Institutions and faculty are determined to help their students succeed, and an increasingly important part of fostering improved academic achievement is awareness of student engagement. However, a report from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) found that COVID-19 led to a significant decrease in student engagement — which is linked to lower student performance and inferior outcomes.

As a result, educational providers have been actively working to encourage student engagement with both course materials and each other — while also finding ways to reduce strain on the library and faculty staff. Read on to learn more about these changes in the education sector and solutions that can drive engagement and foster better learning outcomes moving forward.

Student engagement is significantly positively correlated to improved student outcomes.

The impact of decreased student engagement and international student enrollment
The fallout from COVID-19 has had severe impacts on higher education institutions (HEIs), and, unfortunately, student engagement. According to Learning Sciences international, students in the post-COVID education sector have become more passive, have a lesser sense of social belonging and feel disengaged from their learning.

Moreover, the pandemic also had significant consequences on international student enrollment. In fact, a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that the pandemic has impacted over 3.9 million international and foreign students studying in OECD countries. As a result, revenue from international students declined by 28 per cent in just one year, per a report from Financial Review.

Overall, COVID-19 has greatly affected both students and higher education institutions worldwide, and, consequently, librarians and faculty are being forced to do more with less. Now, librarians and faculty staff are in search of strategies and solutions to identify opportunities to encourage learner engagement and motivation while navigating an increasingly remote learning space. Because of this, education professionals need access to robust, timely and accurate data and advanced solutions analytics that provide evidence and insight to support their efforts and help students succeed — while taking a majority of the hard work off of busy team members.

A teacher helps students working on their laptops in a classroomLibrarians and faculty need access to robust data and advanced solutions that support their efforts and other institutional goals.

Implementing solutions for improved learning and reduced effort
Research continuously demonstrates that high student engagement is significantly positively correlated to improved student outcomes, per a report from Gallup. However, in today's educational domain, as faculty members work to improve engagement, enrollment and success, they need access to tools and resources that can adequately support them in identifying at-risk students quickly and in making evidence based decisions.

With eReserve Plus, library staff and faculty can leverage powerful analytics and features that can quickly streamline and simplify the process if understanding student engagement and resource usage. Key features include:

1. Discussions
Faculty members can easily facilitate collaborative learning by adding learning resources, instructing students to read them and engage in a discussion — as well as streamlining group work, where instructors can assign reading sections or specific tasks to students with ease. Within discussions, students have a great opportunity to engage with their materials and other students — for important insights and an enhanced learning experience.

2. Annotations
The eReserve plus platform also allows students to make private annotations on learning resources with the ability to share their annotations publicly with other students. This highly encourages learners to support each other throughout their learning journeys, which is advantageous for improving student engagement and connection. Librarians and faculty members can benefit from shareable annotations with deeper insights into what information students are interacting with most and why – helping make better evidence based decisions.

3. Auto-grade capabilities
eReserve Plus has the capability to record discussions, measure student activity and grade students based on their levels of engagement. The integration with Learning Management System auto-grade features is designed to foster richer learning experiences for students, and enhancing engagement will prove an effective way to help learners earn higher marks — which will serve as a significant aid to faculty members.

eReserve Plus provides the comprehensive support higher education institutions need to improve learner engagement, understand student behaviour, make evidence based decisions, utilise valuable electronic resources and introduce helpful discussion features — to not only foster more successful learning outcomes but also reduce effort on integral team members in the process.

For organisations in pursuit of driving student engagement and streamlining the process of doing so, contact us to learn more or start a free trial.