Since the 2020 pandemic, schools, universities, and other educational institutions have rapidly started their digital transformation initiatives. Nowadays, academic world invests more and more in software development and internal process digitization.
At the same time, only a few educational institutions can afford having an IT department and continuously pay for software development. That’s why low code has become one of the most important strategic technologies for the education industry in recent years. Low-code platforms provide faster and cheaper way to create systems, applications, automate routine tasks, and optimize internal activities of colleges and schools. According to Gartner, low-code platforms will reach 26 billion by 2023 and be delivering 65% of all applications by 2024.
What is low-code
Low-code and no-code are the software development approaches involving specialized platforms that provide a visual app-building process. Low-code and no-code differ in the degree of code abstraction and customization capabilities. Both of the concepts aim at facilitating the software development process, making it cheaper and more effective. Simply put, no-code are easier to access for regular campus staff to build simple internal knowledge portals or automation tools. Low-code platforms in their turn, provide capabilities for complex solutions and require some training to be able to use them.
In this article, we will focus on low-code development platforms because they include multiple no-code functionalities that allow both citizen or pro developers to use them, depending on the complexity of the apps they need.
How do educational institutions benefit from low-code platforms?
Reduce development costs
Low-code platforms have various pricing plans that give users different levels of access to their functionalities. Usually, there are free plans that can provide citizen developers and non-tech staff with tools sufficient to build performant internal tools.
Even if an organization opts for a paid user package to go for a complex system or app, it will be cheaper than traditional high-code development. First off, they won’t necessarily need to hire a large team of pros - 1-3 experienced low-code developers will be enough. Then, the process itself will be quick, so there will bw less payments for the developers.So, low-code development can give schools and universities almost free applications in a matter of days or weeks.
Guaranteed apps’ quality
Low-code platforms usually include a set of DevOps tools that ensure CI/CD software delivery, code quality control, and real-time app performance monitoring. Such tools and the support from the low-code platform representatives will result in lower maintenance costs, seamless user experience, and easier low-code app scaling.
Fast app time-to-value
Colleges and schools are the places where ideas are born. And there’s no better tool than a low-code platform to make them work digitally as fast as possible. For instance, if someone has an idea about task automation, or ease up an internal process, they can easily apply it crating a low-code app. The implementation of digital educational tools takes days or even hours with low-code platforms owing to its easy-to-use interface.
Low-code apps are easy to integrate with almost any analytics powers like, for instance, Artificial Intelligence. Better analytics enhances and facilitates the performance of universities and schools’ scoring systems. This, in its turn, shows the efficacy of the universities’ educational practices. Also, digital analytical power helps educational institutions increase their budgeting and keep track of incomes.
Easy integrations with other services
Colleges can easily connect their apps to other knowledge bases, educational sources, game-based learning apps, and other systems that can help students during their learning process. Low-code approach provide a large set of pre-built connectors. Thus, supplying your app with the abovementioned services will take only a few seconds instead of months of dedicated development efforts.
Low-code development in Education: success stories
Outsystems and Kent State University: process automation, better learning experience, and internal workflow efficacy.
KSU (Kent State University) leveraged Outsystems to cover multiple digital transformation needs. The low-code platform allowed the university to introduce digital transformation on several fronts.
Challenges: Kent State University faced multiple tech-related challenges that were connected to its technical debt. This motivated the KSU management to find a fast track to digital transformation. The University needed:
- To create an internal knowledge base;
- Create several applications to allow both students and staff to interact with internal sources;
- Provide means for convenient remote education;
- Introduce better analytics.
Result: For now, the team of 10 developers delivers deliver around 5 internal applications for students and staff per month. Almost 40 apps that have already been delivered (in 11 months) and increased internal productivity, student learning experience, and enhanced overall staff performance.
Appian and The University of South Florida: improving student health and connectivity.
Like every large educational institution, the University of South Florida suffered from the pandemic and the urgent need to establish a digital environment for remote education. Traditional development practices didn’t seem to provide the necessary software in time, so the university management chose Appian low-code platform.
Challenge: As the pandemic hit, the university needed to effectively protect students and staff from catching the illness and track the students’ health status.
Result: USF used and customized Appian CampusPass. It is a product of the Appian platform team developed specifically for schools and universities. CampusPass aims to reduce COVID-19 impact by tracking student and staff interactions, at-home health test collecting, and return authorization.
EdTech trends in 2023
Global market insights report that the e-learning market will reach the 1 trillion mark by 2028. The numbers speak for themselves - remote and digital learning tools will only increase in demand.
But what are there main directions where e-learning will evolve?
Gaming apps for education
Games has always been one of the best ways to teach people new skills. Today, game-based learning apps are one of the most viral trends in education. Both kids and college students show better learning metrics when using games rather than “boring” learning methods. FinancesOnline report says that companies that employ gamification in their education have up to a 700% conversion rate.
Remote education technologies
After the pandemic, the demand for interactive applications, video chats with educational features, and extensive knowledge bases exploded like never before. Before 2020, they were nice-to-have technologies but today they are a must.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
It seems that we step into a time where the fantasy of sci-fi writers finally becomes a reality. VR and AR technologies take over the educational market, providing a better learning experience. With these tools, students can have a simulation of on-hand experience in situations that are hard to recreate in real life.
Cloud-based EdTech infrastructure
Cloud technologies provide better educational system performance, allow for the connection of different apps, and open vast integration capacity. Moreover, the data stored in the cloud can be protected by the cloud provider, if an organization uses public cloud services.
Low-code development experts
Low-code approach is the fastest and easiest way to build your business application or internal workflow optimization software. Low-code and no-code platforms cater to all types of businesses (SMEs, startups, and enterprises) and individuals alike. But usually, to access the full potential of low-code you may need professional developer assistance that has experience using these platforms.
You can discuss your project with our low-code development experts if that is your case. We have more than 7 years of software development experience including working with various low-code development platforms including Retool, UI Bakery, Appsmith, Budibase, and others.
We can help you at any stage of your low-code app development: from the right low-code platform selection and process strategizing to full-scale development, customization, and integration with your existing systems. For more information, reach out to our low-code development team leads and get a free consultation.
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