CAUDIT Analysis Part 1
Since 2006, the Council of Australian University Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) has undertaken an annual survey of higher education institutions in Australia and New Zealand to determine the Top Ten issues affecting their usage of Information Technology (IT).
To help our customers get the most out of this report, JDS has analysed the results and is offering a series of insights into how best to address these pressing issues and associated challenges.
Here we take a look at the first technology-related issue.
Issue 1: Student Success Technologies
“Improving student outcomes through an institutional approach that strategically leverages technology.”
For the third year in a row, “student success technologies” has been identified as the highest priority issue within the higher education sector in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to having the appropriate technologies in place, focus is turning to the analysis of the vast volume of data that most institutions collect with these technologies. Doing this effectively and in real time can assist in the decision making process ensuring appropriate actions and limited resources are used to their maximum benefit.
In many cases, institutions have already invested in technologies to support student success, but often these are not being leveraged to their fullest potential, or have not been integrated with other available technologies to provide an improved solution to support student, teacher and researcher success. If persisting with these technologies, the attraction and benefit of new and emerging technologies may not be fully realised if built upon this below-performing foundation.
It is one thing for institutes to provide technologies that support student success but useless if those technologies are not accessible, available or performing at the expected levels.
Challenges and Considerations
Challenge: Analysing multiple disparate solutions, each providing insight into different aspects of student, faculty, and administration performance.
Many institutions today have a range of applications supporting different aspects of the student experience (for example: student learning portals, ERP and student administration systems, email and document management, BYOD enablers, etc). While consolidating this information and interpreting it through intelligent dashboards can help display the data, it won’t be enough to find correlations and provide beneficial analysis.
JDS can assist with designing and implementing solutions to combine real-time data from multiple disparate sources to provide a unified view via dashboards, analyse trends and interpret complex data relationships to improve the overall student experience.
Challenge: Ensuring that investments made in technology enablers and new emerging technologies are actually being used and are being used effectively.
It is one thing for an institution to commission supporting technologies and deploy them for use, however it is all for nothing if those systems are either infrequently available when required or performing so poorly that they effectively become unusable. IT departments and vendors alike are often guilty of assuming that the way a service has been designed is the way the service will actually be used. Understanding how services are actually being consumed, both in real-time and through historic analysis, can lead to proactive modification of essential services to improve effectiveness.
JDS has a rich history of providing and supporting End-User-Monitoring (EUM) and Application Performance Management (APM) solutions that improve service performance and availability and provide valuable insight into the effectiveness of delivered services.
Challenge: Using data as information to assist with early intervention to ensure student academic completion.
Institutions have access to large volumes of data on their student population and their progress, both current and historic, that are often maintained in multiple, disparate applications and technologies. Combining this internal sourced data with additional external sources (e.g. QILT) improves identification of students requiring additional assistance or those likely to require future assistance.
Being able to combine or ‘dice’ and ‘splice’ this information – across dimensions of discipline, faculty, geographic location, learning methods or any other demographic – can provide valuable insight into where to invest limited support resources to maximise the likelihood of student retention and success.
JDS can assist by leveraging industry best-of-breed technologies to interrogate, consolidate and analyse these disparate data silos to deliver information that can be acted on to improve overall graduation rates.
Challenge: Managing multiple arrangements and contracts with service and vendor providers
With new technologies and cloud point solutions, institutions face the challenge of managing multiple relationships between internal service providers and external partners and vendors. Services being delivered require monitoring and the technologies that underpin them will necessitate upgrades, patches and monitoring of SLAs. New processes need to be created and maintained. Help desks require additional training and knowledge base articles to be created.
JDS can assist institutions through the identification of routine processes that can be automated and ensure that new applications and services are integrated into their current service management solution.
With extensive experience across the higher education sector, JDS assists institutions of all sizes to streamline operations, boost performance and gain competitive advantage in an environment of tight funding and increasing student expectations. With more than 10 years’ experience in optimising IT service performance and availability, JDS is the partner of choice for trusted IT solutions and services across many leading higher education institutions. Contact us to find out more.