Learning to love digital 

How e-signing can help the education sector get rid of paper and support hybrid learning 

How will the class of 2025 remember their school days? The current cohort is definitely experiencing something different, with classroom closures, video instruction, and distance learning platforms quickly becoming a standard part of the school and university experience.

Like every sector, education has had to ramp up digital transformation efforts to operate effectively through the crisis. Even before the pandemic hit, more than a third of students reported taking at least one class online. That’s put digital learning and other cloud collaboration tools to the test — and a few have passed with an A+.

E-signature platforms are on that dean’s list of top performers. 

They save time and money by stopping the endless back and forth needed to get paper forms and other documents signed and approved. 

They also push administrative processes that much closer to the paperless ideal. Signing by hand with wet ink on a paper hardcopy is one of the traditional processes most resistant to digitization. It’s like a lead weight in an otherwise ultralight workflow. 

E-signing means you can let it go and finally link up the productivity tools and platforms you use every day to bundle capabilities.

So how can e-signatures keep the learning industry on track? Let’s look at how it can make life simpler for learners, teachers, and administrators alike.

How e-signing helps learners, educators, and parents

For teachers and lecturers

E-signatures help streamline and manage communications with students, teachers, and administration teams. Templates let you keep a baseline version of all your most frequently-used used documents and use them to speed up creation. 

When grades, forms and progress reports need to be sent out, you can deliver them in bulk to every student. An audit trail shows you how each document has progressed — showing you who's read and signed each one — and when. You'll receive notifications whenever an action is taken by your recipients. 

For administrators

SignRequest adds efficiency to document-heavy administrative and finance processes. Add logos, fonts, and other visual identity elements to ensure recipient landing pages reflect branding. SignRequest provides an easy to use platform that enables staff to collaborate on documents and create templates that make the most frequently used documents easy to create. 

With SignRequest’s easy to implement API, schools and universities can integrate e-signatures at the backend and let users and applicants sign forms digitally directly from the website.

SignRequest e-signatures are legally binding, and all information is stored securely. You can also blend SignRequest easily with other cloud productivity tools like Google Workspace, Slack, and more than 2,000 Zapier apps.

For students

Students can quickly receive and sign documents from any device. Teachers and lecturers can add checkboxes, set different options for document review and approval, and set an order of signing when more than one signature is needed. 

For parents

Parents can use SignRequest to confirm receipt of grades, reports and report cards. SignRequest also simplifies viewing and signing contracts from tutors, processing student loan forms, and other documents requiring parental approval quickly.

Parents can approve trips and outings, sign off on medical and insurance consent forms, and more.

Whey education institutions choose SignRequest

Dutch fine arts university ArtEZ offers its creative education program over a range of disciplines including graphic design, fashion, theater, music, dance, architecture, and interior design.  With three locations, 42 departments, more than 3000 students, and 900+ employees, it’s a large and complex organization with extensive administrative requirements.

When pandemic closures forced the university to shift to remote learning and working, internal administrative processes slowed down dramatically. Many were manual and paper-based, needing multiple signatures from a variety of administrative functions and department heads.

To overcome those challenges of distance and disconnection, ArtEZ adopted SignRequest for document management and e-signing. The easy onboarding process meant it could be implemented rapidly across the university. 

They can now create, send, and sign standard documents in three minutes or under, for an average time savings of 5 minutes per document.

SignRequest is used by education institutions around the world to streamline processes and enable hybrid approaches to learning, including the likes of University of Puerto Rico.

Cost-effective, compliant, and easy to use

Budget pressures mean tech investments in education have to demonstrate ROI quickly. Software licenses, modules, and support can be costly. Future-proofing is vital. And the past year has shown the education sector how quickly things can change. 

Schools and universities need digital tools that can be rolled out easily with minimal training. They need to deliver what they promise and delight end users. They have to make vital tasks easier and execute quickly.

If you’re starting the search for an e-signing solution, any vendor on the shortlist should offer those benefits first — at a price that aligns with what they bring in terms of value and cost savings.

You might start your research with a trusted software review site like Capterra or G2. They make it easy to compare e-signature vendor pricing alongside features and functions, so you see everything in context. 

Conduct a point-by-point audit of products and services, look at all the features you'd end up paying for, and ask which ones your students, teachers, lecturers, and admin teams would use each day.

Add to your digital learning toolset

While there might still be a case for focusing minds with chalk on a chalkboard, putting pen to paper for signature’s sake is totally old school.

SignRequest is intuitive, easy to use, and does the e-signature basics brilliantly. It eliminates the costs and inefficiencies that come with managing and sending documents by hand, and some of the most prominent organizations in the world use us every day. 

We’re helping schools and universities streamline manual processes and boost efficiency across departments and improve education outcomes.

Ready to give e-signing a try? Consider one of our plans and take SignRequest for a test drive. Or contact us today to find out more

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