Hundreds of thousands of students pass through the school system annually. The volume of records that academic institutions must maintain grow year after year: attendance sheets, exam report cards, academic transcripts, exchanges, and documents related to student loans, scholarships, and sponsorships.
Education institutes are legally required to preserve some of these records over long periods. In the past, these records were largely paper-based. Millions of pages were filed, stored in cabinets, and stuffed into basements and storage spaces, with entire rooms dedicated to storing these legacy records.
Paper records management is resource-intensive and cumbersome; it often relies heavily on the knowledge of a few employees (making retirement a scary prospect—when Lucille goes, so does the knowledge of where to find files). Adding to that closed system is the monthly cost of expensive storage space.
Digital technology is revolutionizing the way businesses approach operations. Academic institutions are not far behind. Education is one of the biggest industries that derive considerable benefit from digital transformation. Institutes that harness technology solutions enhance student experiences, improve competitiveness, promote data-driven decision-making, and optimize their resources.
The COVID-19 pandemic set the world moving toward completely digitized teaching experiences, personalized study modules, online classes and tests, e-books, video conferencing, and, in some cases, virtual reality. In such a scenario, much of the data schools gather is already in digital format, reducing the need to maintain paper records.
According to the IMARC Group, the global digital classroom market size was US$ 75.9 Billion in 2018 and will reach US$ 135.2 billion by 2024.
In the global education market of today, a complete document management system that provides digital record-keeping with foolproof data security and storage features is a must.
The most important way to achieve that goal is to invest in digital student records. Here's why:
1. Digitization streamlines transcript dissemination
The primary reason that you retain student records after graduation is so that you can provide them when a graduate needs them. Here is how digitization enhances this process:
It is easier to supply digital transcripts upon request
Students need to provide official transcripts to prospective employers or universities for further education. Multiple confirmations are sometimes required to ascertain the validity of the records. This process is time-consuming: the administrator locates where the physical documents are stored, retrieves them, makes physical copies (more paper!) and then prepares them for shipping.
Digital student records pull up fully verified transcripts, degrees, and certificates with the click of a few buttons.
Digital records prevent falsification
Paper records are prone to falsification. A dedicated counterfeiter could make perfectly believable copies of original paper degrees and transcripts. Electronic records are digitally signed and verified so that one cannot simply make a passable copy by duplicating its appearance or changing marks and grades. Digital records cannot be altered easily due to multiple layers of security with access authorization.
2. Digital students records are secure and protected
Paper records are prone to misplacement, incorrect filing, accidental deletion. This problem is easily solved by digitizing the records. Digital files are securely stored, indexed, and easily retrieved upon request.
These records are backed up on a third-party cloud storage space. There are multiple levels of access authorization which require a security key for access.
A secured digital student record can only be accessed and managed by authorized personnel. This ensures that a student's privacy is protected as anyone without proper authorization cannot view their academic records. More importantly, it prevents fraudulent editing, theft, or destruction of a student's academic record. Digital records ensure safety against hacking or misuse of the records.
3. Legacy records also benefit from digitization
Digital student record-keeping is not necessarily only for future academic records. You can also convert older academic records into digital formats for easy storage and management. It doesn't matter how many records you have or what period they come from. This can be accomplished via the following three-step process:
- Convert older paper records to digital files using the services of a professional scanning company. Professionally scanned and indexed documents can be searched for and accessed instantly.
- Invest in scanning software that will automatically compile the information on records scanned in the future.
- Implement a document management system to integrate newly digitized records into the institute’s existing information systems.
Digitized student records are stored electronically in a central repository, saving space for archives. Directly share digital records with students, teachers, prospective employers, or other universities quickly and easily.
Digital record management removes your reliance on physical documents. It not only enhances your ability to manage records better, but it also saves administrative time.
A professional digital student records management system enhances employee productivity and creates time for more valuable work.
Switch to digital student records: short-term pain, long-term gain
Switching to digital student records is a necessary upgrade for your ability to track, manage, and distribute transcripts, certificates, and other documents.
Digital records enable immediate access to digital transcripts, important sponsorship documents, and report cards to authorized persons securely and reliably. Students don’t need to spend time and money travelling to their school to request transcripts or engage in lengthy email trails for copies of validating transcripts.
Educational institutes that decide to convert legacy documents into digital formats face a daunting task. Though there is short-term pain, the benefits of digital record management in the long-term are substantial: it frees up expensive storage space, reduces staff time in retrieving old transcripts, and integrates records with data from other software systems.
Does your educational facility currently face challenges with student records management and storage? MES Hybrid Document Systems provides professional document scanning and management solutions that give you positive control over your student records. Get a free quote from us today >