Automation is now the buzzword in virtually every sector – legal industry, healthcare, finance, and others. While some sectors are experiencing significant growth and improvement in their bottom line as a result of automation, the education sector seems to be lagging in getting on this fantastic and incredible technological trend. You will still find some educators following the old way of doing things which requires a pen and paper to manage attendance, grade students, or generate report card.
Teachers and school management need to hold a parent-teacher meeting regularly in order to monitor the progress of the student. Not only that, but a massive amount of time and resources are also being invested by the teachers to create a conducive learning environment. Implementing these processes appropriately while aspiring to maintain student success could be cumbersome for the teachers.
Teachers are not only at the receiving end, but the administrators who would also face a lot of duties and responsibilities that are repetitive, difficult, and time-wasting. Administrators have oversight on the administrative support systems of the school, and also manage the smooth operation of every educational activity. They manage scholar enrollment, plan academic board meetings, process invoices, plan educational events, and other activities. These activities will always keep them busy.
Not only that, but they can also be overburdened with different roles at peak session. For instance, during busy periods, an administrator can also double as a teacher.
RPA is the way out to reduce this workload in the education industry? There is no doubt the sector is flooded with several challenging tasks; it would be ideal for leaders in the sectors to leverage automation tools like RPA.
By now, virtually everyone can relate to the significant impact of Robotic Process Automation on businesses such as increased productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. Let’s look at how RPA is transforming the education sector.
Before we list the relevance of RPA in the education industry, it is crucial to understand the functions of the automation tool. RPA can be defined as a software bot that is programmed with rules to implement some set of tasks with no human intervention. We wrote in detail on this in the article,” WHAT IS RPA (ROBOTIC PROCESS AUTOMATION)?”
As humans are no longer in the equation, the output will be error-free and accurate. Consequently, the work will be implemented at a faster pace compared to humans. This will make users and humans become more efficient, effective, and productive on other tasks that only humans can handle. RPA is not going to replace humans but complements their efforts.
So how can an educational establishment benefit?
This is a time-intensive task that every educational establishment has to carry out. It involves a lot of paper-related tasks that are painful and error-prone. There is a need to read the student’s application form, validate the documents supplied, and verify students’ eligibility for the course he or she has applied to. Without a doubt, this is tiresome if done manually. The focus right now is to digitize and streamline these monotonous and boring approaches. Therefore, RPA is a significant approach to achieve this goal.
Most of the educational institutions still do most of the admission grunt tasks manually. By automating these processes, you gain an upper hand on the situation. Software bots can carry out most of these repetitive tasks mostly by themselves, saving both time and money. This also makes the whole admission and enrollment task much faster.
The RPA software robot trained in a specific way to interpret situations as well as make self-directed decisions can simplify the manual method complexity. Not only that, but the tool can also quickly check the student form, analyze, validate, and assess the criteria for eligibility, then decide on whether the student is eligible for admission or not.
You can use RPA in many situations including automating accounts processes, fast-forwarding the enrollment procedure, and executing interviews. There are numerous other use cases of RPA such as validation of documents, cross-checking papers, inquiry, and onboarding of the newly admitted students.
Every education establishment cannot avoid preparing and planning for board meetings, parent-teacher meetings, faculty meetings, and emergency meetings. There is a need for the organizers of such conferences to check up the schedule of the attendees. Based on their availability, they can compose customized emails to each attendee, communicating the date, time, as well as the location of that meeting. In case there is a change or postponement in schedule or meeting, the organizers would have to repeat the whole process.
This is an easy-pie for RPA. It can automate the scheduling of meetings without any human intervention. It can check the work schedule of every attendee, draft customized emails to those who ought to be in the meeting, and inform them ahead of the meeting.
Not only that, but the RPA tool can also prepare emails to parents notifying them of their ward’s progress report and fix a meeting if there is a need.
This is a repetitive but important task every educational establishment has to perform every day. Peradventure you think student attendance is the only thing that the establishment cares about, then you are mistaken.
Maintaining an accurate record of time reviews of teachers and educational administration is necessary to provide fair compensation. It is essential to track how the stakeholders utilize time productively. Can the manual process give an accurate estimation? I don’t think so. Educational establishments can obtain data on time logged in for activities when the proper attendance monitoring system is implemented.
RPA tool can be cultured with necessary data on how to provide fair compensation for each teacher and employee concerning the work they have done in the establishment. Software bots can be used for keeping track of the attendance of both the students and the workers. These bots can monitor the student’s daily attendance and help save a lot of manual effort. These automated bots can be also used for sending automatic notifications to the corresponding student or parent. They can alert the party if the attendance of a student falls below a certain preset limit.
In addition to assessing the examination papers of students, teachers are also required to prepare the progress report of each student. RPA can assist with several tedious tasks.
Once teachers have stored the student scores in an electronic format, the Robotic Process Automation tool can source the information from the database, input the data in the progress report card, and communicate it to parents.
RPA will help educators to also focus on more productive activities such as mentorship, guidance, and counseling instead of wasting time on monotonous activities. A lot of the instructors’ time is wasted on preparing and maintaining the records. Automation tools can take care of these monotonous tasks a lot more easily and swiftly than a human could ever do.
The automation tools can be used for automatically extracting the students’ grades from the central database and fill them in the relevant document (say, a progress report). They can also send a notification to the concerned parties as soon as the task is done without delay. This way the whole grading process becomes less painful for both the instructors and the students.
So what are the benefits the education industry can derive from this automation opportunity?
1. Reduce expenses: The RPA tool can assume repetitive roles, perform high-volume jobs, and implement the job at a lower rate and a faster pace. One thing that goes unnoticed due to the high initial investment, is that RPA can be a great tool for long-term savings. In the short-term, you might be paying a hefty fee, but they eventually start paying off in the long term.
2. Improve productivity: Employees assigned with monotonous activities can now secure more leisure and relaxation time as RPA will implement most of those annoying and mundane tasks. Consequently, the teachers can channel their energy on more rewarding and productive activities. It will also assist the educational establishment to efficiently manage massive volumes of tasks and complete it within the timeframe. This shows that RPA is capable of boosting productivity, which will lead to the maximization of returns.
3. Enhance Work Execution: This is one of the most exciting features of RPA. It can perform at a specific and prefixed job 24/7 without committing any mistakes or taking any break like humans. The output will also be free of error and require no revision. RPA can help the organization achieve performance excellence as a result of overall improvement in job execution. This will eventually help them to maximize profit.
4. Less errors: Using automation tools helps tremendously in reducing unwanted errors. In any industry, specifically in the educational field, there is no room for errors. So this is a nice added benefit alongside the time savings.
5. Increased compliance: Robotic process automation is a great tool for having better compliance. It helps remove inconsistency among the disparate sources. Automation tools are governed by strict, pre-determined rules; there is no room for ambiguity. This can be used for recognizing compliance issues and executing internal reviews. This can be employed in any industry irrespective of the domain.
RPA is redefining the business process in all sectors and industries, and you can see its potential in education too. Though the adoption rate is lower compared to other industries, probably as a result of a lack of expertise and knowledge of how the technology works. The impact of RPA in the education industry is nevertheless, inconsequential.
School administration and leaders in the industry should provide adequate training on the concepts, as well as the modus operandi of RPA. This may be an initial step to instill the needed confidence in the heart of the decision-makers to implement this technology.
Do you think your school is missing out on the trend?