The benefits that single-sign-on (SSO) delivers to an institution and its IT department are many and well documented: reduced IT helpdesk time, increased security, improved auditing of application usage and improved ease in account disabling - to name a few. The impact of SSO on students in a digital age are often not as well acknowledged – perhaps because we assume they’re a given, but as higher education must increasingly serve its ‘customers’, the impact it has on them should be highlighted.
Firstly, the end users are changing. They are more digitally savvy, own smartphones, tablets and wearable technology, use social media almost ubiquitously and covet a work life balance. They have high expectations that technology can provide benefits associated with remote working and the ability to collaborate with colleagues or friends from anywhere. It’s possible to use technology to make education sit more seamlessly alongside family or social life – and generation Y demands it. They demand the organisations they join must keep pace with those expectations.
Here we highlight the top three reasons why SSO is cited as a crucial part of the student experience for generation Y.
- Student engagement & retention
Feedback suggests that where there was previously little engagement of students across multiple systems requiring multiple log-ins, including the university’s own email system, there is a huge surge in engagement across a portal that delivers all services directly to a smart phone or other chosen device. The digital campus becomes the source of all knowledge, communications, services and extra-curricular information almost overnight. Students are much more engaged with the institution, its lecturers and their student colleagues because it’s much easier to be so. In turn this helps students – especially those just joining – with a feeling of belonging and inclusivity and that drives student retention. It’s also much easier for lecturers to see how their students are interacting with learning materials online and to predict those students that may be struggling or look likely to drop out. Early intervention is possible which also helps student retention.
- Easier collaboration
Digital collaboration is just as important as a the physical one with the lecture theatres and tutorial groups. Blended learning – where there is increasing amounts of digital learning as well as face to face teaching is simple via SSO and the digital campus. There is literally no university service or resource that cannot be ‘pushed’ out to its target audience within the student population, and whether it’s between student and lecturer or student and colleagues, collaborating has never been simpler.
- Student lifecycle
Student enrollment and alumni relations have never been so seamless. The digital campus acknowledges the lifecycle as beginning with school leavers and continuing long after a student has graduated. The ability to deliver SSO to school leavers for them to discover an institution online prior to or in conjunction with open days allows engagement long before application forms are filled in. It’s the very first touch point in the customer journey and the chance for the institution to make a great first impression. SSO can make the log-in experience far more satisfactory for customers delivering the information needed via one portal on their chosen device. Equally, a lifelong log-in for alumni relations is also possible allowing the crucial link between the university and the wider world of employment.
Would you like to know more about how the digital campus can help drive student engagement and retention