‘Getting Smart’ on Out of Class Student Support Services

Check out the latest Getting Smart Bundle on ‘Out of Class Student Support Services’ in collaboration with Fidelis Education. This 5 blog series takes readers through the biggest challenge in higher education: how can we take luck out of the HigherEd equation and ensure systematically that every student find THEIR purpose, develop THEIR path and develop THEIR support network of people to support them to succeed in school and in life thereafter?

Download the bundle here.

Or, find the individual pieces here:

Somebody Else’s Problem [via Inside Higher Ed]

September 12, 2016


“Report finds initiative fatigue and a lack of accountability, among other obstacles, are preventing colleges from improving student outcomes.”


Academic leaders say all the other colleges and universities out there are responsible for why higher education is delivering less value than it did 10 years ago, an upcoming report found. Their own institutions, they say, are doing even better than before.

The report, based on a survey of 218 high-ranking administrators — including presidents, vice presidents and provosts — at private and public two- and four-year institutions, explores the barriers preventing colleges from improving student outcomes. The report, which will be published Sept. 29, suggests many colleges are struggling with a “bystander effect”: everyone is responsible for improving student outcomes, so no one takes ownership of it.

Eduventures, the Boston-based research and consulting firm behind the report, gave Inside Higher Ed an advance look at the findings. James Wiley, a principal analyst at the firm who wrote the report, said the survey responses suggest a “misalignment” between how college leaders view the work taking place at their own institutions compared to higher education more broadly.

“The overarching takeaway is that it’s very unclear what ‘student outcomes’ means,” Wiley said in an interview. Without a clear sense of which metrics they should be looking at to determine how students are performing, colleges are creating uncertainty around what technology could benefit students and who should be responsible for managing that work, he said.

The report identifies five obstacles hindering colleges from improving student outcomes, ranging from a lack of focus on teaching quality to organizational barriers. But the attitudes expressed by college leaders also raise questions about whether they feel the push to improve higher education should start on their own campuses.

About half of respondents said the value offered by their own institutions is much or somewhat higher than a decade ago. Another quarter said it is roughly the same. Asked to rate higher education as a whole, about three-quarters of respondents said the value has decreased or remained the same.

The split in some ways resembles the difference between the disapproval voters feel about Congress versus the high marks they give their own representative, Wiley said.

The same finger-pointing emerges when looking at who college leaders say should be most directly responsible for student outcomes. The No. 1 answer, selected by more than 40 percent of respondents: everyone. Less than a quarter of respondents each picked a more specific answer, such as a provost or a vice president of student success.

Wiley said he was surprised that nearly half of the senior academic leaders surveyed couldn’t point to a single individual or office in charge of improving student outcomes. “If you don’t own it, then who does?” he said.

The lack of clearly defined leadership roles may stem from the fact that many academic leaders feel their institutions are stretched too thin. The top organizational barrier preventing colleges from improving student outcomes, according to 63 percent of respondents, is initiative fatigue — that they simply have too many pilots and projects going on to focus. Budget constraints placed second on the list, with slightly less than half of respondents naming it their top barrier.

“What I’m sensing is a bit of a vacuum,” Wiley said. “Leaders are pulled in all directions, and if there’s no real ownership or space to do anything, then what fills that void?”

Gunnar Counselman, CEO of the ed-tech company Fidelis, who worked with Eduventures on the report, said he often hears about initiative fatigue from his customers. The company supplies learning relationship management software to colleges.

“Higher education is drowning in initiatives right now,” Counselman said in an interview. “What’s happened in the last 10-12 years is that higher ed has recognized that what got them here is not going to get them there. They’ve recognized that they’re going to have to change, and as a result of that … they’ve put a dozen initiatives in the water.”

College leaders are also uncertain about what kind of technology they need to invest in to improve student outcomes, the survey found. A majority of respondents (56 percent) said their top priority for investing in technology is to boost admissions and enrollment, compared to about one-third (37 percent) who picked improving student outcomes.

Read the article here.

