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Reinventing the student experience with Georgetown University


Learn, mentor, reflect, transform: creating an integrated student hub with Salesforce Experience Cloud

Georgetown University is the oldest and largest Catholic and Jesuit university in America. Today, Georgetown is a major student-centered, international research university, offering programs in Washington, D.C.; Doha, Qatar; and around the world.

Prior to working with Traction on Demand, Georgetown University students had an online experience similar to most education institutions. Students would log on to an online portal where they could view enrolments, classes and grades, but what Georgetown aimed to do was move beyond a simple information portal.

Today we know that learning isn’t just about knowledge and skills, but something much broaderDouglas R. Little AVP, Academic and Advancement Systems, Georgetown University

“Today we know that learning isn’t just about knowledge and skills, but something much broader,” said Douglas R. Little AVP, Academic and Advancement Systems, Georgetown University. “It’s about mindset, disposition and values. We don’t just want to understand academic experiences but the whole range of student experiences and how they come together as an integrated whole to form a narrative.”

Transforming the student journey

Georgetown University asked themselves, how can we create a hub so students can track their progress towards non-academic objectives, from leadership competencies, to philanthropic activities, to help with their holistic development? Furthermore, how can we encourage our students to use the tool?

Looking to include their students in each step of the process, Dr. Randy Bass, Vice President for Strategic Education Initiatives and Professor of English at Georgetown University, asked students to look at the university as a design problem and frame innovative thinking around creating an online hub for the University.

Students were asked to imagine the next version of their University and design a product that encouraged student growth and acted as an anchor for lifelong learning. Georgetown then enlisted the help of Traction on Demand, providing our team with approximately 10 student projects as inspiration to build an initial proof of concept.

What is an Integrated Learner Record?

“Georgetown is dedicated to Cura Personalis or developing and caring for the whole person,” said Doug. “The connections students make, the skills students acquire, and the learning experiences in which students engage that are not captured on the transcript are oftentimes what shapes students’ development the most and are what ties them most closely to their alma mater.”


Georgetown University was looking to utilize the power of Salesforce Lightning Communities and build upon their existing student community to create what’s known as an Integrated Learner Record; A hub where students can capture, not just information vital for future career development, but also connections, skill acquisitions, and non-transcript based experiential learning activities to them in tracking and understanding their personal and academic growth.

Bringing student vision to life

Traction on Demand (ToD) created a proof of concept that transformed Georgetown students’ vision into reality. Leveraging their existing Salesforce Community platform, ToD created an Integrated Learner Record that provides students, advisors, peers and mentors an engaging way to interact, while empowering students to grow holistically.

“Georgetown approached us with this incredible opportunity to create something truly unique,” said Dylan Petter, Higher Education Practice Lead at Traction on Demand. “Most of us have been through the higher education pathway and we remember what our student portals looked like. This project really captured our imagination and challenged the entire team to think outside the box.”

Comprehensive learner record

The Integrated Learning Record shifts from an information-based platform to one that focuses on using technology to empower students’ holistic growth and learning. This app, which can be easily accessed via mobile or desktop is a place where students and advisors can capture data that is vital for student’s future career development, skill acquisitions, and non-transcript based experiential learning activities; ultimately assisting students track and understand their personal and academic growth.

“The Integrated Learning Record will allow students to reflect upon their areas of skills and need for growth, be able to make better meaning of their developmental journey, and help build CVs, graduate school applications, job applications, and tell their story in more meaningful and impactful ways,” said Doug.

The Integrated Learner Record has the following features:

  1. Recommendation Engine: A key feature of the Integrated Learning Record is the Recommendation Engine. This was developed by Traction on Demand to help surface new student experience opportunities based on their preferences. Once a student has selected the main competencies they want to track, an automated process in Salesforce identifies clubs, courses, events, and other resources to recommend to the student.
  2. Student Homepage: The Integrated Learner Record allows students to see more than grades and classes. Students can now view weekly highlights, competency progress, advisor recommendations and input student reflections within an engaging, mobile-enabled interface.
  3. Advisor Dashboard: Student Advisors can also access the Integrated Learner Record to help them build more meaningful relationships with students and identify opportunities for growth.

A connected campus

Georgetown has created a hub for students to reflect deeply on the relationships, events, experiences, and learning moments that impact their college experience and provides advisers and mentors critical information to help students reach their full potential.

We could not have tackled a project this ambitious...without the talented and committed team from Traction on Demand, who shared not only our vision but our institutional values.

“Georgetown is very excited about our Integrated Learner Record because it leverages the power and flexibility of the Salesforce platform to carry out the central mission of universities—maximizing the learning, growth, and development of our students,” said Doug.

“We could not have tackled a project this ambitious and produced a prototype so quickly without the talented and committed team from Traction on Demand, who shared not only our vision but our institutional values."

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