is fully automated.

If we do not talk about the complete transition to online, then in educational institutions, the appearance of online devices for studying subjects is noticeable. More and more students and teachers are starting to use digital solutions for education including online materials, digital exam preparation tools, interactive whiteboards, etc. There are a lot of digital transformation examples in education. Later in the article, we will describe some of them.

Differences between Digital transformation in education and other areas

We can see clear differences if we compare digital transformation in education and digitalization in other areas. Firstly, digital transformation in education is aimed at a more convenient presentation of educational materials, increasing training effectiveness and improving the educational process as a whole. If we consider digitalization in other areas, then in most cases, its goal will be to increase conversions, for example, or the volume of production.

Secondly, digital transformation in education does not help, like in any business, increase the number of customers. Instead, it helps increase the number of students and those who interact with any kind of educational content. Digital solutions for education aimed at improving, facilitating and upgrading the learning process.

Thirdly, digital transformation in education is more focused on the process itself. That is, to improve the learning process, its facilitation and acceleration.

Trends and Predictions in Education Digital Transformation Process [2022]

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Education Digital Transformation Process

Digital transformation in education is developing at the speed of light. Let’s look at the prominent trends and digital solutions for education that will prevail in digital transformation in education in 2022. These digital transformation examples in education will help you build the right transformation process:

AI

Artificial intelligence is one of the most popular digital transformation examples in education. It is actively used in many areas of human life, including in the field of education. Today, people worldwide have the opportunity to use modern technologies in the educational process to improve its quality and effectively master the necessary professional skills.

According to MarketsandMarkets analytics, the global market for artificial intelligence for education will grow to $3.68 billion by 2023. According to experts from the eLearning Industry platform, more than 47% of learning management tools will be equipped with AI capabilities in the next couple of years.

As artificial intelligence is actively changing education today, here are some relevant ways to improve the learning process with its help:

Eliminate bias in assessments

Checking and evaluating students’ work is one of the essential tasks performed by teachers. However, a person is not always objective, so students often receive grades that do not correspond to their real level of knowledge. Assessing with an unbiased tool like AI not only eliminates this problem but also takes some of the burdens off teachers, allowing them to spend more time interacting with students.

Help teachers and students

The power of AI allows you to automate not only the grading process but also many other routine tasks, including administrative work. The chatbot is ready to answer the common recurring questions teachers receive every day. And neural networks are able to analyze the results of already conducted classes, select topics and materials for new ones, suggest to teachers – the program of which classes needs to be changed.

The use of AI technologies allows you to create effective training programs for each individual student, taking into account his individual characteristics and needs. Artificial intelligence can adapt to the student’s knowledge level, learning rate and desired goals.

The program takes into account the strengths and weaknesses of a particular student, helping him fill gaps in knowledge and master the necessary skills. That is why adaptive learning is becoming more and more popular. Special algorithms form a personalized track from a common database of materials.

Increase motivation for learning

The use of innovations can bring an element of the game into education and make the learning process more interactive and exciting. If teachers learn how to use modern technologies effectively, this can significantly increase the level of motivation among students and develop their interest in new knowledge and skills.

AR/VR

We all know that we remember better what we see than what we hear or memorize. Augmented reality as one of the best digital transformation examples in education proves this fact. 3D visualization in AR applications helps students understand the subject better. Here are 4 reasons why AR/VR apps are a must for the next generation of students:

Better explanation of complex and abstract concepts

There is no doubt that your students will understand the concept better when they visualize it. Especially when it comes to complex topics, students will learn faster with the help of visual 3D models.

Increased student engagement

AR/VR learning provides a playful approach to learning that makes lessons more emotional. This has a positive impact on students and keeps them engaged.

No additional tools required

Today, 95% of teenagers have a smartphone. It can also be used to achieve constructive results. Parents and teachers do not need to spend extra money to buy tools for interactive learning and teaching.

Barrier-free education

With AR/VR apps, users can learn anytime, anywhere from their smartphones. This is the best way to replace paper books, posters, huge physical models, etc.

Smart classes

Smart Classes make use of digital solutions for education to improve the learning experience. The different audio and visual aids improve and make the learning experience more enjoyable. The options are limitless.

Unlike universal solutions, specialized software is built and tuned to meet the demands of a certain class. Because data streams are isolated and organized, the digital infrastructure improves teacher-student and peer-to-peer communication. The raise hand function in video conferencing applications is one example of this.

