The next challenge for educators as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic is safely returning to in-person learning. After over a year of forced shutdowns and adoption of an online workforce and remote learning, the logistics of safely returning to in-person learning are overwhelming. The challenge is even greater with the Delta variant of COVID-19 becoming more prolific, and K-12 districts, colleges, and universities are racing against the clock to figure out what their approach will be this coming fall.
Whether schools opt for a phased approach, stay with hybrid learning or proceed with fully in-person classes, the goal is the same: to safely, quickly and efficiently return to school. Further, higher education institutions have to be cognizant of their impact on the larger community. Colleges and universities are a hub–with thousands traveling to and from campus each year, mingling, cohabitating and more, what happens within an academic institution may reach far beyond the campus.
So what can be done to help leaders navigate these challenges? Enter no-code. The past year has highlighted the need for agility and the ability to adapt when change and disruption happens – which, as we know, is a constant. The adoption of no-code processes is vital to empowering organizations to adapt with change.
What is no-code?
No-code gives business users – those outside of IT – the tools to build sophisticated applications without the need for professional coding. Because no-code tools don’t require a background in development, an educator is empowered to create nearly any application to solve a myriad of challenges. For example, someone in HR or in academic services can create an application to track vaccination reports, or a resident assistant can create an application to track visitors coming in and out of a dorm.
Is no-code safe?
The benefits of no-code are that it is safe and secure – which is a huge priority for academic institutions. While no-code gives those outside IT the tools to create applications, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any IT oversight. IT is part of the get-go to set the guardrails and parameters to ensure that the applications are safe and secure – so IT and senior leaders can sleep well at night knowing all their data and student and staff information is safe.
No-code solutions be used to solve a variety of COVID-19 related challenges institutions will face, such as:
Tracking health information: School officials can easily create an application where students, teachers and staff can self-report their vaccine status, COVID-19 test results and symptoms. This allows academic leaders to gather real-time insights on the health of the school’s population and make smart, fast, data driven decisions about next steps if there is a spike in cases. This kind of application can also support contact tracing in the event of an outbreak.
Campus wide communication: With a custom developed application, school administrators can deploy COVID-19 related communications, such as shutdowns or quarantines, quickly to parents, staff, teachers, and students. Similarly, if contact tracing procedures need to be implemented, individuals can be notified if they’ve been in contact with someone who has contracted COVID-19.
Managing In-person vs. remote staff: An application can be created by administrators that tracks which staff is working virtually versus in person, ensuring that each individual has the tools they need and access to the most up-to-date COVID-19 safety protocols.
Naturally, no-code solutions extend beyond pandemic-specific use cases. No-code can be taught as a business class and students can be the ones to build applications that solve real life challenges, such as creating an app that tracks the most efficient bus routes, allows them to see how busy the gym is, or lets them check how many meals remain in their dining plan. Nearly half of organizations use no-code as part of their business operations, so it’s an opportunity to both prepare students for the workforce and empower them to be part of solving institutional challenges.
On the administrative side, having real-time access into workflows and processes can help academic staff work smarter and more efficiently. For example:
- The head of the science department can create an application to understand what research projects professors are working on and see how they are progressing.
- The theater department can use no-code applications to track what needs to be accomplished for the upcoming production.
- Student services can easily track items such as tuition payments and classes registration, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks and students are set up for academic success.
The use-cases of no-code within academic institutions are limitless and provide a wealth of opportunity for institutions looking to help their staff and students succeed, but also be more agile in day-to-day operations.
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