Information technology was adopted by education sector as early as 1980s. The industry that started with few universities adopting or building their own school ERP system has matured to provide sophisticated all round solutions to schools and universities.
According to business analysts, global Student Information Systems (SIS) market is expected to grow to $5.78 billion by 2021.
Education institute’s expectations have changed with transformation in the sector. Student information systems vendors have adjusted their offerings accordingly. Here are the latest trends in the SIS market.
Until 1990s institutes purchased all-in-one integrated ERP solutions. Some of the wealthy universities even built their own systems in-house. In early 2000 new features were launched as the scope of technology increased to provide add-on solutions.
Today the trend has changed from employing a single ERP solution to purchasing an assortment of modules as per need. Schools now pick multiple solutions such as administration, payroll, accounting, transport tracking, etc., from the experts in respective field.
This has increased the need for integration in school systems. SIS must be easy to integrate with external software and readily import/export data from other sources. Choosing modules as per need allows schools to adopt technology as per their unique requirement and needs.
SIS was traditionally thought of as catering to the school staff and faculty. Now, students are considered the central user of school systems.
With the opening of more schools and universities and the option of online courses schools have to attract students with their faculty, on campus facilities and technology.
Students can choose amongst many options available to them. Questions about internet connectivity, ease of processes, e-learning opportunities and data security are on their mind while considering options.
Keeping in line with the competitiveness in the sector SIS have evolved to provide the best service to students through online portals, integrations and platforms. For K-12 levels, schools are also concerned about parent experience. Hence, SIS is evolving to consider all the stakeholders apart from school staff and faculty. This includes students, parents and even external government or district authorities that schools have to report to.
Smartphones are the device of choice for everyone when it to comes to work and daily chores. Mobile feature is fast becoming popular requirement among schools and colleges because of the convenience of anytime anywhere access it gives.
Parent –teacher chat platforms are popular among K-12 level schools as they allow parents to be involved in their child’s day without missing out on their work day. Mobile apps allow faculty to send push notifications to all students at once. They also allow parents and students to apply for enrollment, fill forms and submit assignments conveniently.
Schools have accumulated many years of data on student enrollment patterns, graduating trends, dropout rates, etc. This data is only growing in volume as it is collected in real time from data sources within the school and outside it.
Data analytics (DA) feature with SIS is growing in demand. With the help of DA, schools are seeing hidden patterns that are helping them to make decisions and take intervention measures.
Data security is another aspect of database management that is gaining importance. With sensitive student data at their hands, schools want to make sure that the data is well protected against theft, loss or misuse.
SIS can be either deployed on premise or on cloud. While on –premise requires schools to invest in installations, servers and data back-ups; on-cloud stores the system on vendor’s servers. Schools do not have to worry about infrastructure and storing data on servers.
Although on –premise is still the most popular form, new schools (especially smaller ones) prefer cloud as it reduces cost and give more flexibility.
Internet has changed how the education system works. With the launch of online courses and MOOCs students from anywhere in the world can learn from the best in the field. Many of the reputed institutes are offering distant learning courses apart from the on-campus ones.
This requires a special set of features from SIS. Schools now need learning environments for globalised markets which also maintain student database, automate courses and assessment tests.
Be it mobile or digitalization of education, technology is changing education system. Today, technology and education system influence each other to decide the features required in a student information system.