Smart Classes may also teach students about the benefits of utilizing them. As a result, when they get home from school, they’ll come up with more creative solutions.

Lectures were an essential element of classrooms in the past, but this is no longer the case. Interactive learning has been shown to benefit pupils. Information is exchanged through projectors and computers. Students might get absorbed by using interactive touch displays.

Online materials

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Northell Case – SmartJen

Modern technologies and digital solutions for education make it possible to store a large number of educational materials, books, lectures, etc., online. This makes the learning process more accessible. Students get the opportunity to study the materials they need at any time and anywhere in the world.

More and more schools around the world are moving offline learning materials online. Prime digital transformation examples in education are the use of LMS. This system allows you to store a large amount of information in the cloud, for example. Each student has access to it and can study at any time convenient for him.

Also, such systems allow you to add not only text materials. They are also used to store pictures, graphs, videos, audio lectures, etc.

Gamification

Gamification in education focuses on harnessing the core desires of learners to engage more deeply and achieve high and robust performance.

Participants prefer excitement, history, and play, which means that this is a natural way of acquiring skills. Interestingly, in a gamified system, the player reveals his true self by getting into stressful or curious situations. This can be a good method of recruiting professionals, not based on previous grades or diplomas.

Gamification, thanks to visibility, shows the possibilities, type of thinking, and logical abilities of an individual student. Based on this, a professional teacher will be able to determine the child’s inclinations for certain activities accurately and direct the further development of his skills in the right direction.

IoT

Modern educational institutions choose IoT and use various methods – from augmented reality to cloud computing. With the integration of IoT technology as one of the widespread digital transformation examples in education, physical environments are becoming smarter and more interconnected than ever.

When discussing IoT in education, one can think of things like an advanced smart classroom, digital signage, and a voice command system.

However, the IoT has come a long way and can be used to keep parents informed about picking up their children from school, use smart security cameras on school premises, automated student attendance tracking, and more.

Here are some more examples of using IoT in education:

  • Energy management
  • Security and remote access to the classroom
  • Student health monitoring
  • Educational applications and interactive learning

Anti Covid-19

With the advent of the pandemic, many areas in our lives were forced to change. Education is among them. Today, many educational institutions are beginning to adopt digital solutions for education and technologies to control the spread of the virus and students’ safety.

Among these technologies, we can highlight the following digital transformation examples in education:

  • Technologies to control the safe distance between students in the classroom
  • Technologies to control oxygen levels in the classroom
  • Student temperature systems
  • Systems for quickly determining the incidence rate in each class

Digital Transformation In Education: Main Process

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Digital Transformation In Education

Now let’s look at the main processes that are affected by digital transformation in education: 

Learning process

The main process that digital transformation affects is the learning process. Among the digital solutions for education, we can distinguish the following:

  • Online materials
  • Using the LMS
  • Use of gamification
  • Formation of smart classes
  • Using interactive learning tools

The use of digital solutions for education allows you to take the education system to a new level, namely to make it more efficient, effective and flexible.

Examination process

With the growth of digitalization in the field of education, the examination process in educational institutions is also beginning to change. Here are some examples of digital solutions for education used in the examination process:

  • Online testing
  • Using AI to check test/exam scores
  • Issuance of online certificates/diplomas
  • Interactive exams using digital tools

The digitalization of the examination process makes it possible to independently assess students’ knowledge by removing the subjectivity of assessment. It also helps students answer exam questions more clearly.

Admission process

Before the digitalization of the education sector, students were forced to apply to schools/universities in writing, filling out a large number of documents. 

With the advent of digitalization, students can quickly complete online applications and submit them to schools/universities. Applications are processed automatically and modern digital tools can independently evaluate students’ chances of admission.

Digitalization of the admission process facilitates the work of employees of educational institutions and speeds up the admission process of students to an educational institution.

Hiring process

The process of hiring employees in an educational institution is usually rather long. Candidates for various positions should pass an interview and fill out a resume and other documents.

Today, thanks to digitalization, this process is becoming more automated. Interviews can be conducted online, and candidate data is stored in special HRM systems. With this approach, the hiring process becomes more organized and faster.

Accounting process 

Many employees of educational institutions sometimes face problems with payroll or other financial transactions. Digitalization of the accounting process can help make this process more controlled and organized. Thanks to modern digital tools, the process of calculating salaries or other financial transactions in educational institutions can be automated.

