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by Brian Kelly
Brian Kelly opens the IWMW 2017 event.
HE institutions are historically resistant to change, and this can be challenging and counterproductive in a time of unprecedented change and uncertainty. Brexit could have caused an identity crisis for the University of Kent, but we have chosen to remain dedicated to being the UK’s European University.
Changes in HE are coming at an ever-increasing pace and this talk will explore how we can become anti-fragile in the face of these changes. Anti-fragile things go beyond resiliency, but can actually grow and flourish in the face of uncertainty and stress. Can University systems, processes and people become anti-fragile to help meet the growing challenges where nothing stays the same?
The University of Dundee, like many in the sector, has been through turbulent times over the past couple of years. Massive deficits, voluntary severance packages and restructures of everything have been the order of the day for a few years now. In 2015, student numbers were down, we had no central marketing department to speak of, our IT services was in melt down, and when it came to web, we were feral in our approach. However there’s nothing like a good crisis to force change! In this talk we’ll look at how we’ve used crisis to get people to think differently and start to effect change.
Data: Beyond the Quick Wins in Your Student Retention Strategy (updated abstract)
Higher Education has long been a sector rich in data. However, the increasingly digital ways a student can, and will choose to interact with their university, has drawn a light to the vast number of data points which can be collected on a student – from wifi usage, to overdue library books. Students don’t mind giving you all of this data - provided they get the same digital experience at university as they do in other aspects of their lives. Data should empower you support your students better - otherwise, what’s the point?
Retention-focused tools and strategies can potentially provide a quick-fix, but universities who are striving beyond quick wins are taking a more institution-wide, data-centric approach to student retention success. Getting buy-in across the university is a cultural shift that everyone needs to buy into if this is to succeed.
Through industry case studies, research and discussion, Adam Frank and Esther Berry's session will explore the relationship between retention and the entire student experience and help get away from some of the stigma surrounding data. This session will also address how to open up the discussion of an all-encompassing digital strategy in place of short term quick wins, and explore the different solutions that can shape a successful student experience.
by Lee Garrett
The workshop will provide background into the nine key attributes we see a Productivity Ninja as having – many of these attributes have a key relevance to the IT and development community: the facilitator has used them as an IT professional to help dramatically improve his own level of productivity. He used to find that people’s expectations of an IT team, whether delivery, support or development, used to be far removed from our own limitations as a team. This workshop will help the participants understand their limitations as humans, work to their strengths as both individuals and teams and help bring the fun back to their working days as they will be stressing less, but achieving more.
In time of great changes for universities where the content provided on external facing websites is scrutinised by external agencies, and new policies make institutions accountable for the information they provide, it is important to find a way to check that that information is correct and accessible to real website users.
In this workshop, I will run a user testing session, showing participants all stages of the process, from preparation to completion, and presenting them with what I have done at the University of Birmingham to set up effective and ‘cheap’ user testing sessions. I will also provide participants with the documentation I have been using at every stage of the process.
Participants will take part directly in the process and will also be able to ask questions and clarifications during the workshop.
This workshop is aimed to provide participants with a clear understanding of the practicality of running user testing sessions, showing them that everyone can run such sessions in their institution.
by Lauren Tormey
Pair writing is a speedy way to craft content — it teams up content professionals and subject matter experts to write together side-by-side in a short session. In this workshop, we’ll first talk about how we’ve implemented this process at the University of Edinburgh. We’ll then demo the process, giving you the opportunity to either play the part of a content or subject expert. You’ll work with a partner to craft a piece of content.
by Tom Wright
With the advent of TEF (the Teaching Excellence Framework), universities increasingly need to ensure that they are doing everything possible to ensure student satisfaction, strong graduate outcomes and low drop-out rates. This has led to an increased focus on ensuring that university tools and services are meeting the needs of students and a drive to digitally transform the student experience.
Led by Tom Wright, Director of Digital Student Life at the University of Lincoln, this workshop will focus on students and how universities can make their digital channels work more effectively for them.
