uPlanner’s Mario Sánchez on the State of Curriculum Management Today

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With the introduction of the Institutional Planning System, uPlanner seeks to not just establish a name in the competitive digital learning ecosystem, but to bring about a new era of curriculum-centric planning among Higher Ed and other academic institutions.

We spoke with Mario Sánchez, Chief Commercial Office of uPlanner, for an overview of resource planning for curriculum delivery, the incessant transformations —and opportunities— brought about by artificial intelligence, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Disclaimer: uPlanner is a sponsor of Connected 2023, Open LMS first in person users conference.

From your vantage point, can you tell us a bit about curriculum management, and some of the common issues institutions face with it today?

Absolutely! Curriculum management is all about streamlined curriculum design for instructors and ensuring alignment of outcomes for continuous improvement. Many institutions are looking for ways to make curriculum planning easier for instructors and to be able to report outcomes to accreditation organizations or the government.

Here is where tool like uPlanner come in. Curriculum planning tools delivers flexible option for curriculum and assessment planning and evaluation. uPlanner in particular is designed for continuous improvement. Our solution allows for easy academic management with user-friendly workflows, rubrics, and outcome alignment. We also provide easy reporting, custom report creation, and the ability to integrate with learning management systems.

That’s fantastic. You mentioned compliance, governance, and continuous improvement. Can you elaborate on that and how a solution like yours addresses those issues?

We are all about continuous improvement. We release new functionalities and upgrades regularly, to help improve curriculum-related workflows, as well as our user interface. Our platform also helps colleges and universities to migrate from outdated methods, like designing curriculum in Excel.

We use data to achieve various objectives, from demand planning to optimizing infrastructure, to forecasting course demand. Our technology also helps identify which students may be at risk of dropping out and suggests extracurricular activities to improve success rates.

How is uPlanner embracing new technologies such as AI, machine learning and predictive analytics?

We use predictive analytics and machine learning to recommend activities and interventions that can help students succeed.

One of our primary initiatives, called Student Success Planning, identifies the factors that can cause students to drop out. We look into over 100 criteria, both within and beyond the curriculum and institutional context. Our platform then recommends activities or interventions can help students stay on track.

What are your thoughts on the state of the industry and your competitors?

We’re actually looking to position a new product category, the Institutional Planning System. Institutions tend to address resource planning through conventional, suboptimal methods, or with systems that are not designed to take into account key differences educational and curriculum-centric institutions bring to the standard ERP mix.

In this sense, most available technologies for education play along very well with our software. We’re not looking to replace the LMS, in fact our system benefits greatly from having one in the digital ecosystem. We also provide predictive learning analytics, but specialized learning analytics tools can interact smoothly with ours and deliver higher value.

What challenges do you see coming up in the academic industry and how is your planner addressing them?

Post-pandemic realities including declining enrollments, labor shortages, and maintenance costs are some of the biggest challenges facing the academic industry. Our technology focuses on retaining and recruiting students and staff. Another challenge is the shift to hybrid learning models, which is why we developed an application that integrates all the systems and gives one experience for the student. Our technology helps institutions optimize scheduling and improve the student experience.

Disclaimer: uPlanner is a sponsor of Connected 2023, Open LMS first in person users conference.

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