Inventory management

This is one of those processes that are quite problematic in educational institutions. Sometimes some students don’t have enough books. Sometimes the number of desks and other equipment does not correspond to the number stated in the documentation. There are lots of examples. All these problems can be solved by digitalization.

Thanks to the modern approach and the use of special inventory management systems, educational institutions can control the process of purchasing new inventory, the availability of the necessary inventory and its quantity, the process of disposing of unnecessary inventory, etc.

Health assessment

With the advent of the pandemic, educational institutions have become a place where the virus can spread at the speed of light if certain rules are not followed. Sometimes it’s impossible to keep track of everything.

Thanks to modern technologies, student health scores can be measured in seconds. An educational institution can install special devices in the classrooms to measure the temperature of students, measure the level of oxygen in individual rooms, measure the distance between students, etc.

Staff management

In order for employees’ work to be organized and controlled, special staff management systems are needed that automate most of the processes associated with staff management.

The digitalization of staff management is to make staff management processes easier, for example, by automating the process of scheduling classes, distributing the teaching staff into classes, etc.

Key-Systems in Education Digital Transformation

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Northell  Case – SmartJen

Let’s now consider the main systems in education digital transformation and digital transformation in higher education:

LMS System

LMS, the most popular digital transformation examples in education, is a learning management service that includes setting up and supervising training courses, establishing interaction between teachers and students, planning, organizing all educational processes and monitoring the results of learning materials and student development.

It is often believed that LMS is used only for organizing online education. But it can be used not only for distance learning but also for mixed formats. This is possible thanks to different types of communication: online broadcasts, forums, chats and mailing lists. With the help of LMS, you can organize any form: face-to-face, remote, individual and group.

Benefits of learning management systems

  • Teachers and trainers do not need to explain the same thing to different groups of students, and students do not need to be present in the classroom.
  • Reducing the cost of education is cheaper than renting a room, inviting a trainer and conducting training. The trainer needs to travel for a lecture or seminar.
  • Ease of use – intuitive interface, instructions and constructors.
  • Availability from anywhere in the world. You can study at any convenient place and time.
  • Convenience – storage of educational materials, reporting, knowledge testing and communication takes place in a single system that does not require other programs.
  • Storage of a large amount of data.
  • Availability of reports on the success of courses, their popularity, etc.

If you want to learn more about LMS systems, we recommend that you read the following articles written by our team:

  1. How To Build MVP For LMS? (Step-by-step Guide for CEO and Team 2022)
  2. How To Design an LMS Right? Practical Guide For Owner [ Trends, Rate, Re-design, Tips in 2022]
  3. How To Create an LMS From Scratch? Ultimate Guide 2022

Educational institution management system

Educational institution management systems are designed to administer the processes of an educational institution, both basic (education and training) and auxiliary. Such systems are used by educational institutions of any type: schools, colleges, technical schools, universities and training centers.

The main functions and capabilities of educational institution management systems:

  • Administration. The ability to administer allows you to configure and manage the system’s functionality, as well as manage accounts and access rights to the system.
  • Import/export of data. The ability to import and/or export data in the product allows you to load data from the most popular file formats or upload work data to a file for further use in other software.
  • Multi-user access. The possibility of multi-user access to the software system ensures the simultaneous work of several users on the same database under their own accounts. Users, in this case, may have different access rights to data and functions of the software.
  • Availability of API. Thanks to the API, you can link two software products together for automatic information exchange.
  • Reporting and analytics. The presence of the reporting and/or analytics functions of the product allows you to receive systematized and visualized data from the system for subsequent analysis and decision-making based on data.

Also, one of the systems in digital education transformation is the ERP system. An Enterprise resource planning system becomes a kind of enterprise strategy within which the management of certain areas will be taken into account:

  • finance tax and accounting records are maintained, a budget is planned;
  • labor personnel;
  • assets;
  • interactions with partners, maintaining a detailed history of transactions with customers.

Digital Transformation in Education: Must-Have Features

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Northell Case – Studiously

Now let’s define what must-have features each of the systems in education digital transformation should have.

1. LMS System

Online classes

Online classes are the backbone of any LMS for education. This feature should make it possible to conduct lectures in an online format. It will also allow you to download any educational materials, create tests and exam forms, check student results, etc. In fact, this feature should cover all the necessary processes for effective learning.

