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Introducing Student Success Services from Google Cloud

September 25, 2020
Mike Daniels

Vice President, Global Public Sector, Google Cloud

The shift to remote learning at all levels of education has thrown the challenges of ensuring student success and the student experience into sharp focus. Educational institutions want to guide students throughout their academic careers and improve graduation rates. Students want better remote learning options and ways to collaborate with peers and seek advice from instructors. There is a wealth of data that could drive decisions about these needs, but it’s often locked away in legacy technologies. 

We have launched Google Cloud’s Student Success Services to help meet these challenges. Student Success Services is a set of tools that aims to unlock student successes with personalized assistants, real-time insights, collaboration tools and more for higher ed and K-12 learners. Using built-in artificial intelligence (AI) models and analytics to gather data and use it for decision-making, this bundle of services benefits both institutions and students by engaging students, improving remote and in-person learning, and creating a modern, fulfilling student experience.

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How to improve the student experience

Google Cloud’s Student Success Services includes the following services that help institutions understand student needs and quickly respond with solutions:

  • Virtual assistants for round-the-clock support: Use virtual assistants, created with Google’s machine learning and natural language tools, to support students 24/7 with instant answers. The virtual assistants can be trained to respond instantly to questions on topics like enrollment status and registration deadlines, freeing up staff for more personal student guidance.

  • Tutors for personalized learning: Give students access to skills practice and guidance from intelligent technology tools. Our APIs and AI-powered learning tools can guide students in their writing practice or coaching for reading comprehension.

  • Smart analytics to improve student engagement, achievement, and retention: The Unizin Data Platform, built on Google Cloud, is an institution-level data platform that aggregates, cleans, models, and stores all teaching and learning data to create a holistic view of the student. Too often, advisors and educators don’t have the information on the students they support until it’s too late to intervene. Google’s Student Success Services allow organizations to easily and securely share aggregate data and enables them to see a unified portrait of learners, uncover insights across diverse student groups at every level, and intervene in real time.

  • Scalable student learning: Distance shouldn’t be a barrier to student success. Google Meet allows groups of up to 250 people to talk face-to-face for classroom learning as well as employee meetings, in compliance with regulations such as HIPAA and FERPA. With Meet’s premium features, meeting leaders can add closed-captioning and recording, while sharing meetings via learning management systems. For schools that rely on live streams, Meet can accommodate up to 100,000 viewers. And with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) remote learning solutions for distance learners, educators can create virtual labs and access compute power remotely.

  • Incidence and intelligence management: Get real-time insights to detect issues and rapidly respond to risks on and off campus, as well as track student and campus health.

“We believe that a data-informed academic mission must play an essential role in helping every student reach their potential. Every week, we see our institutions leveraging the Unizin Data Platform to engage, enrich, and empower their students with data, analytics, and insights” says Etienne Pelaprat, Chief Technology Officer of Unizin.

Creating an equitable playing field for student success is also a goal of the University of Lynchburg in Virginia. “We have students learning with us from all over the world, especially in our online graduate programs,” says Charley Butcher, the university’s director of instructional technology. Those students can join classes using Meet and a web browser from anywhere they happen to be—a benefit at any time, but especially now when remote classes are often the only option for students. And it’s not just graduate students: During the pandemic-related campus shutdown, Meet is helping all students work closely with their instructors.

The need to lift student success is certainly critical right now—but when the pandemic recedes, educators will likely still be adjusting to very different learning environments for their students. “In this year of disruption, we’ve seen just how much technology can impact the student experience. As teaching and learning become more digital, institutions must prioritize innovation and technology. This should go beyond learning platforms and include capabilities like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics – supports that students increasingly expect as part of their experience and are proven to be successful says Joe Schaefer, Chief Transformation Officer at Strategic Education. 

That’s why attention to student success is critical. If you’re looking for more guidance, join us for Student Success Week [register for free at: g.co/cloud/student-success-week], or reach out to our team to get started.

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