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Digitization Tools to Support Online Learning in Higher Education

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Discover how higher education can better adapt to the increased demand for virtual classes and tackle the technological challenges of online learning.

Across the country, students continue to express an increased desire for distance and remote learning options in higher education. However, the technological burden of this shift goes beyond the classroom and into the processes institutions depend on for units to run efficiently.

Find out how your organization can best leverage its digital transformation by using PDF and eSign tools and work effectively with students, faculty and staff from anywhere.

Tools to Support Online Learning in Higher Education
What Is Online Learning?
6 Ways Digital Processes Benefit Online Learning
Why Are PDF and eSign Tools a Valuable Investment for Online Learning Technology?
A Digital Transformation Means No Haphazard Workflows
Nitro PDF, eSign and Analytics Solutions for Higher Education
Can You Measure the ROI of Digital Transformation Solutions?
Explore Nitro for a Successful Digital Transformation in Higher Education

Tools to Support Online Learning in Higher Education

Policy and procedure—the bread and butter of any organization’s technology strategy. Yet in higher education, it often looks more like the wild west. One department tracks a student’s academic progress through the college’s CRM, while another uses an Excel spreadsheet. One recruiter uses a digital form to take inquiries from interested students at a college fair, while another manually enters paper inquiry cards filled out at the previous event.

Management silos and a tendency to “stick with what works” are every IT office’s nightmare. And COVID-19 made one thing clear—colleges and universities need digital processes in place to help faculty, staff and students ensure online learning is a success.

What Is Online Learning?

Students will say online learning, or remote learning, is a flexible and affordable alternative to the more traditional college experience. Those working within Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) see a whole new set of needs necessary to maintain the quality education experience students expect whether taking a course on campus or from their home.

6 Ways Digital Processes Benefit Online Learning

1. Higher education marketing and communication professionals need branded and easily customizable digital materials that attract new students who may never set foot on campus. 

2. Distance learning increases course sizes, requiring a streamlined signature process so professors can respond quickly and share signed documents in a central and accessible space for colleagues.  

3. Online learners will process all academic forms virtually, requiring units to provide access to digital, current materials and workflows to avoid bottlenecks—especially at the start of a term. 

4. An influx of online learning will require additional personnel to support. In today’s largely remote workforce, human resources will need to adopt a digtal transformation to execute employment contracts and complete the onboarding process.  

5. Online learners eventually become part of a large HEI alumni base. Development officers connect with these individuals often and need simple tools for drawing up donation agreements and ways to track/store that information in a central database.  

6. An online learning environment needs increased digital security—keeping user information secure while providing a seamless way for students to share information with their cohort and HEI.  

Why Are PDF and eSign Tools a Valuable Investment for Online Learning Technology?

Think through the number of units within a large university. Universities house multiple colleges, degree programs and offices supporting academic departments.

  • How do you rectify inconsistent processes? 
  • How do you wrangle the dozens of ways these entities approach completing the same task?  
  • And how do you form the governance needed to maintain those new processes?  

You can do so by investing in a digital document platform that supports a successful digital transformation across higher education and enables the effective use of new systems.

By empowering units with high-quality software that offers a multitude of ways to confront their needs, and by establishing a central and accessible space for documenting these processes and materials.

A Digital Transformation Means No Haphazard Workflows

A constant topic of conversation among academic and enrollment leaders is on the looming enrollment cliff only two years away. Between 2025 and 2029, the United States will see a 15 percent decrease in college-going populations, meaning institutions of higher education must find new ways to set themselves apart.
Remote learning is a perfect example of this.

Some schools already put big bucks into online course offerings. With 14.8 percent more students registering for at least one online course in 2021 compared to 2019, Higher Education Institutions will miss out on a huge enrollment generator if they don’t establish the tools for a successful digital transformation and an intuitive online learning experience today.

Think of how a secure eSign tool would affect a registrar’s office’s ability to collect student forms. Depending on the academic need of the student, one form could require up to four signatures. A credit overload form typically needs the signature of the student in addition to the signature and approval of an advisor, academic affairs officer and the department chair.

When eSigning, you want to provide the security for sensitive data and easy workflows your students require so they don’t need to email faculty and staff repeatedly for a signature. This means supporting an end-to-end document workflow with a range of identification, authentication and authorization methods, including single sign-on (SSO).

Questions about where to start with digital transformation? Contact Nitro’s education experts today.

Nitro PDF, eSign and Analytics Solutions for Higher Education

When you partner with Nitro, you will not only standardize your organization’s digital transformation, but can scale our PDF, eSign and analytics solutions to tackle the evolving challenges created by an online learning environment. With powerful APIs, you can also integrate Nitro with your existing organizational software.

Even better—Nitro only charges for completed signatures, unlike the majority of its competitors that charge for any requested signature.

Nitro PDF Pro enables your educational organization to:

  • Eliminate common productivity bottlenecks by giving every knowledge worker the power to edit and convert PDFs and eSign documents on any device. 
  • Improve security and efficiency by keeping document workflows digital vs. paper-based. 
  • Establish a form of governance to maintain consistent, up-to-date documentation.  
  • Standardize a single PDF solution to simplify IT management.  
  • See real results through quick adoption and high user satisfaction.  
  • Reduce costs with the leading Adobe® Acrobat® replacement

Nitro Sign provides a flexible electronic signature solution for HEIs around the world to obtain secure and compliant electronic signatures from any device. We will help you identify the level of security and identity verification needed for your use cases and regional compliancerequirements so you can enroll your customers in the most secure and user-friendly way.

Get your complimentary copy of the 2023 GigaOm Radar Report and see why Nitro was voted one of the best eSignature solutions for its high-trust security and compliance, best-in-class pricing and more.

Can You Measure the ROI of Digital Transformation Solutions?

Those of you who work in IT management at an institution of higher education HEI—what is one of the first things leaders ask when suggesting a new product?

How will we measure the ROI?

Nitro Analytics makes it easy with valuable insights to demonstrate ROI without the guesswork. The system provides automatic calculators and dashboards showing usage, productivity score and environmental impact across Nitro solutions. This helps you optimize your licenses, user adoption, productivity and ROI while making a positive contribution to the environment.


Explore Nitro for a Successful Digital Transformation in Higher Education

For those leaders who appreciate the opportunity to test software first, Nitro offers a pilot program of our platform with PDF, eSign and Analytics to give you a better idea of what products and features best fit your organization’s strategic goals.

No organization wants to pay for more than they use. And HEIs that receive state funding are especially responsible in making spending decisions—seeking the highest value at the lowest cost.

Plus, you will receive personalized onboarding support and guidance to help you guarantee a smooth transition for all to the new platform.

Experience Nitro’s capabilities for your education goals by requesting a demo today.