Information dashboard

An information dashboard is a place where all the relevant information for teachers and students is collected. For example, it might include class schedules, student rankings, exam dates, a list of students by class, etc.

Curriculums management

This feature will allow educational institutions to create, correct or delete training programs. Thanks to this feature, teachers will be able to quickly and efficiently manage curriculums, and students will be able to keep track of what they need to learn.

Online chats and video calls

Online chats will allow students and teachers to always be in touch. If the students have any questions, they can solve them in a few minutes using the online chat.

Online video calls will allow you to conduct online lessons wherever students and teachers are at any time convenient for them.

Content and Course Management

This feature will allow you to create and edit training courses by adding different types of content such as pictures, graphics, videos, etc. With this feature, you will also be able to manage not only the download of courses but also their assignment to specific users.

Skill Tracking

This feature allows you to evaluate the progress of students as well as their skills. Thanks to this feature, you will be able to measure students’ progress at different intervals or after completing a certain course.

Social Learning

If you want to encourage students to share their knowledge, you will need an LMS with social tools. Like social networks, they allow you to post articles, discuss colleagues’ posts, like and share content.

Gamification

By using gamification elements (points, rewards, rankings, badges, etc.), you can increase student retention, engagement, and motivation to study harder.

Test and survey management

This feature is needed to conduct testing, control the conduct of exams and check the results. This feature should allow you to create tests in various formats, correct them and delete them if necessary.

Control of the learning process

Thanks to this feature, teachers will be able to control the learning process, namely student attendance, homework, passing tests, student performance, etc.

2. Educational institution management system

ERP System

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Northell Case Studiously

As we said earlier, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a modern enterprise resource planning system that allows you to create an integrated information environment for automating the planning, accounting, control, and analysis of an enterprise’s main business processes. These systems, as a rule, should include the following modules:

  • management of financial resources;
  • repair management;
  • capital construction management.

HR System

The HR system of an educational institution should have the following features:

  • Employee performance management
  • Payroll
  • Personal management 
  • Performance appraisal 
  • Employee self-service
  • Training and development
  • Recruitment management
  • Time and attendance
  • Analytics
  • Financials and accounting

Digital Transformation in Education: Main Problems

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Digital Transformation in Education

The process of digitalization of the education sector is quite a challenging process. Let’s look at the main problems you may encounter during digital transformation in higher education:

The system is not ready for change

The most common problem of the digital transformation in higher education is the unpreparedness of the existing system for changes. This applies to both employees of the institution and the internal education system. In this case, digitalization should be carried out gradually, evaluating the results and effectiveness of the methods used.

No onboarding

One of the problems that can affect the quality and effectiveness of digital transformation in higher education is the lack of onboarding. If you start using new digital tools as part of digitalization, you should definitely familiarize your employees and students with these tools and teach them how to use them. Otherwise, there is no point in using these tools.

Fast or too slow changes

As we said earlier, digital transformation in higher education is best done gradually. You should not immediately transfer all processes from offline to online, start using all digital tools at once, or change all processes at once. Also, do not delay the process of transition to new tools.

To get a good result, you need to decide on the period in which you will carry out digital transformation in higher education in full and evaluate its effectiveness.

Lack of strategy

Lack of strategy leads to the failure of any business. Therefore, before you start digital transformation in higher education, you need to create a strategy that you will follow.

Describe all the processes that you need to change, the nature of the changes, possible risks and problems, ways to solve problems, etc. When you have a clear understanding of which direction to move in, you will be able to organize the digitalization process qualitatively.

Failed digital solution

Today there are a large number of different digital solutions for education. But whether they can help you is another question. For you to get a great result, it is not enough just to integrate some digital solutions into your system. These solutions should be of high quality and meet your requirements and needs. The best solution to this problem is to turn to professionals and develop solutions for yourself.

Inexperienced contractors and partners

If you decide to work with a team that will develop the right tools for you, it is important that this team is experienced and skilled. Many educational institutions face the problem of inexperienced contractors during the digital transformation in higher education.

Therefore, when hiring a development team, you should evaluate their experience, portfolio, feedback from previous clients, etc. In the case of cooperation with an inexperienced team, you will not get the result you expect.

Digital Transformation in Education: How Does it Work in Practice?

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Software Development in Education

Now let’s look at the main stages of digital transformation in education.