The workshop will include a panel of students, who will talk about their role in creating and editing content at Lincoln, and also give attendees insight into how students are using digital resources.
It will also give practical tips on how to make more use of student-created content across your institution’s website and other digital channels, countering issues such as governance, quality control and the practical challenges of how you manage and reward them for their work.
Large organisations, such as universities, face a huge challenge when it comes to presenting a consistent, easy to maintain web presence. Does this sound familiar: thousands of web pages sporting different designs, inconsistent corporate branding, and a poor user experience? This was the challenge we faced at the University of St Andrews when we began the task to standardise, simplify and consolidate our digital assets.
At the heart of our strategy to improve user experience and reduce the burden of maintaining disparate websites is our digital pattern library. The pattern library provides definitive solutions to common design problems that can be used, with permission, across the University’s digital estate. Standardised patterns offer a consistent user experience, design, and language. They reduce the cost of maintenance – they enable developers to build digital assets more quickly as the design decisions have already been made for them and tested with real users. A well-documented pattern library also provides opportunities for work to be passed to third parties, easing the burden on over-stretched in-house teams.
In this workshop session we want to share with you our experience over the last 18 months of building a continuously improving, digital pattern library. We will demonstrate the system we have developed (built around Node, Grunt, Handlebars and Sass) for collaboratively creating and documenting design patterns. We will step through our user-centred workflow from considering and designing what patterns we need, through to writing and organising the code, ensuring that everything is accessible and responsive, writing documentation, testing and deployment to the web.
Participants will be invited to explain their approaches (if any) to addressing the challenges we describe and to give feedback on the methods we have developed. If at the end of it all you like what you see, we’ll show you where you can grab our code to adapt it for your own use.
This workshop explores how cross-functional teams across the University of Kent went about the process of researching, developing and implementing their brand and content strategy for the institution.
by mariekeguy and Jon Rathmill
Data – it’s everywhere in higher education. From the REF to the TEF, in the DHLE, NSS, HE-BCI and POLAR3, as used in KPIs and collected by HESA*, as part of learning analytics, data-informed decision making and beyond.
This workshop session will take a look at where our HE data path has led us so far and considers the next step in the journey – Business Intelligence and using data for strategic planning. We’ll introduce the idea of a data dashboard, share examples of use and give an overview of the Jisc/HESA BI Analytics labs work. The challenge will then be to create our own dashboards in under an hour, working our way through from the research question and user stories to collecting data sources and designing the dashboard. It’s not necessarily going to be easy but it will be incredibly useful and lots of fun!
*All acronyms will be explained in the workshop. Bring your acronym buster!
Virtual tours are a very popular area just now, but they don’t just have to be a marketing tool – they’re also a simple way to bring everyone behind the doors of a university or college.
While it’s undoubtedly valuable that a prospective student can get a flavour of the environment they may be living and working in, tours are also a simple way to engage with other audiences – the public, the funders, alumni, the curious – and bring them into your institution. While they’re admiring your outstanding architectural features or hidden points of interest, you have the chance to show off your latest research, special collections or public events. They can function as a form of open museum and break down the perceived walls that HE institutions can have.
In this workshop we’ll use examples from our tours for the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Science at the University of Edinburgh to look at the technologies, logistics and possibilities of creating virtual tours:
Each section will be followed by a short time for questions/discussion, followed by a general discussion at the end of the workshop on the pros and cons of virtual experiences.
The workshop would interest anyone looking to extend a current tour provision, or in creating one from scratch.
by Nick Harper
Within the last 5 years, the scale of agile adoption has been unprecedented. This change has led to a re-evaluation of working practices, behaviours and outputs – not least for Enterprise Architecture.
In this workshop session Nick Harper (Head of Enterprise Architecture – UCAS) will explore how EA at UCAS has adapted to Agile and encourage discussion about where and when agility and EA collide, and how to solve the issues that arise. The workshop will also talk about some useful EA tools and frameworks supporting agility within EA and open up discussion about the positives and negatives of each.
11th–13th July 2017