August 9, 2019

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This article by Laura Ascione originally appeared in eCampus News

A new resource from a higher-ed nonprofit is intended to help institutions assess and improve edtech integration across the higher-ed landscape.

The Next-Generation Integration Scorecard (NGIS), a free and openly-licensed tool from DXtera Institute, will give colleges and universities new ways to assess the marketplace of available education technology solutions that serve their needs, benchmarking them based on the ease of integration.

“As colleges and universities undertake the daunting task of selecting and implementing next-generation technologies, we know that a general lack of functional, real-time interoperation is one of the most consistent pain points they experience,” says Jeff Merriman, DXtera’s co-founder and chief technology officer.

“This work is about giving institutions a common language for specifying and evaluating the integration capacity of software solutions, which will ultimately lead to a more effective application of technology for student and institutional success.”

The edtech integration tool draws on insights from across DXtera’s projects and its membership of more than 47 institutions and organizations to compare higher education technology solutions based on ease of integration. The NGIS is designed to provide colleges and universities with practical insights into whether potential technology solutions support the level of functional integration required to work together in a next-generation enterprise ecosystem.

Covering an initial set of 19 “functional areas,” spanning functionality found in many common educational systems, like student information systems and learning management systems, the NGIS is one of the first resources to provide language for higher education technology buyers looking to integrate solutions to serve the various needs of faculty, students and institutional administration.

The NGIS began as a collaborative effort between DXtera Institute and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), a globally-ranked and fully-online university based in Barcelona, Spain, and will continue to evolve through ongoing contributions from across the Institute’s membership base.

“As a fully-online, global university, the integration of new technology and systems is essential for UOC to accomplish our educational mission. From learning management and student success to content management, none of our systems are silos, and must all integrate meaningfully to support our staff and students,” says Francesc Santanach Delisau, Lab Team Leader and Engineer, eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya.

“As we explore emerging technologies, the Integration Scorecard will help us to evaluate products against a rubric that gives insight into how well they fit into our existing infrastructure, technology partners and the capabilities of our internal team.”