With More University Classes Online than Ever, How Can Educators Prepare Their Students for Real-World Success?

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When the pandemic shuttered schools in mid-March, educators from kindergarten through graduate school went into emergency mode, shifting to synchronous and asynchronous distance learning as fast as possible. Now, as we head into the fall semester, schools have had the opportunity to catch their breath and think through not only how to teach online at all, but how to provide the quality education students expect from in-person classes under the new, hybrid and remote models they’ve adopted in an effort to continue flattening the curve.

One critical challenge higher education institutions are still facing is how to provide students with the professional development opportunities they’ll need to prepare for career success without the benefit of in-person coaching and instruction. How can educators help students develop the soft skills — like interpersonal communication — that are so critical for professional success and yet so dependent on personalized coaching and in-person interactions?

Typical online professional development programs educators could offer students have a few downfalls: they’re too generic to meet students’ individual needs, they take up too much time outside of students’ regular workload, and they don’t provide any clear way for students to gauge their progress.

Here at Quantified, we’re solving all three of those problems for educators looking to provide world-class leadership communication development to support in their professional lives. After all, we know communication is one of the most sought-after skills in the business world — and also one of the hardest to find. That’s why we deliver custom-tailored, automated communication development that integrates seamlessly into users’ everyday work and lives. For universities, this means giving students a competitive professional advantage right alongside their academic education.

Personalized Learning

Personalizing curricula to support each individual student’s needs is a challenge under the best of circumstances. And when learning is taking place all online or in a combination of remote and in-person, that becomes even more difficult. But regardless of the learning models, we know every student brings unique background knowledge to the (virtual) table. Some may already be strong communicators who just need to hone their skills, while others may be starting from scratch.

That’s where the Quantified platform comes in. Our platform takes each student’s spoken communication samples and provides both an objective, quantitative evaluation and expert feedback designed to drive lasting improvement on their biggest development opportunities. This functionality provides every single student with a personalized curriculum to support their growth as they work toward specific communication goals. (Those goals can be about specific communication characteristics, but they may also be focused on specific scenarios like job interviews. In this job market, Quantified’s interview preparedness programs may give students a much-needed edge as they enter the workforce during such a challenging time.) And what’s more, the platform provides professors and administrators with individual student information as well as aggregate data showing the class’s overall strengths and development opportunities, empowering them to adjust synchronous instruction to meet the group’s collective needs. All without draining their limited time and resources.

The result? Even in a 500-person lecture course in which half the students are participating online, students know exactly how they’re doing, why, and how they can improve. And professors are empowered to support their students more effectively than ever.

Integration with Everyday Activities

From undergraduates who are now juggling an in-flux academic schedule alongside their home lives to professional MBA students who are balancing full-time jobs, the challenges of remote work, and their education, students are busy. Asking them to take on additional time commitments in the form of online classes and programs that only relate tangentially to everything else on their plates is setting them up for failure.

The most effective communication development opportunities will blend seamlessly into their other work, and that’s how the Quantified platform is designed. Students can use their class presentations (either in-person or via Zoom) for analysis, and they can apply the results and insights they receive to their everyday communication at work or in class. Then, when they analyze their next key communication event, they can see how far their effort has brought them.

Tracking and Monitoring

Finally, as anyone who’s invested time and effort into a project with very little evidence of progress can attest, results may be one of the biggest keys to long-term engagement and improvement. Just like exam grades show students how well they’ve mastered academic content, ongoing analyses through the Quantified Platform show users how well they’re mastering their new communication skills. When students can measure their progress — and not just with a few multiple-choice quizzes but a significant level of detail and nuance — they get the encouragement they need to keep working and the direction they need to maintain productivity. By uploading additional videos, users can compare their progress in every key metric and update their improvement plans to reflect their ongoing development and ensure they’re on track to reach their goals.

In this moment in time when educators are stretched even thinner than usual — and when students’ professional skill development is more critical than ever — the value of a remote learning platform that can provide personalized feedback, research-based action plans, and lasting improvement remotely and asynchronously is higher than ever. We invite you to learn more about Quantified’s higher education programs on our website. And, when you’re ready, request a complimentary demo, and one of our experts will walk you through our platform and process.