Fidelis Named Top 10 Technology Solutions

We are truly honored to be named a top 10 educational technology solution by EdTech Insights.


“LRM is a tool to make sure that all the learners have mentors and coaches, that they belong to learning communities, have a strong purpose for their education and a clear learning pathway to pursue that purpose. “Unlike Student Information Systems (SIS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) that ignore relationships, LRM recognizes that. At its core, learning is a fundamentally relational endeavor,” says Counselman. The company’s LRM platform offers everything for advanced learning—from personalized learning systems and unlimited digital content access to interactive student portfolios.

Read the full article: http://www.educationtechnologyinsights.com/vendor/article14/fidelis_education



Tutoring via LRM: Announcing the Partnership between Fidelis Education and Wyzant

Wyzant + Fidelis partnership (1)Fidelis Education, the pioneer of Learning Relationship Management, and Wyzant, the leading tutoring company, are announcing a unique partnership that will contribute to LRM customers’ ability to deliver personalized learning solutions for their students.  

Learning Relationship Management (LRM) is an operating system for out-of-class student success support services. One of those critical out-of-class supports is tutoring.  “We’ve all been there” says Fidelis CEO Gunnar Counselman “in a class where we’re so far behind that there doesn’t seem to be a path to light.  The right tutor at the right time, can make all the difference.”  The Fidelis + Wyzant partnership makes it easy for universities to deliver that tutoring service, just when students need it.  

Wyzant connects expert tutors with students to drive outcomes for students simply and securely. They’re dramatically changing the way students and tutors connect by making it more personalized and giving students full control over the experience. They are clear industry leaders with over 80,000 tutors having taught over 1 million lessons, in-person and online support and custom integration or APIs. To learn more, visit their website at https://www.wyzant.com/.

Fidelis Named Codie Award Finalist

[via PRWeb]


Fidelis Education, the Learning Relationship Management platform, today announced that it was named a finalist for the 2016 SIIA CODiE Awards in the Best Learning Relationship Management Solution category. The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries and have been recognizing product excellence for over 30 years. The awards offer 91 categories that are organized by industry focus of education technology and business technology.”

Read the full article here.

Wainhouse Research Presents New Findings on LRM

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 12.57.14 PM
By Alan Greenberg
Ending the Expectation of Average while Getting Back to Basics

Many educational technological tools have been designed to solve a specific functional requirement, whether meant to support institution, educator / learner, or classroom needs. Some of these have been terrific point solutions that have enhanced teaching and learning and improved institutional efficiency and productivity.  But they have not yet delivered on one very big idea: how to foster the essential relationship between the learner (at the heart of it all) and the community of stakeholders meant to mentor the learner, most notably the educator.

The LMS platform workflows have made the lives of college professors infinitely easier, but in many respects the LMS is a point solution specifically designed to manage courses only.  The Student Information System functions as a large data repository, not as a platform for managing teaching and learning.

Want to dive into the data? Contact us.

An emerging approach is designed, however, from the ground up to reflect the lifecycle of the learner: the Learning Relationship Management (LRM) platform.   In many respects LRM is analogous to the Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) found in the business world.  The key elements of LRM embrace the concept that every learner is unique, and will have his/her own unique pathway or process, but that such a process cannot be viewed without also including the relationships with others that are at the core of learning.  Thus any LRM platform may include a wide mix of the following essential elements: learning pathways, learner profiles, learning communities, digital portfolios, analytics tools, social elements, coaching tools, flags and alerts, learning applications, and more.

This paper, sponsored by the LRM Alliance, describes how this emerging category of educational technology shifts the workflow paradigm in both higher education and primary / secondary education, and how it can be an essential element in the larger discussion taking place about improving education and institutional reinvention.  Wainhouse Research interviewed many of the category inventors and early entrants (Epiphany Learning, Fidelis Education, Fishtree, and Motivis Learning) as well as a number of leading universities (Southern New Hampshire University, American University, Bryan University, Concordia University Chicago) and K-12 programs (Teton Science Schools, Verona Wisconsin Area School District, Walker Elementary / West Allis-West Milwaukee, Wisconsin School District) that are early adopters. The result is a resource that will educate anyone new to the category concerning features and benefits, while also providing a description of best practices and methods of overcoming challenges as described by early adopters.

