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April 2014

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Oracle Tailors Comprehensive Solution to Help Educators Improve Academic Outcomes

It’s no secret that P-20 institutions gather large volumes of data about students, academic performance, and related areas. What’s harder to grasp is how to use all that information to improve student engagement and learning outcomes, help teachers teach more effectively, and elevate insight on best practices across institutions.

The answer is to design and deliver a next-generation platform that aggregates and integrates data into a student-centric electronic record that houses learning information from pre-K all the way through adult employment. Centralizing information in this way can help improve student achievement, access to career opportunities, and economic development as a function of public policy, says Julia Von Klonowski, Oracle’s director of education for K-12 for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, in the following interview.

Q: School officials find themselves trying to manage ever-increasing amounts of data—where does it all come from?
A: Large volumes of information are generated by student information systems, payroll and financial applications, human resource programs, learning management systems, libraries, content providers, social and mobile sources, and other external sources. The challenge for ministers of education, who may oversee hundreds of schools, is not only the volumes of data, but also that each school may be storing information differently and separately, in silos that cannot aggregate data to create a single, authoritative record.

Q: What challenges does this create for schools?
A: One legal mandate for administrators today is to closely measure student performance on high-stakes exams. The goal is to intervene much earlier if individuals are showing problems or conversely, if they’re highly gifted academically. Data can also help show where teachers need additional professional development. Similarly, education ministers want to know how many teachers they should be training to meet tomorrow’s needs and in what subjects, as well as determine where new schools need to be built. At the moment it’s difficult to gather the data to help make these decisions.

Q: What’s the answer?
A: Firstly, educators must identify the multitude of different data sources that surround student learning with the goal of locating it in a central learning exchange. This makes it easier to accurately analyze and report on it. This also enables individual learning decisions and the dissemination of information to various stakeholders to enact effective responses.

Secondly, government leadership and educators must understand what skills students need today to fill the gap between labor supply and job opportunities in their countries and to prepare for future business needs. For example, educators in Saudi Arabia and Turkey are investigating how to evolve their curriculums based on what their economies will need in the coming years.

Thirdly, schools must deliver the most-effective content adapted in real-time to the needs of the learner in an engaging and much more modular, mobile, and rich interactive learning experience.

Finally, teacher training is essential. If students aren’t doing as well as expected it is possible that a teacher requires more training. Continuous professional development is key to teacher retention and to the value they can add to their students.

Q: How does Oracle address these requirements?
A: The problems ministers face require a comprehensive solution rather than a single product. The solution must leverage past investments while advancing existing systems with capabilities that meet the challenges of twenty-first century learning. Oracle and its partners have worked to develop a learning information exchange solution that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of educational institutions.

SLX’s Smart Learning Exchange solution is a new initiative, with a design to transform education for today’s digital world. Delivered by Oracle partner SLX Inc., the Smart Learning Exchange solution is powered by a collection of deeply integrated products from across the Oracle product suite, including Oracle Advanced Analytics, Oracle ATG Web Commerce, Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition, Oracle Customer Experience, Oracle Database, Oracle Endeca Discovery Foundation for Oracle Applications, Oracle Social Relationship Management products, Oracle WebCenter Content, Oracle WebCenter Sites, and Oracle WebLogic.

Q: What Oracle customers are benefiting from this approach?
A: The Ministry of National Education in Turkey and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ministry of Education are two examples. In both cases, officials are using Oracle technology to become more effective at collecting and aggregating the information they need.

Learn more about Oracle’s solutions for education and research.

Watch videos featuring Oracle customers discussing learning information exchange solutions.

This content is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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