Digital transformation streamlines experience

Digital transformation streamlines student experience and reduces staff support time for a leading lifelong learning program.

Digital transformation streamlines experience

The challenge

The Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco is a vibrant lifelong learning community of more than 3,000 adults taking courses in the arts, humanities and social sciences all for the love of learning. When the Fromm Institute team shifted some of its previously in-person courses to online formats early in the pandemic, it was able to continue serving its vibrant community of senior learners at a time when connection was especially important.

Those initial solutions involved multiple platforms and lots of manual work by Fromm staff members. There were also significant frictions for the older adult student population with technology that failed to deliver a smooth user experience, resulting in a constant barrage of phone calls and emails to the small but dedicated Fromm Institute staff.

As the pandemic evolved, and Fromm continued with virtual classes, even as in-person classes gradually returned, the team began to build for a future that included a full program of online, in-person, and hybrid classes and events for a growing community of adult learners. To accomplish that, the team needed a more robust technology solution with the capacity to manage all of their different program types from a single platform; make the student experience smooth and seamless; and reduce the amount of time its staff spent on technical troubleshooting.

The solution

Using Gather MXP’s no-code platform, the Fromm Institute launched a secure digital space, My Fromm, enabling administrators to easily create and manage courses, with streamlined discovery, registration, and participation for students, including the ability to make pay for courses and add donations.

With Gather’s secure authentication, students no longer had to remember usernames and passwords, making the experience smooth for students and reducing the time staff needed to help students with technical problems.

As onsite classes returned, Gather MXP's hybrid registration feature allowed students to choose how they wanted to participate--onsite or online--and automatically receive the appropriate confirmations, reminders, and instructions that matched their preferred mode of participation.

The results

  • 60% increase in enrollment from previous year
  • 90% reduction in staff time spent on student technical support
  • 33% increase in donations, both in number of donors and overall amount of contributions
Gather’s made it much easier for our students and much easier for us. Learning is back to being a joy, and we can get back to focusing 
on students.” —Derek Leighnor, Executive Director

“Gather’s made it much easier for our students and much easier for us,” explained Fromm Institute Executive Director Derek Leighnor. “Learning is back to being a joy, and we can get back to focusing on students.”

Looking ahead

Gather’s MXP proved to be a powerful partner to Fromm in improving their students experience, as well as giving a small team with limited bandwidth the tools it needs to serve its community.

The Fromm team is now using Gather MXP’s digital content library feature to organize its entire digital content archive of past courses in one place and offer subscription-based offerings to both current students, new students, and institutional partners like nursing homes and long-term care facilities that want to be able to access high quality content on-demand.

Read the full case study here.

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