3 Workflows in Education that are Begging to be Automated

3 Workflows in Education that are Begging to be Automated

If you list some of the significant pain points impacting education professionals everywhere, a lack of efficiency is likely at the top.

Yes, all facets of education are essential. But it’s also a world filled with time-consuming, menial, repetitive tasks that take valuable time away from more critical matters. Every minute an educator spends filling out forms or processing paperwork is a minute that they’re not spending on helping those trying to better themselves and gain more knowledge.

Thankfully, technology has advanced to the point where as much of this burden can be eased as possible without negatively impacting the work being done by professionals daily. A few key educational workflows, in particular, are just begging to be automated, whether people realize it or not.

1. Hand-Filled Forms & Paperwork

Thanks to data collection form technology, major educational workflows that were once accomplished only with a pen and paper can be streamlined to save large amounts of time and frustration.

At the very least, data collection forms help create digital versions of what used to exist in a world of paper and hard copies. You’re likely to get more responses faster from parents to a digital permission slip than you are to one that you send home with kids that could get easily lost or forgotten about.

A college could use data collection forms to streamline the application process throughout the year before new students begin in the fall. School administrators can use it to create more efficient (and more valuable) contracts and work orders for vendors. Everything from internal records like financial reports to permission slips sent home to parents can become more accessible, faster, and more accurate.

Digital process automation takes things a step further. This allows you to automate form fields to your exact specifications as an educator. You don’t have to fill out form after form for new students manually. In most situations, you set up rules based on “if/then” statements. This may seem straightforward, but the implications are enormous for an educator. So, not only does the administrative side of the school move faster, but there are also fewer filing cabinets filled with reams of paper documents to worry about.

2. Hard-Copy Quizzes and Tests

According to one recent study, the average teacher spends about five hours grading tests weekly and giving feedback. Over a standard 28-week school year, that comes to about 140 hours.

That’s why another workflow in education that is beginning to be automated concerns quizzes and tests at virtually all grade levels. These days, most students have laptops or tablets, and even if they don’t, you might work in a district where these resources are given out to students. This means you can give out quizzes and tests fairly and accurately online.

Digital distribution means an educator doesn’t have to print out and grade those materials by hand. Grades are handled automatically in most cases. This means that, on average, you’re freeing up about 140 hours per school year to focus on more important matters.

3. Communication and Reporting

For educators, staying connected with parents and generating detailed reports can be time-consuming. Here’s where automation shines. Automation can revolutionize communication and reporting in schools.

Imagine ditching paper permission slips that get lost in the backpack abyss. Digital forms get higher response rates and can be easily customized for various needs. Permission slips for field trips, after-school activities, or even medication administration become a breeze. Parents receive reminders and can submit responses electronically, saving everyone time and hassle.

Reporting to administrators and beyond can also be streamlined. Automated systems can compile data from various sources, such as attendance records, grades, and disciplinary reports. This allows educators to generate comprehensive reports with a few clicks, freeing them from hours of data entry.  These reports can be easily shared with administrators, providing valuable insights into student performance and school-wide trends.

Standardized reporting formats ensure everyone is on the same page, and data can be easily shared across departments or grade levels. This fosters collaboration and allows educators to collaborate more effectively to support student success.

Efficiency for Educators

Overall, automation in communication and reporting empowers educators to spend less time on paperwork and more time on what truly matters: fostering meaningful connections with students and parents and creating a thriving learning environment.

Ultimately, it’s essential to acknowledge that every educational institution differs from the next, meaning there is no “one size fits all” approach to automation. The needs of an educator in K-12 are vastly different from those of someone working at a college. Plus, everything they do must be dictated by the most pivotal element: the students.

DPA tools are only useful if malleable, meaning that they can be adapted to various workflows as needed. You just need to understand this core point going in. Don’t start with a tool and just assume it will improve your life and the lives of those around you. Start with your specific needs and work your way back to the tool that can free up time in precisely the right way so you can focus on whatever larger goals are in front of you.

When there are only so many hours in a day, automation becomes the best way to make the most of those select few. So long as you’re able to maintain that perspective, there’s truly no limit to what you can accomplish.

S. Publisher

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