Academic Content Management

February 20, 2017
Enterprise Content Management technology has been around for some time and has been established as a core tool for large organizations, such as public sector entities, to handle mission critical, document-intensive processes and apply a more efficient operational model.
Several developments in recent years indicate that higher education academic institutes have possibly even more incentives to adopt enterprise content management technology. Here are the five most important reasons we are witnessing:

Facilitate content search and retrieval

Surely educational content is a substantial resource with lots of proponents of the idea of using large, unified repositories to enable easy access, retrieval and reuse. While it may have been possible to avoid this up to now, changes in the breadth and nature of educational content make ECM a necessity. Let us review some popular content types:

  • E-books and university publications
  • Course reference material
  • LMS content
  • Digital library resources
  • Video content

In particular with respect to video, the next few years are expected to bring a phenomenal growth of related content. Lecture capture systems output, web conferencing recordings, smartboard generated content and proceedings from conferences and events are just some examples of modern resource types. Without an open and versatile indexing and search platform, locating educational content is going to be simply impossible.

Compliance and quality control

Academia is one of the most systematically structured realms in the modern world, with organizational rules, regulatory obligations and ethical codes influencing not just educational content, but also administrative documents such as graduation certificates.

An ECM platform in this context can deliver invaluable tools to:

  • apply standardization to digital content models,
  • handle records management and implement retention and archival policies,
  • support audits,
  • keep track of necessary documentation,
  • improve response time to changes in regulatory requirements

While compliance requires an entire mechanism exceeding the boundaries of IT systems, ECM software can provide tangible and practical support.

Process enforcement

Consistency and automation in the world of higher education have been difficult to achieve but represent an aspiration dictated by the increased demand for undergraduate and lifelong vocational training programs. An ECM platform combined with workflow management capabilities can deliver the required standardization and control over processes that eliminate room for errors and apply the necessary review and approval policies.
Automated task execution, queue monitoring, alerting and analytics are further benefits of ECM.

Administrative content management

Few organizations if any, handle the volume of administrative documents of a higher education institute. It’s not just the extensive paperwork required to complete even the most typical tasks of academic life. The sheer size of the academic community, faculty and students, stresses the limits of any system relying even on limited use of paper.

ECM systems can nowadays store, index, classify and archive immense volumes of documents at a small fraction of the cost required a decade ago. In addition, this content can be encrypted, safeguarded against threats, digitally signed and validated without manual intervention.

Growing focus on measuring learning effectiveness

LMSs and web conferencing platforms have helped the transition to a blended learning model with digital resources and self-paced course timetables. Collaborative learning, where students contribute experiences and content to the learning process has been added to this trend. ECM technology makes it now possible to monitor and measure the usage, effectiveness and popularity of digital learning resources, which is a huge step in obtaining unobscured and immediate feedback with respect to content quality.

It is going to be an interesting ride for ECM systems in higher education! Join us and explore their potential.