The Challenge: Enhance Student Engagement and Scale Proactive Support
The Strategy: Leverage Student Success Analytics, Technology and Behavioral Psychology to Improve Student Engagement
The Outcomes: Significant Improvements in Student Awareness, Engagement and Outcomes
DeVry University is committed to establishing a vibrant community of academic motivation and holistic support for its students. Providing CARE and support when and where it is needed as learners work to achieve their education and career goals.
Like many higher education institutions, DeVry is always working to improve student engagement, provide awareness of valuable student success resources, encourage the adoption of these success resources, and provide the necessary support around the clock when their students need it.
DeVry University has developed the DeVry Care Formula to ensure its students succeed from day one to graduation and beyond. The CARE Formula combines people, processes, and technology to amplify the CARE provided to learners when and where they most need it.
DeVry partnered with Civitas Learning as part of its comprehensive technology ecosystem, leveraging the Student Impact Platform’s predictive analytics and actionable insights to deliver proactive outreach and messaging to students. This work has led to increased student engagement and success.
The Challenge: Enhancing Student Engagement and Scaling Proactive Support
A business request to improve tutoring usage revealed that students not only consistently underutilized tutoring but also struggled to engage with DeVry’s many support services. Leaders found that students who would benefit most from support services were often unaware of or didn’t take advantage of resources designed to assist them.
Additionally, DeVry found that students’ inability to access support services at convenient times further limited engagement. 77% of DeVry’s students are working adults over 26 who have limited time and often find balancing academic commitments with life responsibilities difficult. This needed insight reinforced the importance of ensuring services are offered when students need them.
With this information, DeVry’s leaders determined they needed to tailor the promotion of resource offerings to student needs. Additionally, they needed to improve engagement with those services by delivering messages on the appropriate channel at the right time. They also needed ways to sustainably scale services without increasing personnel to meet the around-the-clock needs of their diverse, global student population.
The Solution: Leveraging Technology and Behavioral Psychology
DeVry formed a Fusion team to address these issues and foster a holistic support community. This team included leaders and experts from various departments, including academics, advising, and IT. A data-informed, cross-functional approach allowed the Fusion team to understand the underlying cause of student support challenges and develop a clear, multifaceted strategy for improving student engagement and outcomes.
The DeVry Fusion team developed a two-pronged approach to improve their ability to help their students succeed:
- Establish a Data-Activated Digital Care Engine to complement faculty & advisor impact.
- Develop a Technology Ecosystem to deliver broad data integration and multi-channel communication capabilities.
Establish a Data Activated Digital Care Engine
The Fusion team used actionable analytics, like persistence prediction and LMS engagement compared to peers, and behavioral psychology principles to inform the design of DeVry’s Digital Care Engine. They determined the best way to improve support was to enhance the efforts of faculty and advisors by:
- Deploying actionable analytics to identify relevant opportunities for motivating students.
- Employ multiple communication channels to engage students, including automated personalized messages from professors or advisors.
- Include clickable links in messages to facilitate students’ ability to take action.
- Send automated nudges and messages on days and times when students are most likely to engage.
- Track poor student engagement and deliver reminder nudges at varied days and times and on different channels.
Develop an Integrated Technology Ecosystem
To power their Digital Care Engine, DeVry’s IT team worked to develop an integrated technology ecosystem that would give them visibility into student behavior and provide the tools they needed to engage with students who needed their support proactively.
The team recognized that one of their greatest challenges was to ingest data from multiple systems to identify those students who would benefit most from nudge campaigns. DeVry University worked together with the Civitas Learning team to customize data to their specific institutional needs. Using Civitas Learning’s data warehouse solution, DeVry is able to integrate actionable student success analytics directly into its CRM platform. Additionally, faculty advisors use Civitas Learnings’ actionable analytics and integrated communication tools alongside its custom DeVry mobile app, Student Information System, and Learning Management System to engage with students proactively.
This integrated technology ecosystem facilitated broad data integration and multi-channel communication capabilities to help the team accomplish its desired goal of delivering proactive student engagement and success at scale.
Critical Factors for Success
The DeVry leadership team points to four key elements in their ability to establish an effective Digital System of Care successfully:
- Effective cross-functional collaboration and strategic alignment
- A flexible technology infrastructure that supports processes and allows for customization
- Actionable analytics and efficient data dissemination to relevant stakeholders and front-line staff
- Enhanced data and technology literacy across teams
The Outcome: Increased Student Engagement and Success
Implementing these solutions resulted in significant improvements in student engagement and outcomes. Efforts to tailor outreach and engagement to the right students, at the right time, with the right message resulted in:
- Effectively Reaching Students: Open rates increased from 51% to 76%, and view rates improved from 77% to 90%. Notably, there was a 52% view rate for the delivered content.
- Effectively Engaging Students: Click rates grew from 3% to 17%.
- Driving Student Awareness: Tutoring awareness increased by 500 basis points.
- Driving Positive Student Behaviors: A 79 basis point increase in tutoring consumption, and numerous students shared their ‘A’ final grades on social media.
- Delivering Positive Student Outcomes: 80% of nudged and tutored students improved their assignment grades and 96% of nudged and tutored students successfully graduated or continued to the next course.
What’s Next: Continuing the Journey
DeVry University plans to leverage actionable analytics from the Civitas Learning Student Impact Platform to identify additional impactful resources for specific student groups. Additionally, the university aims to scale additional resource and program support as part of its Digital Care Engine, ensuring continued success in supporting student journeys.