Campus Stores and IT: A Match Made in Heaven?
In the shift from print to digital course materials, campus stores continue to adapt. At the same time, campus IT departments commit long hours to establish technological systems on campus and maintain the proprietary functions that support digital learning.
Both IT and campus stores are critical for student access to course materials, and ultimately academic success. However, up until digital course materials became prevalent in higher education, these two campus operations rarely had to unite. As campus budgets continue to come under pressure today, both departments are asked to do more with less. To further provide equitable access and support digital course content, campus store operators and IT teams must now converge.
As the leading LMS integration platform, our team at Willo helps more than 1,000 institutions bridge these crucial gaps. Read further to learn how campus stores and IT teams can work together to encourage digital learning access and automate everyday tasks, allowing your campus store to focus on what matters most: serving all students.
Campus IT and Its Effect on Student Equity
Higher education institutions widely recognize the impact that course materials have on student equity, whether those materials be digital or physical. But more recent considerations in the industry now revolve around digital equity as a whole among learners.
As key players in campus digital infrastructure, IT operation greatly affects equitable access and inclusive access today. Consider the main purposes for which campuses rely on IT:
- Hardware and software setup
- Campus network security management
- Creating proprietary software systems
- Ensuring data management
- Retaining the integrity of digital systems and processes
- Safeguarding against cyber attacks
- Assisting students and staff with technological issues
Because your campus IT team works closely with academic leaders, they uphold an increasingly important role in LMS selection, digital integration, and data management. Your campus LMS has a direct impact on students and instructors, as it’s one of the primary systems your campus relies on daily.
When your IT team works directly with the campus store, an essential relationship emerges — and this relationship transforms your campus on multiple fronts.
Campus Stores and IT Departments: Ensuring Accessibility for Everyone
From the online learning experience to enrollment processes, campus life significantly improves when the store and IT department collaborate.
Your store is a central hub of student activity. Students shop for everyday essentials such as course materials, learning supplies, food, school apparel, and more. When your storefronts across campus are well-stocked with the right merchandise and the latest technology, it allows every student to be supported on their academic journey.
What happens when you combine your campus store and IT? It has several major influences on student accessibility and campus culture.
Equitable Access to Digital Content
With automated LMS integration, all students receive day one access to course materials, no matter their financial status. They obtain course materials at the lowest price — no access codes required. With seamless IT and campus store integrations through Willo, students gain instant, equitable access to all courseware, all in one place.
Better Customer Experience
Whether it be troubleshooting the campus website, updating the store’s POS system, or locating financial aid collection for a student, the IT team manages some of the most essential digital aspects of your campus and its store. However, a common challenge faced by campus store employees is their lack of connection with the campus IT department. With the right solution that brings these two departments together, your campus can provide a better customer experience for students whether they’re acquiring course materials in-person or online.
Improved Student Data Privacy and Safety
One of the primary functions of IT revolves around data security. With the majority of learning management systems today, student data privacy remains at risk of data breaches and third-party collection of personal information.
Because these LMS options are adopted by institutions and not developed specifically for the campus, IT developers often have little control over student data features within the LMS. With Willo’s comprehensive digital access platform, students can opt-in or decline personal data sharing. Campus IT developers and campus store operators can provide students with a secure, all-in-one solution that ensures student data will be kept private.
Smoother LMS Integrations
IT has the tools and knowledge your campus needs to support fully streamlined LMS integrations. With Willo, your IT department, stakeholders, instructors, and campus store operators enjoy one integration that hosts all LMS and learning software with full capabilities.
Higher Adoption Rate of LMS
With more thorough LMS integration, more students and instructors are likely to utilize LMS tools. Willo integration offers a cohesive content selection of course materials for instructors. Campus stores working with advanced IT support encourage greater academic freedom and student success.
Pairing Your Campus Store and IT for the Most Comprehensive Learning Solution
Digital course access and equitable opportunity don’t have to be difficult or complex. Today, there are digital solutions that bring campus stores and IT teams together to ensure every digital aspect of student life is accessible, optimal, and affordable.
Get the digital learning tool your campus needs in order to deliver day one access to course materials, protect student data privacy, and scale your campus success like never before. With robust management options integrated with full privacy controls, Willo is the first and only platform that operates for your campus, with your campus.
To learn about the most innovative digital learning technology for campuses in North America, reach out to Willo Labs today.