Student Enablement Definition
Student Enablement is an emerging movement impacting schools all over the world.
It’s approaching student development as a process. Instead of focusing purely on outcomes like standardised test results and assessments, Student Enablement focuses on supporting the unique development process for each individual.
How Student Enablement Helps Prepare Students for a Rapidly Changing World
How can we prepare students for a rapidly changing world? How can we equip them to thrive in an interconnected society?
The future is increasingly dynamic and unpredictable; And therein lies the problem with our traditional education system -- It struggles to keep pace with and prepare students for a world that is rapidly changing.
Think back 50 years ago - information was scarce, schooling was focused on curating information from the latest textbooks and encouraging students to memorise it - the method of ‘rote learning’ is what the world needed, because whether you were a doctor, an engineer or a factory worker, employees had to memorise important information in order to succeed in their job.
But let’s reflect on the last 5-10 years, how do we collect information we need for the task at hand or learn new skills? It looks a lot more like this:
The digital age has provided us with an abundant source of information where people can learn anything from anywhere at any time with an internet connection.
Memorisation, albeit a useful skill in and of itself, is no longer a fundamental requirement for success in the digital age. Instead, what one is capable of doing with that information is more relevant as the new world rewards people for their ability to solve problems, adapt and think creatively.
More importantly, students need support not only with academic knowledge but also in developing resilience with their physical and emotional wellbeing.
However, many schools are still stuck in a world that focuses on classroom outcomes and linear academic progression based on a student’s ability to ‘memorise’ information.
Adopting a Student Enablement Approach
As the cost of education increases, students and parents may begin to question the value of traditional schooling in favour of alternative options. Ultimately, schools must adapt or risk becoming irrelevant in the future.
Current models that are primarily focused on academic outcomes fail to recognise 'the big picture' and impact of a student's holistic well-being.
A Student Enablement Approach understands that each student has his/her own learning path and is equipped with different prior knowledge and personal characteristics.
In order to effectively support students in this way, it's essential that schools are able to monitor and manage key elements that are proven to impact student development:
- Student well-being, both mental and physical.
- Participation outside the classroom: What is the student engaging outside the classroom?
- Better parent communication: Parents are a wealth of information on what drives their children, a better way to collaborate with parents is a must.
So what's holding schools back?
Schools are already trying, some of this might even be old news.
However, the biggest challenge most schools face with Student Enablement is gathering and making sense of all their student information, which comes down to the tools and systems.
Most schools have access to a big clunky LMS or SIS system with some additional point solutions aimed at a single workflow. The fragmented nature of this results in siloed data and a ton of separate ‘student profiles’ each containing a different set of information.
The fix? - A Student Enablement Platform
We need to help schools uncover deep student insights at scale.
Student Enablement is the act of collecting data all throughout a student’s journey to gain a deep unified understanding of their progress and improve the overall outcomes as a result of better attention to the process along the way.
Orah is a Student Enablement Platform that streamlines your existing workflows and feeds data into one intelligent platform that’s built for data aggregation and analysis.
So, how do you (actually) get started?
Unlike big clunky school software systems of the past - Implementing a Student Enablement Platform doesn’t require you to blow everything up and start from scratch - instead, you simply need to consider the fastest way to collect and gain insights from student data.
Perhaps start by taking a look at your existing school tech stack and look for weak links or missing products.
To help clarify this process, we’ve boiled it down into a simple framework called the Student Enablement Framework.
The Student Enablement Framework boils down to 3 core stages...
You can’t improve what you don’t measure - Peter Drucker
For schools, the first step is to collect and centralise student data inside and outside the classroom.
Information leads to better understanding, and right now schools are failing to track all of the data-points that lead to a better understanding of each and every student.
Unfortunately schools use a collection of clunky systems, point-solutions, pen and paper and even customised software all over campus which leads to silo’d data, misaligned departments and inconsistent decision making.
That’s why we build products that you can adopt individually, or simply integrate your existing solutions with Orah to centralise everything you currently collect.
Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge - Nate Silver
Information is useless unless you can make sense of it. The typical approach to understanding each student is something akin to ‘best guess’, ‘looking at tea leaves’ and using our ‘hunches’. In order to keep up, schools must do better than just rely on intuition.
Using the data you collect with our products or others that you integrate using our API, you can begin to analyse and understand what it all means to help identify weaknesses and opportunities for each of your students.
Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change - Stephen Hawkins
When students have well-timed supportive experiences, they're more empowered to grow, learn and thrive.
But as they progress down their own unique path, it's important that your enablement practices also evolve, grow and adapt along side them.
Use feedback from staff interventions and observations to help build an adaptive culture and continuous cycle of improvement to empower students at every stage of their development.
Student Enablement Platform: A Summary
The Old Way - Static, Linear
The New Way - Dynamic, Non-linear
Siloed data and departments
Unified data and departments
Focus on academic performance
Increased focus on holistic student well-being
Informed by guesswork and linear progression
Informed by data, analysis and non-linear progression
Changes made based on aggregate test results
Continuous improvement through frequent feedback at all levels
Limited collaboration with parents
Shared responsibility (students, parents and staff work together)