Giving Compass' Take:

Edtech experts explain the three elements in higher education that will help bring about digital transformation for colleges: data governance, university leadership, and faculty engagement.

What are the challenges that arise in higher education innovation? What obstacles hinder digital progress?

Read about how data science can help boost college graduation rates.

Smart use of technology in higher education is a moving target. From encouraging faculty to embrace the learning management system to putting student records in the blockchain, college administrators tasked with digital transformation face several challenges.

Add to that rising tuition costs, flagging state funding and the changing makeup of the student body, and the joint imperatives of boosting ROI and improving student outcomes have colleges turning to digital solutions for help.

But technology alone isn't the answer, said Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, during a talk at the annual Educause conference last week in Denver.

Here are three key elements of effective digital transformation in higher education that we gleaned from ed tech experts at Educause.

  • Data governance is cohesive. As the use of performance-based funding increases, colleges will need more and better data on student outcomes, said Merri Beth Lavagnino, director of strategic planning and enterprise risk at Indiana University, during a panel discussion on digital transformation.
  • University leadership is helping set the course. "Side conversations" between IT and other university leadership, Hartman said, can help identify what kind of information is needed, and the data delivered will help complete the latter's vision of the institution's trajectory — even if their role isn't technology-centric.
  • Faculty is on board — or getting there. "The more regularly we can get faculty engaged to solve problems they feel today, the more we can begin to build momentum" for solving problems they might not have a solution for yet," said Mitchell.

Read the full article about college data by Hallie Busta at Education Dive