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.
Within higher education, digital is becoming ever more present – from websites and web apps to CRM systems, digital portals and social media. In the last year, St Andrews has bought in a new CRM system, launched a new digital prospectus that outlines all programmes on offer, and installed a new version of our content management system. Change isn’t just coming – change is already here.
These changes are putting a growing demand on us and our teams – from digital communications to IT Services to change management and business transformation. It’s increasingly untenable for our teams to do everything regarding digital projects, especially when simply keeping our skills up to date in a fast-moving industry is tough. Ideally, we need colleagues who don’t come from a digital background to take responsibility for some aspects of their digital outreach. But how can we make this happen?
At St Andrews, we have taken a three-pronged approach which can be split into three interlinked areas: standardise, document and educate. Find out why we’ve taken this approach, the results we’ve experienced so far and our next steps in this talk on standards, expectations and governance.
by Melanie Read
The University of London has to be a high-performing organisation that thrives in a changing environment. The university is moving into the concept of “One University”- an approach with common objectives, co-ordinated processes and mutual awareness are actively pursued. With students in all continents, digital communication, an international research reach and a desire to increase public engagement is critical and the “One University” applies more than ever to the University’s online presence. During this talk, Melanie will outline the approach taken by the University of London to address its muddled online presence, how they have started to sell its huge range of assets and develop a clearer user experience.
Institutional digital teams are increasingly being asked to devolve day-to-day decision-making and control to faculties and departments. Doing so without a strong, functioning system of governance, however, can be a recipe for disaster.
From ownership issues to legal ones, in this plenary we explore some of the common problems with devolving digital management to local users. We will also look at how to design and implement a pragmatic system of governance that can help overcome them.
In September 2016 Cardiff University launched a new version of our undergraduate course finder, powered by programme data from our internal student record system.
The aim was to create a single source of course information for course approval, as marketing to prospective students, to be sent out to offer-holders as part of their contract and as a reference for current students.
Aside from the technical hurdles we had to overcome, our experience delivering this project highlights many of the challenges facing University digital teams: maintaining a single source of information, governance and compliance issues, organisational change, cross-University collaborative working, and meeting the user needs of prospective students in a competitive marketplace.
IT Services at the University of Oxford has spent the last two years building a centralised web publishing platform. This project started as a small proof of concept to prove demand, and grew into a fully-fledged multitenancy (not multi-site!) Drupal implementation hosted in the cloud with Acquia.
This project had to contend with several firsts, including: first project for a newly formed web team, first agile project for the team members, first software development to use automated deployment and testing, first home grown application to be hosted in the cloud, first project to be funded through incremental investment. At the same time, the project also encountered some familiar challenges, notably the governance framework for delivering a highly accessible SaaS platform in a 900 year-old University comprising many institutions and organisational layers.
The service has now been launched and we already have well over 50 sites built on our platform. We also have an ambitious roadmap with several significant architectural changes on the horizon to continue to evolve the platform.
The University of Bath is transforming its digital marketing and communications platforms. In this talk, find out how the team is building a publishing platform for the future. Learn about our product vision, how we manage development, prioritise feature delivery, and collaborate in a multidisciplinary team.
With fresh threats emerging from commercial providers of education and parliament debating the Higher Education and Research bill, universities are facing significant changes to the landscape within which they operate. Indeed, the first UCAS analysis for 2017 shows a diminishing number of university applications, from both the UK and the EU. Student recruitment is becoming more difficult, as the pool of applicants grows smaller.
In order to better target prospective students and retain existing ones, we proffer that universities must find new approaches to understanding and segmenting their audiences. By adopting a holistic, data-driven approach, it is possible to define students not by age or location, but by what motivates them. This deeper understanding can be used to inform the design of digital services, tailoring communications to effectively service user needs, and developing meaningful personalisation to deliver engaging experiences.
In this talk, we will explore how this data-driven understanding can ultimately be used to improve both the recruitment of new students and the retention of existing ones.
Join the University of Bath’s Digital team and learn how to adopt an Agile approach to content planning, creation and delivery. In this master class you’ll learn:
At the end of the session, you’ll understand how to choose the right user research methods, how to capture and prioritise user needs and be able to apply Agile tools and techniques to content design, development and delivery.
You should also understand how to foster collaboration in a devolved publishing model.
