How to Find the Right EdTech Solution Provider
An EdTech solution provider that embraces a challenge: that’s the Keypath difference
Once upon a time, online degrees were available only for limited disciplines, and some had quite a simplistic user experience. Today, education technology solution companies have transformed online degrees into interactive, engaging, and cutting-edge courses that rival their on-campus counterparts.
It’s complicated to build and manage online degrees, so universities often need to partner with an EdTech solution provider to give their students the best experiences possible.
Here at Keypath, we’ve gathered some of the finest talent from across the globe to create world-class courses for our university partners. With a passion for learning and helping our partners achieve greatness, our mission is to transform the education system and the world, one degree at a time.
What is an EdTech solution provider, and what do they do?
An EdTech solution provider, or online program management (OPM) partner, uses technology to design and deliver online education. While universities can do this on their own, an OPM partner brings extensive experience in both the education and technology industries to make the courses more engaging and effective.
Building online courses may sound easy in theory, but it’s a complex task. It’s so much more than simply uploading readings and recorded lectures into a Learning Management System (LMS) and letting the students do the rest. In fact, at Keypath, we devote six to eight months to working with our university partners to design and develop each individual course. The investment is part of our commitment to ensuring student success.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities were rushed into online learning, which resulted in underdeveloped courses that left students with negative experiences. As an experienced EdTech solution provider, we take the time to work with our university partners to understand their goals and values, ensuring that together, we can deliver impactful, relevant, and engaging courses, which strengthen students’ skills and empower these future leaders to address global challenges.
Keypath technology solutions show our passion for quality education
At Keypath, we are fortunate to have a team of passionate educators and tech wizards who dedicate themselves to transforming education with EdTech solutions. Two such people are Chris Valadez, Senior Vice President of Instructional Services, and Mike Deming, Vice President of Product and Instructional Technology. “We’re not just an EdTech company,” says Chris. “We care deeply about delivering quality educational experiences to our partners’ students, and we believe it is our duty to help faculty develop courses that we, ourselves, would want to take. This is an awesome responsibility, one which we take very seriously.”
Keypath is committed to the cycle of continuous improvement. We have five phases in our comprehensive academic strategy: (1) Design, (2) Develop, (3) Deliver, (4) Refine, and (5) Improve. We aren’t done with our work just because we have put the course content into the LMS. We continue to adjust courses every time they run, and we use data to drive these course revisions, refining and improving the learning experiences to meet student needs. At Keypath, we feel that it is our responsibility to maintain strong relationships with our partner faculty, and we believe this dedication sets us apart from a lot of other OPMs. We know that our partners’ successes are our successes.
“Keypath Instructional Designers (IDs) are steeped in the best practices of adult education, and we have built a depth of knowledge from working with universities across the globe. Our focus is on sound online learning and andragogy supported by educational technology, not technology for technology’s sake.”
EdTech is a complex world. Here’s our approach.
We understand that university academics and admin teams are time-poor, which is why our service extends beyond merely offering EdTech solutions.
“We meet our university partners where they are as opposed to forcing them into our way of doing things,” says Chris. “We guide the university through the process by using the tools they are familiar with and showing them how to use these tools in ways they never thought possible. We also introduce new tools that are highly adaptable and flexible in their existing LMS environments.”
Set and forget? Forget it.
So how do we do it? Chris explains. “ There are many moving parts as we think about what goes into developing a course. Our team helps faculty re-envision their courses for online delivery. We focus time and energy into our faculty consultations so that we can get to know the courses. I call it ‘interviewing the outcomes.’ We want our faculty to know that they can trust us. We are there to support them, not take over for them. I like to say that we enable faculty to tackle even the most complex subjects with ingenuity. We guide them through the development process, helping them bring the courses to life online.”
As someone who has worked at several education technology solution companies, Chris is well placed to fully understand the user experience, not only from a faculty point of view but also as a student.
In fact, Chris is so passionate about the programs we develop at Keypath, she’s become a student of one of them and is currently completing her doctorate with a Keypath-supported partner.