Download the whitepaper here: http://cp.wainhouse.com/content/learning-relationship-management

LRM Transforms Teaching & Learning [via Edvocate]

By Matthew Lynch via Edvocate

Behind every successful adult is at least one person who pushed him or her to greatness. If you ask some of the world’s highest achievers what motivated them to keep going, they usually mention a specific person who inspired them along the way – a parent, a teacher, a mentor, a coach.

What-is-Learning-Relationship-Management-1Think about the people in your own life who made a positive impact when you were young. If you are an educator, it was probably a teacher of your own who inspired you to take that next step and answer the call to teach. There were likely other less-direct influences on your career choice, and others who influenced other parts of the positive parts of your adult life.

Now imagine what it would look like if all of those mentors – those teachers, those coaches – had been able to combine their efforts for a singular purpose: guiding you on the road to successful adulthood. It’s a pretty amazing thought, right? But most of those people were probably from different circles of your life with you (a kid) being the only connection between them. Technology is changing that though, by better aligning the important relationships in a student’s life.

More specifically, Learning Relationship Management is delving deeper into how mentors like teachers and coaches help guide all students to success — both academically, and in other areas of life. The Learning Relationship Management Alliance is a leader in this student-friendly technology that can also be applied to other groups that benefit from mentor support, like senior citizens in assisted living.

Read the full article here.

Announcing Partnership with iDesignEDU [press release]


Fidelis Education has enlisted instructional design firm iDesignEDU to enhance its Learning Relationship Management offering. Tapping into iDesignEDU’s expertise in online course design and faculty support, Fidelis customers and their educators can deliver a more personalized and rich learning experience.”

Read more about the partnership here.

Relationships Key in Future of Education

By Tom Vander Ark on February 16, 2016 6:20 AM

Tom Vander Ark wrote an important piece in EdWeek this week on five megatrends we should expect to see in the future:

  • “Tech: We’re living on an exponential curve but our brains make linear projections. When it comes to new technology, almost everything is closer than it appears.
  • Smart AI: Artificial intelligence, the new infrastructure for everything, will progress rapidly and in the next decade will be better at a lot of things than we are.
  • Cities: People are moving to cities and, according to Harvard’s Ed Glaeser they makeus richer, smarter, greener, healthier, and happier . We think that will require a pretty thick layer of intermediation.
  • Careers: It’s a project-based world; the influence of the freelancing and the gig economy will rise.
  • Relationships: The first 20 years of digital learning suggest that most human beings learn and grow in relationship; technology can help but our brains value face-to-face interaction.”

One of these trends we couldn’t agree more with: relationships.

In an age of technology, relationships are taking a backseat, and given the importance of relationships to learning, we need to address this issue and put relationships back in the front seat.

He goes on to suggest that Learning Relationship Management offers a sensible solution:

Learner relationship management systems will connect learners advisors, teachers, and parents (read more).

Read the full article here.



#Relate2016: Sign Up for the Latest!

Join Fidelis and EVP of Greenwood Hall, Josh Cage, for a 60-minute interactive webinar on how to start a coaching program.

During the last learning and development session of the #Relate2016 series, we presented the top skills needed to be a great coach. During this presentation, we’ll be talking to Josh about what it takes to create an amazing coaching program.

We’ll be providing concrete and easy ways to get started… today.

When: March 2, 2016, noon-1PM PST

Register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3108253773410643714


About Josh: Josh Cage has been a leader in higher education and solution (call) center environments for more than 15 years.  He has successfully coached countless students, staff members, leadership, partners and even clients; making coaching a priority has led to improvement in enrollment, retention, re-engagement, student satisfaction and client retention.  In his spare time, Josh enjoys laughing with family and friends or watching a sports game.