Finding value in education technology

This blog is about finding value in education technology. In this first part, we will discuss about the key points that you should keep in mind while choosing an edtech solution or product for your college/academic institution.

Here at Linways blog, we usually talk about advanced learning theories, accreditation and quality improvement practises, technology integration in education, teaching tips for the betterment of education etc. But for a change of tone, we thought we should explore a different topic altogether. Today, we are going to introduce ourselves, and our academic management platform for higher educational institutions to you. However, we always try to offer maximum value for teachers, academicians, students, and other stakeholders. So, this too, is such a value proposition and we believe in our product to be highly useful for institutions, teachers, students and all other stakeholders. We want to improve the way we learn, and Linways Academic Management System is how we are trying to accomplish that vision.

Academic Management Systems (AMS) are the future of education. The world of education is being highly automated with AI-driven and learner-centric mechanisms. However, we still need a platform or a system to help teachers efficiently manage and improve the quality, collect insights, and make sure that the course and learner’s performances are aligned to adapt to the level of outcomes achieved during assessments. AMS is the next step in blending technology and core academic practises with keeping the teacher and student in focus. It’s about creating an adaptable and intuitive education experience for the overall improvement and functioning of education.

Linways has been around the higher educational spectrum since 2012, and our technology solutions for academic institutions are highly recommended across faculty, management, students, and parents. We collect insights from teachers, learn about their pain points, research about the shortcomings and scopes to improve in the current system and solutions available. From that research, we’ve built Linways Academic Management System, a cloud-based platform to efficiently manage and streamline key academic practises in higher education, make daily tasks easier, and help teachers improve the overall quality of education.

Before we get into the details of the Linways AMS platform, we thought we should discuss a few key points which the institutions should note before purchasing any education technology products, ours or otherwise. So this blog is about that. We will discuss the details of the AMS and how it helps higher educational institutions to simplify and streamline their daily activities in the next blog.

The edtech assessment checklist

  • Initial Requirements Gathering
    Before you go ahead and purchase any product, check to see what the actual requirements are in your institution. See what areas need improvement, and what kind of product might best serve your requirements. If you already have a system running in your institution, you should also check to see if that solution does improve your institution’s flexibility and provide necessary help for your colleagues. Take those list of requirements with you while you enter into the next step.
  • The Short List
    This is about picking a few options form the industry and creating a shortlist which consists of solutions that you actually need. Pick your options for the shortlist with your requirements in mind, and the following
    • Functionality— Check the key features, usability, security, accessibility, implementation and maintenance etc of the product.
    • Model— see if the product is offered as a Software-as-a-Service model or on a locally implemented server. Remote server might actually increase your maintenance cost over long term because it comes with it’s own security risks, power issues, cost of a staff to manage the whole setup all the time etc. Also, it might be difficult to update new requirements into the system for a one-time software purchase.
  • The Demo
    Once you have made your short list, send word to each of those firms for a detailed demo. Make sure to check the availability of key decision makers and technical experts in your institution in order to get the most detailed insight from the demo.

  • Evaluate Providers
    While you evaluate the products on your shortlist based on their demo and other key features, keep these points in mind for better evaluation strategy:
    • Functionality
    • Technical stability and security
    • Company overview
    • Company brand values and growth
    • Use-case scenarios, how your teachers and staff will use it.
    • Check other customers and references of the firm
    • Financial analysis, including the pricing for the product and recurring fees for updates and requirement additions.
    • Service and product support
  • If you decide to check up on the firm’s other customers or references a little further, here are a few sample questions to ask them.
    • Does the functionality of the system meet or exceed your institution’s needs?
    • Did the firm deliver the solution on time, on budget, and at the quality as promised?
    • How would you describe the customer service and product support (i.e., poor / good / excellent / exceptional)?
    • Was the training provided on the system thorough and appropriate?
    • Were promised upgrades, enhancements, patches, and service packs delivered as scheduled / promised?

  • The Request for Proposal
    Once you have got your answers and made a detailed analysis on each product on your short list, it’s time to select your pick.

Now to the next section of our article, on Linways Academic Management System. We have designed our platform mainly with core academics in mind. Our AMS is equipped with learning theories like the OBE, and rubrics like the Bloom’s taxonomy to help the teacher make the most out of their academics.

Linways AMS

Linways AMS is a cloud-based academic management platform that helps teachers to streamline  and simplify their daily academic activities. Linways is specifically designed with ease of use in mind. We’ve gone to great lengths to make sure that Linways AMS is easy to use, offers maximum functionality, and provide the best experience to its users while trying to improve their education’s quality. 

Here are some of the key features of Linways AMS.

  • Admissions
  • Course planner
  • OBE
  • University reports
  • Course material distribution
  • Attendance marking
  • NBA and NAAC reports
  • Analytics module for principal insights
  • Push notifications
  • Weak student identification
  • Examinations and result publication
  • Teacher appraisals and performance analysis
  • Feedback and grievance management

As we mentioned, we will look into each of these features, their relevance, importance and how Linways AMS helps higher educational institutions to simplify and automate their academics in the next blog.

Also published on Medium.