By Carla Jose
Image source: Softbank Robotics
Whether it is creating a favorable learning environment or holding teacher-parent meetings, administrative and educational processes in universities, colleges, and schools are filled with a lot of paperwork and repetitive processes.
These processes consume a lot of resources and time, things that can be used in other areas to improve learning experiences. If you visit most universities around the globe, do not be surprised to find that they are largely understaffed.
The ratio of staff to students even gets worse in the peak season, meaning that a solution is needed as soon as possible. Fortunately, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help administrators and educators to automate processes and tasks in a bid to create a better working and learning environment.
What is RPA (Robotic Process Automation) in Education?
RPA allows educational institutions to automate repetitive tasks and heavy paper-work processes and execute tedious processes with ease. This is done with high levels of efficiency and zero errors.
But do you know the types of tasks that can be automated in an educational institution? Well, educational institutions can automate most of their processes, starting from finance and HR tasks, academic processes, and administrative tasks.
However, at the same time, students need to be aware of the changes that are brought by technology and things like artificial intelligence (AI) in both their learning curves and future careers.
Companies such as Robotlab have come up with programs that give students a unique and rich learning experience to ensure that they are ready for their careers, college, and life in the future.
That notwithstanding, let us look at some use cases for RPA at educational institutions;
Some educational institutions use the rate of course attendance to determine the grade a student is going to have at the end of a course. In cases of online courses, these institutions can use programmed RPA bots that pick the students' details every time they attend a session.
After that, the bots can put a mark against the name of the students who attended the session on a class attendance list. This is done automatically without any paperwork or the intervention of staff members.
Attendance management is one of the most important yet time-consuming tasks when it comes to classroom management. This is one area where AI is changing the classroom. Automating this task is simple, but provides educational institutions with an accurate and streamlined option instead of using a manual process.
Reservation of Equipment
Students require different resources and equipment when studying for a course. Due to this, it is very common to find situations where multiple students want to use the same resource or equipment at the same time.
It might be a textbook, a special computer, or even a library book. This might lead to problems. However, this is a problem that can be solved through RPA. It introduces accurate allocation and scheduling of equipment and resources.
For instance, using RPA, each equipment or resource is assigned a unique number. Using this number, students can digitally reserve the equipment. In situations where equipment has already been reserve, students will be denied access.
Scheduling of Meetings
RPA introduces an automated tool used for scheduling meetings in a bid to streamline the entire process. This is very useful in situations where students are required to regularly meet with the administrative staff for various reasons.
With a programmed RPA bot, educational institutions can assign a certain time or session based on the type of meeting that students want to have with the institution staff. For instance, a certain type of meeting can be assigned one hour while others are assigned less time.
With such a setup, things like time conflicts can be eliminated. In situations where multiple students want to meet a staff member for the same reason, the staff member is notified and they choose whether they would like to meet them at the same time or individually.
Personalization of Students’ Learning Experiences
Different students have different learning capabilities, and institutions need to personalize learning experiences to meet the needs of each of their students. Using a fully integrated IT asset management software, they can come up with teaching paths that are personalized for each student.
This can be done by allowing the software to examine each student’s attendance information, hobbies, exam scores, likes, and studying patterns, among others. In addition, the students can use the software to learn more about topics that they are not well versed in.
Using such software, lecturers will understand their students better and curate courses and learning materials that will help the students get through their courses without any problems.
Every educational institution goes through a tedious process when it comes to course registration at the beginning of a semester. Instead of this, they can use RPA bots to automate the process.
For instance, RPA bots can send email reminders and mobile notifications to students to ensure that they register for their courses on time. The student profile can even be matched automatically to an institution depending on their preferred course or financial situation.
In situations where there are certain requirements before a student can be enrolled for a certain course, again, the RPA bots can check them automatically and notify those students who do not meet those requirements.
Students go through a long and tedious process filled with a lot of checklists and paperwork when enrolling in an educational institution. For instance, they are required to send letters of intent, financial documents, transcripts, recommendation letters, and many more.
Staff members at these educational institutions have to go through these documents and the chances of human error are very high. Missing one of these documents might mean that a student will not be able to graduate even after going through an entire course.
This is something that can be eliminated through the use of RPA bots. Using the bots, institutions can monitor all student files to ensure that every document is available. In case they are not, then reminders can be sent to both the staff and students to avail them in time.
At the end of the term or semester, the staff in educational institutions spend a lot of time processing transcripts and generating report cards. This is something that can be eased with the help of RPA.
Through screen scraping, RPA bots can be programmed to collect all the required information such as students' grades throughout the course and comments from their lecturers.
This information is then put together for each student and a report card is generated automatically. Apart from being extremely accurate, this is free from human errors and very fast.
Looking at these use cases for Robotic Process Automation (RPA), it is very clear that educational institutions stand to gain a lot from the use of RPA. The future of educational institutions is automation, and we are going to see more of these institutions implementing Robotic Process Automation.
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Carla from BrandMatcher.io writes and breaths about digital marketing. Always figuring out efficient ways to leverage his writing skills and sharing all knowledge possible.