2 minute read

Episode 602: Designing Intelligent Experiences in Higher Ed

5/16/2023 7:00 PM

This week on FOCUS, we’re joined by Rob Sparks, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Partnerships at Anthology, to discuss how creating intelligent experiences can support student success. With more than 25 years of experience in the higher ed tech industry, Sparks shares the mission of Anthology, how they create more intuitive solutions with data, the keys to successful partnerships, and upcoming trends in the ed-tech industry.

Inside Anthology

Anthology strives to create an infinite world of learning without boundaries through data-informed higher ed experiences. The company offers enterprise-level technology including student information systems (SIS), customer relationship management (CRM), learning management systems (LMS), and more to 150 million users in more than 80 countries. After combining with LMS provider Blackboard last year, Anthology is now integrated with 370 campuses worldwide. Anthology’s key to creating this inspiring new world of education is putting the learner at the center of the experience, then giving instructors and administrators the tools and insights necessary to empower the learners they serve in their community.

Data-driven experiences

At Anthology’s user conference last year, the company launched the concept of intelligent experience. Their goal is to find an efficient way to monitor the success of students by finding moments of intervention or interaction for at-risk students. With the integrations between their LMS, Blackboard Learn, and their CRM known as Anthology Reach, the data tied to students would be able to notify instructors of missed assignments and allow them to help the student get back on track.

“The definition of an intelligent experience is finding ways to use data to actually optimize on creating an action or an outcome that changes the behavior and the experience for the individuals involved,” says Sparks.

This data-driven experience also extends into student financials and the ability to provide informed predictions for student progression and retention based on student records. The data highlights critical factors that impact the likelihood of individuals succeeding.

Creating successful partnerships

Sparks shares that the key to Anthology’s success in building partnerships with campus service providers is their ability to facilitate an open ecosystem that allows institutions to have choices. This open ecosystem creates more impactful and effective solutions through a multi-tiered approach — providing partners with the proper tools, resources and support to optimize integration.

In relation to the success of Anthology’s partnership with TouchNet, Sparks gives credit to open communication. The approach was to engage as early and often, looking to each other as trusted advisors. This dedication to engagement creates a more entrepreneurial relationship where both companies can be focused on accelerating growth together.

Next in ed-tech

This July, Anthology is holding their Anthology Together conference in Nashville. Institutions can learn about how to build successful partnerships to be a unified front and take on the challenges facing the ed-tech industry. Details can be found at https://www2.anthology.com/together