“Within the courses, the experiences are unique and customized to match the objectives,” Chris explains. “Each course has its own tone, which is established through the learning experiences. We don’t develop cookie-cutter courses. All the courses are current. They’re active, social, relevant, dynamic, visual, and they’re extremely robust.”
Backed by a passionate and dedicated team
Keypath’s comprehensive team of experts is committed to changing students’ lives through education. Our Instructional Services team includes Instructional/Learning Designers, Project Managers, Graphic Designers, Quality Assurance experts, Web Developers, Faculty Trainers, and Faculty Recruitment specialists.
Chris is proud of her team and rightly so. “We have one of the most talented and experienced Instructional Services teams in the industry. In fact, the majority of our Instructional Designers/Learning Designers have at least five years of experience in online learning and/or higher education. Many came from other OPMs, but love it here because we put the students first.”
Our web development team is a talented group as well. “We have frontend web developers, full stack backend engineers, solution architects, and quality assurance support,” adds Mike. “Our team has comprehensive knowledge of all the major learning management systems. We work in them on a daily basis, and we make them look and feel more modern and inviting than the out-of-the-box LMS environments typically do.”
We tackle EdTech challenges head-on to improve the future of online education
With so many universities embracing partnerships with OPMs to support their online needs, it’s important that OPMs act as stewards of their university partners’ reputations. Simply putting a course online will not do. To make each and every university partnership special, Kepathers commit to doing the hard work to overcome challenges. Valadez says, “We see these challenges as exciting opportunities to innovate, not problems from which to run. As Paul Gleason, Chief Development Officer of Keypath, often stresses, “we need to run towards complexity, not back away from it.”
At Keypath, we understand that academics and universities, particularly those who are new to online learning and technology, are facing many EdTech challenges. Keypath meets these challenges with our academic engagement services, giving faculty the confidence to deliver successful online experiences to their students.
Another challenge is people’s fears about privacy and security in online learning.
“We always make it very clear to our partners how seriously we take security,” says Mike. “We’ve thoroughly tested everything and follow rigorous security processes. This secure foundation allows us to innovate with the confidence and support of our partners.”
Keypath and the future of EdTech
Technological growth is driving the future of EdTech. Education technology solution companies must embrace these developments to keep their courses relevant.
Emerging technologies allow for more interaction, offering universities the opportunities to deliver traditionally on-campus-only programs, such as nursing, in an online space. Given the severe shortages of healthcare workers, particularly in regional and remote areas, Keypath is striving to make healthcare courses more accessible to alleviate the pressure. In order for these healthcare degrees to be effective, they need to mimic real-life situations as realistically as possible. This is achievable only if universities and OPMs embrace the latest technologies. For example, Keypath courses use 3D technologies to support nursing courses.
Using technologies can make courses more interactive, visually engaging, and user-friendly, improving the student experience and therefore increasing retention, engagement, and student success.
Chris explains, “So often we hear, especially in course development, from faculty and administrators, who say, ‘I’m never going to teach the same way again. This process has changed me forever.’”
“We have testimonials about how the course development process changed how faculty deliver content both online and on-ground, helped them consider teaching in new ways, gave them the tools to approach students differently and much more personally than they expected, and broke down barriers in terms of how they conceptualized what was possible in the online space.”
For example, Kurt Jefferson, Dean of Graduate Education at Spalding University, said of Keypath Instructional Designer, Kelsey Cater, after they completed their development together, “Thank you for your professionalism, exceptionally hard work, and attention to detail. Plus, I had a lot of fun working with you and learned much from you in this process. I appreciate all you did in making this course better than it was at the onset.”
At Keypath, we’re closely watching exciting technological advancements such as data analysis, visualization, artificial intelligence, holograms, and sophisticated algorithms that could very well change the way we deliver courses in the future. It’s exciting to consider the opportunities to come.
Partner with an EdTech solution provider who cares as much as you do
The EdTech space is thriving, and we’re excited to be part of such a transformative industry.