Two EdTech CEOs Talk Shop, New Frontiers—and Tacos
In the second part of this series, CampusLogic CEO Gregg Scoresby and Andrew Rosen, the CEO of Interfolio, talk about what’s next for EdTech in higher education. Washington, D.C.-based Interfolio offers faculty-focused products that increase transparency, equity, and efficiency around academic decisions.
Gregg: You’ve been working in EdTech for some time. Thinking back, what’s a big change you’ve seen industry-wide across higher education?
Andrew: I’ve been in higher education since 1997, and so much has changed. Two things really stand out to me. First, the move from technology enablement—like online learning and different types of back-office platforms—to an evolved use of reporting and analytics has been interesting to watch. Furthermore, the quest now isn’t just to have analytics but to have the right analytics.
Secondly, I think universities are starting to invest in their faculties. I always notice that education sort of trails healthcare by somewhere between five and nine years. In healthcare, maybe around 2009, there was a switch from focusing on hospital occupancy rates to physician outcomes of keeping patients out of the hospital. Industry-wide there was an investment in new technology to track physician outcomes and to help physicians be more effective at what they did. Now, we’re seeing higher education doing the same thing—focusing on student outcomes and student success; prioritizing outcomes over occupancy. At Interfolio, we believe schools will start focusing on the analytics around their faculties the way healthcare did with physicians.
Gregg: Agreed, that’s been a big shift for higher education—moving to student success. Measuring success requires data—the right data.
Andrew: And similar to what schools can do within your analytics product, CampusMetrics, our technology will soon allow scholars to compare themselves against their peer groups, not just at their institution but at like institutions. Things like, ‘am I teaching the same amount of credit hours as my peers?’ ‘Am I publishing at the same rate?’ ‘Am I on track for tenure, compared with my peers?’ “And, if not, what’s the gap?’
For institutions, they can use the benchmarking to guide decisions, too. Things like, ‘where do I put my next tenured faculty member?’ ‘Do I have enough capacity in my English department to graduate students in four years?’ ‘Where should we be investing?’
We show faculty and institutions not only where they are, but where they need to be—and where they need to go. And, importantly, we include the voices of faculty when we do so.
Gregg: You’ve touched on something we believe in, big time, here at CampusLogic: Using analytics to guide decisions.
Andrew: Universities often run very, very blind when it comes to academic decision support. If they have the right data, they could actually make really smart, strategically informed decisions. With higher education where it is today—with declining enrollment growth and state and federal budgets tightening—you have to be smarter, and you have to make much more intelligent decisions. Our goal is to help institutions around decision-support. We have to be smarter and better at what we do to grow up the ranks.
Gregg: So true. We see the same thing with a school’s financial services data. Schools have mountains of data, but no way to leverage it. Making that data visible and actionable to help schools evaluate problems drives better decision-making to serve their students.
Andrew: Thanks again for the chance to share my views about why we’re so passionate about our faculty-first approach at Interfolio.
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