When people think of education, they typically think of pencils, papers, books, etc. But education, like any industry, is being swept into the digital age. Paper documents are going electronic, and there are a number of processes that can be addressed through imaging. Following are eight surprising ways to use document imaging in the education industry:
It’s probably not that surprising that colleges and universities would want to digitize the paperwork associated with the admissions process. What may be surprising is that the digitization can be done not just for keeping files on record, but to actually speed up and improve the admissions process. Innovative data capture applications are available that utilize OCR to automate the extraction of grade and course information from transcripts. And digital workflows can be used to ensure that applications are processed in a timely and orderly manner.
Most people are familiar with analog optical mark recognition (OMR) bubble test scoring. But did you know that OMR can now be performed digitally with more accuracy? Also, test images can be saved for convenient recordkeeping and even queued into workflows for distributed essay correction.
Like any organization, schools have to deal with hiring and personnel issues that require a lot of paperwork. In addition, in many institutions, there are credentials like certifications and clearances that need to be kept on file and current. Electronically managing these files ensures they can be located and tracked efficiently.
Like any organization, educational institutions have bills to pay, and invoice processing is a proven killer app for document imaging.
Schools are often heavily invested in real estate. Keeping digital copies of documents related to their buildings’ construction and maintenance ensures that nothing is lost. This can be especially important when something goes wrong and needs to be fixed. It can also be valuable for preventative maintenance, insurance, and legal purposes.
The sheer amount of paperwork associated with many learning institutions guarantees there will be multiple potential document imaging applications. When you start factoring in branch campuses or districts managing multiple schools, that number of applications can increase exponentially. Some school districts and universities have set up centers of excellence to serve the imaging needs of their entire spread of campuses.
It’s not uncommon that documents need to be shared among departments. One instance might be keeping advisors current on the activities of the students they are responsible for. Trying to assemble a folder of the appropriate paper documentation might require physical collections from a diverse set of instructors in different locations. Collecting digital copies of these documents from an imaging system is much more efficient.
Student housing and financial aid offered by higher-education facilities is rife with critical paperwork.
You might not think of educational facilities as the most lucrative customers in your database. But they always have income related to student enrollment and often government funding, and like everyone else, they are currently under pressure to do more with fewer personnel. Automation, driven by document imaging, is a great way to accomplish this. And obviously, educational institutions deal with a lot of paper.
Finally, it’s probably useful to note that copiers and printers have been a staple in the education industry for years. Not coincidentally, MFPs have proven to be a successful starting point for implementing imaging in many schools.