How Educational Institutions Are Thriving During the Great Disruption

Post Date: 09/15/2020
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Discover how AvePoint is empowering educators and their classrooms with powerful online learning solutions.

Every education institution right now is pivoting to the new normal with an urgent need for an accelerated digital transformation.

With the massive number of classes moved online all around the world, Microsoft estimates around 250 million people will be unemployed by the end of this year and in need of being re-trained, re-tooled, and re-certified.

That’s why I believe the opportunity facing educational institutions is just as large as the massive challenges they face today.

However, to capture that opportunity, educational institutions will need to be agile and change how they operate. Many of these institutions have been leveraging legacy (and education-specific) software for their learning management and collaboration needs. Now, they’re starting to give Microsoft 365 another look as they consolidate platforms, cut costs, and consider using software their students will actually use again in the real world.

Singapore Management University (SMU) is one of the educational institutions that has smartly positioned itself for the new normal.

Last week, I had the pleasure of presenting at the ShiftHappens APAC Conference with Professor Annie Koh, Vice President for Business Development and Professor of Finance at Singapore Management University, where we discussed the emerging challenges in the education industry and real-life examples of how technology can help us thrive in a world plagued by COVID.


The Importance of 3Ps

During the session, Professor Koh introduced the concept of 3Ps (people, partnerships, platforms) that are critical to SMU during this pandemic period.


Without people with an agile mindset, no institutions (whether universities or workplaces) could quickly adapt to what’s happening in this unprecedented time. “People” refers to both the faculty and students where faculty had to immediately use whatever technological support they could find and turned very interactive classes into online modules. Students must have a mindset for learning and adapt to learning online quickly.


Like-minded partners are very critical in the education industry. For example, SMU collaborated with many universities for exchange programs to take care of all students and ease processes like credit transfers.


Without technology platforms, schools could not have done many of the things that they have been doing in the last six months to quickly migrate online. Technology is an important enhancer, but it cannot fully substitute a hands-on learning model. There will be a hybrid model in the future.

Check out how educational institutions are staying agile while moving online: Click To Tweet

Home-based Learning Case Study: RP Online Learning Solution

For my part in the presentation, I shared an example of how AvePoint has helped Republic Polytechnic build its online learning system over the last three years.

Even before COVID hit, RP developed their platforms with resiliency in mind in the event of a SARS-like event.

The Learning Environment Online system features a seamless transition between online and offline study. Students can access online learning content such as videos, quizzes, and discussion forums, collaborate with classmates, and submit assignments with their laptops and mobile devices.

This solution was showcased in Straights Times (a Singapore National Newspaper) by Singapore GovTech as a solution that helps ease the school’s transition to home-based learning, where we preserve the peer-to-peer education interaction students are starved for in the new “learn everything from home” world.


AvePoint’s Education Management System

I also discussed how our AvePoint Exam Management System enables a secure, intuitive, and online testing experience for students and educators alike. Educators have flexibility at their fingertips to design exams aligned to course goals and outcomes while making the proctoring and grading process easier. And students get a consistent experience—even on their own devices—which is a critical component of ensuring the fairness of any assessment.

This solution can deliver 100% digital at-home exams or allow for in-person proctored summative exams to ensure testing security and integrity. In the “new normal” world we live in now, the key is to stay agile and offer educators and students the optionality of flexible and safe examination experience.

To see the session in full, watch on-demand on the official ShiftHappens website.

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Dr. Tianyi Jiang (TJ) co-founded AvePoint in 2001 and has served as the organization's Chief Executive Officer since 2005. TJ is responsible for overall strategy and direction of AvePoint, which includes product innovation, investor relations, and business development. He is focused on delivering value to customers, partners, shareholders, and the AvePoint team, every day. A recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in New Jersey in 2010, TJ received both B.S. and master’s in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University, and a Master of Philosophy and PhD in Data Mining from Department of Information Systems, Operations Management, and Statistics, Stern School of Business, New York University.

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