Step 1. BA

The first step is business analysis. You need to analyze your existing system and understand its specific problems and shortcomings. It is necessary to determine what needs to be removed, changed, added or left. This analysis will help you have a complete picture of your organization in order to build a strategy and plans for further actions correctly.

Step 2. Project Plan

Next, you should write a plan of your actions. Write down the entire digitalization process step by step so as not to go astray. The key to success is a well-built plan. We also recommend that you set deadlines for each task and allocate a certain budget.

Step 3. Product Technical Documentation

During this stage, all the relevant information from the client is collected to develop a product as per expectations and requirements. The design and development team should write technical documentation and choose technical stacks for further work.

At this stage, the team should also define the requirements for functionality (requirements for the admin panel) and user roles (admin and super admin). The team should complete the estimate and scope of work.

Step 4. Design

Next comes the UX and UI design stage. UI – User Interface – this is the part that you see. All those buttons, icons, etc., that you interact with every time you open a website, program, application, etc.

UX – User Experience – in fact, this is an “interaction experience,” moments of “feelings” – areas where you consciously (and not) go towards your goal and/or get what you want. These are the possible thoughts, feelings, actions and impressions that you get when working with a particular interface.

Step 5. Development

After the design is ready, developers use the documentation and architecture from previous steps to writing code for all the software components. The development part is divided into 2 steps: front-end development and back-end development. Here are the main tech stacks to use during front-end development: Angular, Vue.js, React.js.

Server-side development is another name for back-end development. 

It is everything that users do not see and includes all of the actions behind the scenes when they do any operation on a platform. It largely focuses on databases, back-end logic, APIs, and servers. Here is the main tech stack to use during back-end development: Node.js.

Step 6. Testing

At this step QA engineers test all delivered code and carry out manual testing for developed components. Here are the main QA aspects to use: CI/CD, Integrational, Automation Strategy, Regression, Resource planning.

Step 7. Deployment & Integration

After the development and regression testing from the QA team, the team switched to production deployment and integration. The tested version of the solution is delivered to the users for beta testing. The team collects user feedback, fixes all the bugs, and implements some improvements.  

Step 8. Maintenance

After deploying a product in the production environment, maintenance of the product, i.e., if any issue comes up and needs to be fixed, or any improvements are to be done, it is taken care of by the development team.

Step 9. Onboarding

And the last step is onboarding. You should familiarize every employee of the educational institution and students with the new solutions. We recommend that you start onboarding gradually so that users can get used to new tools and learn how to use them.

How Can Northell Help You with Digital Transformation in Education? [Case Study] 

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Northell Case – Studiously

Northell is a team of experienced professionals who know how to create solutions that can help businesses, organizations and companies from various industries become better, more efficient and modern.

The Northell team has wide experience in carrying out projects of any size and any complexity. Our team has already built 150+ digital products for companies from 45 countries. Our team showed great results and made:

Clutch’s Top 20 Product Designers & Developers and The Manifest’s Top 4 Product Design Team.

We have worked with such well-known brands as Kickstarter, Careem, Government Of Dubai, AWSM Bank.

Our team actively helps with the digitalization of learning processes in many industries, from universities to the field of programming and medicine.

One of our partners, Studiously needed a complete system upgrade to streamline and automate most of the learning process. In order to do this, it was necessary to use modern technologies and practices. Thanks to our experience and research, we were able to select and develop for Studiously a great solution that works and brings great results.

In case you have any product ideas in mind or want to know more about different digital transformation examples in education, contact us!

Digital Transformation In Education: Summary

1 Apple Education Intro

Although the process of digital transformation in higher education does not always go smoothly, all the facts show that digital learning is the future.

According to experts, in the near future, schools, universities, and businesses will increasingly turn to technologies for study. And the experience of 2020 has shown that in the context of the global crisis, it is IT that allows millions of people around the world to continue learning and gaining new knowledge. There are a lot of digital transformation examples in education. We have described the most common and popular!

FAQ

What is the best technical stack?

We recommend developing solutions in the cloud or using Angular, Vue.js, React.js for front-end development and Node.js for back-end development.

What should the team be like?

For digital transformation in higher education, you will need a team that consists of:

PM (Project Manager)
BA (Business Analyst)
UX designer
UI designer
Front-end developer
Back-end developer

Terms and budget

This depends on how big your project is. For more detailed information, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team!
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