At the college and university level, deadlines and expediency are everything; administrators need to process student paperwork on time, while staff are buried under accreditation applications and state/federal regulations. Further, compliance issues loom in the background. Education workforces need a next-gen productivity and collaboration solution to manage all this, but with a crowded vendor marketplace, what are their options?
Check out the Top 5 ways G Suite applications facilitate more collaboration and productivity to deliver better student outcomes:
Communicate Without Barriers
About $5 billion in students loans might be erased due to lost paperwork and poor records management. In higher education, these worries are a constant and expensive fear.
Google Forms enables admin departments to more easily register students and advance them through their multiyear education experience, all without any fear of paperwork or sensitive information being lost or damaged. Employees can even make notes on Forms to ensure colleagues are aware of a student’s requirements. School employees can even use Forms to conduct surveys that proactively engage students about how to provide them a better experience. This also helps reduce the costs of paperwork and printouts.
Gmail can be used to send emails, but the additional advantage it has over standard enterprise platforms is that workforces can access certain functionalities even if they don’t have an internet connection. As all G Suite tools have corresponding apps on Droid and iOS, staff can still collaborate, regardless of where their schedules take them. Gmail also integrates with Calendar to reduce clicks and manage meetings, all from one centralized location.
Hangouts provides a real-time communications platform through messaging and video chat, all of which can be recorded for student onboarding, staff training, or admin development purposes.
Collaborate in Real-Time
Colleges are willing to spend upwards of $2 million on collaboration tools, so they need to know they’re getting a return on that investment.
Docs (word processing), Sheets (spreadsheets), and Slides (presentations) are desktop and mobile applications that enable staff to create the files that are the backbones of the higher ed experience. From administrative paperwork to new student information, these tools can better explain college rules and policies, onboard new employees, or be used as educational supplements. These tools can be strategically shared with employees, with admins controlling access to better protect school and student data. Staff can make comments, edits, and even suggestions, which enable teams to overcome schedule difficulties to collaborate on files at their convenience, rather than slow the process down by waiting until everyone can meet.
These files, as well as anything in the G Suite platform, can be stored on Drive. Managers can create employee and team-specific folders and control who has access to each in order to maintain compliance. Drive is searchable, and new AI features use machine learning to suggest files a user might be looking for, as well as identify frequent collaborators.
Manage Course and Assignment Papers
Google Classroom makes it easy for professors and other student-facing staff members to create class homepages, distribute assignments, communicate faster, and stay organized while coordinating a full class schedule. The application is easy to set up and just as easy to add and remove students, or send a link to them so they can join and instantly feel more engaged with their professors. Educators can also grade projects and leave comments to help students better reach their potential.
Google Forms also has applications focused on student success. Professors can distribute quizzes, surveys, and more, all to better solicit information from students or coordinate times for out-of-classroom events. Forms also integrates with other G Suite apps, such as Docs, Slides, and Sheets, which can help educators and administrators keep students more engaged in the learning process. This is critical, as the number of four year graduates is decreasing, while 58% now need six years for a diploma.
Prioritize Tasks and Schedule Management
Onboarding thousands of new freshmen and transfer students every year, along with managing the online campus, and ensuring a seamless experience add up to a big challenge for administrators: ensuring project workflows run smoothly.
Calendars is the schedule management app on the G Suite platform, and it allows users to plan meetings, set recurring reminders, and view colleagues’ availability to more efficiently collaborate. Tasks is a project management tool embedded on the right navigation tab of both the Calendars and Gmail applications and enables staff to create daily tasks and share with others.
University teams can share these tasks and meeting invites with students to help them prioritize their time and support them in their educational development. Students might need to miss class, so professors can adjust due dates as necessary; some students can’t write notes as fast as they’d like, so they can quickly set meetings with professors. For the growing number of special needs students on campus, a professor who provides that little extra bit of scheduling support might make all the difference in making it to graduation.
Teaching staff can also leverage these tools to coordinate research strategies and collaborate on developing a more meaningful syllabus for students. A further benefit of these G Suite tools is that their corresponding mobile apps fully integrate with their desktop counterparts, so users can access files and contacts while on-the-go. Staff will no longer need to download 3rd party apps to be productive, and while workers have the best of intentions, doing so can expose university networks to costly data breaches.
Stay Compliant and Proactive with Data Security
University networks protect untold millions of data points - from financial information to grades - and the cost of just 10,000 affected files could hit $2.5 million.
Google Vault enables users to more securely archive emails, chats, and official university documents, and do so in a variety of file formats. Vault is searchable, and administrators can establish permission settings to ensure only approved employees and teams have access to content. To help find key documents faster, users can search with date ranges and query terms.
G Suite is designed with the needs of innovative, mission-focused universities in mind, but the above serve as a preview for how it can improve workflows and even help reduce extra expenditures and budgetary waste. G Suite is flexible enough to meet the needs of any higher ed institutions, and can help improve collaboration and work processes.