November 28, 2023


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How technology creates an ecosystem of learning at Walden University

Founded in 1970, Walden University is an accredited university that offers online certificates and bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs in business, IT, criminal justice, nursing, education, and other professions.

I recently spoke at length with CIO Karthik Venkatesh to learn about how Walden is deploying the latest digital tools to enable a personalized student experience. What follows is an edited version of our interview.

Martha Heller: How do you define digital at Walden University?

Karthik Venkatesh: Walden is celebrating 50 years of being a leader in online learning and distance education, so, for us, digital is not new. Digital is about where we go from here to meet the needs of our students and faculty, and the strategy is made up of three categories.

The first is personalization at scale. One of our priorities is to enable our students’ success by helping them stay focused on learning. We do this by offering self-service tools, context, and choice, as well as creating a sense of community with the university. Our goal is to provide our students with the technological tools needed to help them keep learning, graduate, and be a part of the Walden community after graduation.

The second big bucket in our digital strategy is data, which we call data as a service—understanding our students and their needs deeply, so we can provide them the right help at the right time, is critical. We have developed a series of experiences, and we use data from our systems to identify what our students are looking for and focus on developing capabilities to enable them.

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