Each year, the Penn Foster team has the opportunity to attend some of the most prestigious conferences in the career college and private postsecondary education space. This year, we rounded out our circuit with a quick succession of trips to the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools (CAPPS), Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET), and Career Colleges and Schools of Texas (CCST) conferences. After attending numerous sessions and speaking with attendees from various schools, it quickly became evident that the industry is shifting its indicators of success. Schools are placing more emphasis than ever on student outcomes, and are using new technologies to help them adapt to these new standards. Read on to discover what technologies schools are using to ensure improved student outcomes:

Predictive Analytics

As student records increasingly become digitized, clean and reliable data is now more accessible than ever. By analyzing data such as attendance, subjects taken, real-time performance and non-payment of fees, schools can obtain a more complete picture of their student body.1 Analysis such as this allows schools to gain a better understanding of learning patterns, potential risk factors, and dropout indicators. Schools are then able to identify student skill gaps and learning opportunities, and suggest adjustments to a student's course load accordingly. Many institutions are also using these findings to predict student success, allowing counselors to intervene and reach out to potentially at-risk students to help them get back on-track in order to graduate on time.

Digital Badges

Digital badges represent skills, interests, and achievements earned by a student through specific projects, courses, or other activities.2 Although typically associated with MOOC-style courses, digital badges can easily be adapted to the format of a traditional classroom. Implementing digital badging serves to gamify the traditional grading system, and provides students with an additional incentive to complete assignments and participate in projects.3 With the proliferation of education alternatives available to learners of all ages, digital badges have emerged as a viable micro-credentialing option to stack on top of traditional degrees. In order to increase the employability of students preparing to enter the workforce, schools should consider implementing their own digital badge program.

Interested in learning more about how technology can help improve student success at your school? Read more about Penn Foster's blended learning or online High School Completion program.

Resources: Photo credit. (1) Predicting Success and Failure with Student Analytics (2) Expanding Education and Workforce Opportunities Through Digital Badges (3) Digital Badges in the Classroom