Partnering for success in digital transformation, part one

Anita Chawla
By Anita Chawla on June 06, 2022

Engageli is led by a team of experienced educators, entrepreneurs, and technologists working to transform higher education by giving faculty and learners an accessible and flexible platform that aims to improve learner outcomes through in-person, remote, and hybrid learning.

In this two-part series, we introduce you to Anita Chawla, Managing Director, Partner Strategy and Success - North America, a seasoned academic administrator turned edtech expert, on how her experience uniquely positions her to help partners succeed in their digital transformation.

My edtech career has focused on leading large-scale technical initiatives from inception to enterprise as an administrator in higher education for more than five years at public institutions, Arizona State University (ASU) and Purdue University, and 15 years in the private sector at Pearson. Some examples include architecting a disruptive model for the Earned Admission program at ASU,  architecting marketing and recruiting modules and data dashboards in SalesForce/Marketing Cloud for scaled OPM services at Purdue Online, and leading the platform framework for the Pearson Online Learning virtual academies.  

In my experience, even though there is general consensus amongst institutions that technology is the backbone enabling educational transformation, historically, most are slower to adapt to technological change, as the institution’s core competency is its academic body and research facilities, and technology investments can be lower on the priority list. Given all of the parties involved, it’s also a momentous task for institutions to adapt to new models overnight. There are deep levels of change approval required before initiatives can move forward, creating long timelines that can seem endless. 

New Delivery Paradigm

The last two years have accelerated the need for institutions to deliver a new means of impactful online learning experiences, one that ensures equitable access to education to all learners. Institutions are now serving a different learner persona, learners who have busy schedules, need to be virtually connected to their instructors and classmates, with just in time success coaching and learning needs. These needs put continual stress on the institution's systems and resources to deliver.

Digital technologies are needed to facilitate such learning experiences. In order for institutions to deliver at this pace, they need to make larger investments in technology and people, with processes undergoing a paradigm shift to be more learner-focused.

Blurring technology lines between edtech and institutions

In order to expedite the digital transformation that learners deserve, academic institutions need to partner with edtech companies so they can continue to compete on their core competencies and focus on learner outcomes. Edtech companies are experts in a certain area through their field knowledge and can enable optimal solutions for institutions at a rapid speed. From hosting infrastructure to data compliance, edtech corporations have the experience and best practices, and are knowledgeable of the latest technology to develop enterprise-scale software. They can also achieve economies of scale that make solutions cost-effective so that institutions do not have to feel the pressure, or spare the expense, of trying to stay ahead of the curve on digital innovation on their own. The relationship is mutually beneficial as CIOs can rely on the solution provider to empower the framework of the institution while partnering on design for delivery of effective instructional pedagogy. 

In an effort to expedite digital transformation for institutions around the world, I have transformed my own career from academia to edtech. I joined the Engageli team, working alongside a team of experienced professionals in both the educational sector and SaaS enterprise development to provide a solution for institutions to adopt into their DNA. My role on Engageli’s Partner Success Team is highly consultative as I work with institutions to implement best practices at scale keeping the institution’s core values and goals at the center. The deep collaboration allows instructors to employ different teaching strategies, many previously not manageable online, and help inform the product road map while providing Engageli with the innovative challenge of enhancing learning through technology.

Want to see how Engageli can transform your academic institution? Reach out to learn more.

Published by
Anita Chawla
Anita Chawla
June 6, 2022