In a fast-paced, evolving educational landscape, the pursuit of innovative ways to enhance student engagement becomes more and more crucial. From shifts towards hybrid learning to tracking every institutional event and activity, each academic year can bombard educators and students alike and keeping on top of things remains a huge challenge in maximizing the student experience.
But one institution that has taken significant strides in solving this challenge is Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Manila. Under the leadership of Executive Director for Strategy and Operations, Jayson M. Barlan, Ph.D., LPU embarked on a groundbreaking partnership with edtech provider Anthology in their mission to transform the student experience by streamlining the university’s academic processes.
“It came to the point that it was simply too overwhelming to keep track of every student’s event and activity,” Barlan explained. “Our students are very competitive and engaging towards their organizations and other campus activities. But we know it’s the university’s role to ensure all these engagements are delivered in the best way possible for a holistic learning and campus experience.”
Too many activities
It’s not a surprise that every university has its pool of student organizations and endless lineups of events and activities. Apart from its course offerings, what truly creates a holistic and transformative learning experience is injecting different extracurricular programs for students to explore.
At first, it seems that these events outside the classroom are nothing more than ways for students to unwind and socialize with others on campus. In truth, extracurriculars and student organizations are great avenues to discover new talents, interests, and skills that are otherwise untapped inside classroom walls.
When Barlan assumed the role of Dean of Student Affairs in 2015, he observed a remarkable level of student involvement and competitiveness among LPU’s student body.
“Student organizations encourage our students to pursue other knowledge and skills outside their respective courses, which is crucial for maximized learning experience,” Barlan said. “But with that came a challenge–how do we recognize these outstanding students and organizations with transparency and fairness?”
The process of determining the deserving recipients of prestigious awards for different organizations and activities became a time-consuming and laborious task for LPU’s administrative team. Transparency and fairness were paramount, but the manual approach hindered efficient decision-making. The voluminous documentation and submissions posed a significant challenge that required a new system and streamlined solution.
Automating with Anthology Engage
In light of the tedious manual process, LPU sought a solution that would automate the award evaluation process and ensure fairness for all deserving candidates. The initial proposal to adopt an automated system came from various branches within the university, recognizing the need to manage the increasing activities of the dynamic and competitive student population.
LPU’s quest for an automated solution led them to explore the experiences of other esteemed institutions like the National University of Singapore and other institutions based in the US.
“When we visited the National University of Singapore and the US, they mentioned Anthology, particularly Anthology Engage, which streamlined every student activity and organized how we can measure student engagement. Edtech was a very new concept to us but we were very excited to learn what it can do,” Barlan said.
Anthology Engage is an engaging interface and platform where students and educators can foster a sense of community through streamlined processes within the institution. It also guides the student experience, promoting co-curricular paths and experiences that align with classroom offerings.
For example, student organizations can efficiently plan, organize, and promote their workshops, seminars, and other online and in-person events on the platform. Anthology Engage enables them to track attendees through advanced RSVP features and also gauge student involvement with automated and verified co-curricular records. When a student participates in more events, they are recognized through automated badges that record their achievements and progress.
Encouraged by the positive feedback and success stories, LPU eagerly invited Anthology to present its student engagement solution, which left Barlan and the LPU team exhilarated.
He expressed his excitement about the prospect of deploying Anthology’s platform to streamline the award evaluation process and overall student engagement. Recognizing the potential impact on LPU’s educational experiences, the university embraced the partnership wholeheartedly.
“We can now capture student engagement and activities more efficiently. But more importantly, we can invite even more students to be active and proactive in exploring different opportunities and experiences at LPU,” Barlan said.
The future of student engagement
With the decision to partner with Anthology finalized, LPU is looking forward to deploying the platform in the coming months. Barlan is optimistic about a full-scale deployment by January 2024, but he expressed that it might even be sooner, possibly by September, indicating the urgency to revolutionize the student experience.
Overall, LPU’s partnership with Anthology promises to be a game-changer in the realm of student engagement and educational experiences for the university. Automating award evaluations and providing a streamlined platform for student activities, not only encourages students to be more active on campus, but it also creates synergy among the institution’s administrative teams and students.
With the prospect of full deployment just around the corner, the university is poised to take a giant leap forward in its pursuit of academic excellence and student success. As LPU embraces the future of education, other institutions may also find inspiration to explore similar partnerships and transform their educational ecosystems for the better.