Modern Campus acquired three companies in 2021, for the sake of student engagement

Edtech Modern Campus announced this month that it has acquired two companies – Presence, which connects students with clubs and extracurricular activities, and Digarc, which helps students plan their degrees. Brian Kibby, CEO of Modern Campus, told EdScoop that the agreements – which followed the March acquisition of NuCloud, an interactive campus map, and a travel agency – were designed to give colleges the tools to navigate connect deeply with students, turning them into customers.

“How can I make sure that [a student is] also joining clubs, associations and other kinds of things that concern her the most, ”Kibby said. “Because if you do that, you’re going to make friends, you’re going to stay, and you’re more likely to think of college or university not as a two or four year transactional relationship, but as a place for life. . to learn. “

Kibby said the coronavirus pandemic has pushed higher education institutions to be “digital on steroids,” accelerating the adoption of electronic technologies and competition between universities for traditional programs and between higher education institutions and start-ups. teaching ups and course providers for continuing education.

Many workers are looking for continuing education options, such as micro-degrees or diplomas. In a recent BestColleges survey, the majority of students polled were “career-conscious,” meaning they were looking to improve their skills or change careers through online programs.

“There are a lot of colleges and universities that have incredible continuing education opportunities, but for many it kind of lies here somewhere,” Kibby said.

Modern Campus was formed in March by the merger of OmniUpdate and Destiny Solutions. Destiny Solutions developed Destiny One, a student information system designed for continuous or permanent learners. Kibby said the technology is designed for users accustomed to online experiences like Netflix or Amazon, who strive to provide users with a “frictionless” experience.

Another way for institutions to approach recruiting students for continuing or extracurricular education, he said, is through data-driven outreach. This type of data is collected when a student scans buildings or registers for a university event. A university, based on a student taking certain courses or participating in certain clubs, could send an email listing other certificates outside of a course, he said.

“Colleges and universities have incredible data on every student,” Kibby said. “Now they’re really smart – and they should be – about privacy, and they don’t share it. But within their own institution, they can use this data to help students, to market to them. “

The pandemic has prompted acceleration and rapid investments in technology, with institutions examining online and hybrid learning. E-learning platforms that issue micro-certificates and certificates in partnership with colleges, like Coursera and EdX, have grown rapidly during the pandemic. (EdX, which offers ‘micro-licensing’ and ‘micro-masters’ degrees, was recently acquired in an $ 800 million deal by another e-learning provider, 2U.)

But Kibby said investing in technology for skills upgrading and lifelong learning is just beginning.

“The world and technology are changing so rapidly that this improvement in skills is here forever,” he said. “I don’t see this ever ending, so we’ll continue to adapt to it. The pain points of today will not necessarily be the pain points of tomorrow, but there will be pain points. So we will continue to focus on how we solve complex problems. “

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