This master class is for managers and their teams and it will teach you:
by Brian Kelly
The web-support Jiscmail list was established in the early 1990s to provide a forum for those with responsibilities for providing web services for seeking and sharing advice on best practices. Initially the list focussed on technical issues, but as the importance of institutional web services became apparent a second Jiscmail list – website-info-mgt – was set up to provide a forum for more strategic issues. However as described in a blog post entitled “The Decline in JISCMail Use Across the Web Management Community” published in 2010 use of these lists peaked in 2001-2002; in recent years use of the lists has dropped significantly, from a peak of 2,542 and 483 posts on the website-info-mgt and web-support lists in 2002 to 27 and 122 posts in 2016.
This significant decline in use of Jiscmail has not necessarily been echoed in other sectors, with use of the lis-link list by librarians having declined from 3,651 posts in 1998 to 1,682 in 2016. This suggested that there is still a willingness to ask for advice and share experiences across the sector. And perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised if the web community has been prepared to make use of a more diverse range of online communications tools, such as use of blogs, Twitter, Google Hangouts and Slack.
However in light of the diversity of tools available it can be difficult knowing which tools are appropriate for various purposes, and the tools and services themselves may not be as effective as they could be if they fail to achieve sufficient critical mass of users.
In this master class Brian Kelly will facilitate a session which will explore the various tools and services which are available, encourage discussion on their pros and cons, and seek to develop plans for a communications infrastructure for the UK HE’s web and digital community.
It might be the end of the institution as we know it and Bob Dylan predicted this way before REM even got a look in when he said “The times they are a changin’”.
So, as Web/Digital Managers, how do we best cope with this constant change whilst still keeping the web/digital ship sailing, at the same time as managing and supporting others through it, and maintaining a sound framework for our digital presence?
The answer could lie in Leadership and Governance.
Over a number of years Claire Gibbons has undertaken Leadership development training through the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and through the ‘Bradford Leader’ initiative, under the Leaderful Partnership. Her recent consultancy work has reignited a keen interest in Digital Governance with Lisa Welchman being her Digital Pop Star of the moment.
Come along and explore wicked problems and clumsy solutions; discuss the differences between leadership, management and governance; find out what type of leader you are; explore the skills needed to be a Digital Leader today; and see how small wins, standards and policies just might navigate you through the chaos.
AI, Data and the Student Experience are becoming ever more entwined. Whilst this presents many opportunities for Higher Education, it also presents much confusion. We’re bringing three experts, specialising in AI, Data Analytics and Experience Strategy, to deliver a masterclass on what this type of technological advancement really means for the future of Higher Education.
Join this masterclass to break through the AI buzzwords and learn what is really needed to bring AI into your digital-first strategy (hint: it begins and ends with data).
By the end of this masterclass you will know:
by Paul Hoskins
Universities generally make decisions based on empirical evidence. And, historically, this has worked. It’s a tried and tested approach: logical, reliable, safe. The problem when it comes to digital transformation is that no one yet knows how things will develop and evolve within the next five years, let alone twenty. But a university’s success is reliant on working towards that future, regardless. As a direct result of this comes the biggest hurdle in getting board-level buy in for digital transformation: you’re asking decision makers to commit to the unknown.
In this roundtable session, led by Precedent’s chairman and founder Paul Hoskins, we invite attendees to join the discussion in examining and attempting to answer the following questions:
by Jon Bird
Organisations of every shape and size are embracing WordPress for a variety of innovative and imaginative and ways to cut cost and speed deployment. In this session Jon Bird will share some of his favourite examples of how WordPress is solving many challenges that enterprise organisations are facing. Jon is a firm believer that these lessons translate across industry and can help higher educational institutions in the same way.
Organisations left right and centre are ditching expensive, proprietary and cumbersome solutions in favour of this free, open source CMS. With this year’s theme in mind, could WordPress be the answer?
This master class will cover:
by Gordon Grace
Join Funnelback UK’s General Manager Gordon Grace to get a hands-on understanding of how to get the best out of search at your institution.
The master class session will be a hands-on affair, focusing on Site search best practice and opening the door on new users-cases for search within higher educational institutions.
The battle for students (at home and abroad) has placed an increased emphasis on proving and improving ROI from digital marketing spend. As higher education embraces this reality it must turn to eCommerce giants (airlines, banks etc.) and adopt their conversion ethos and their data analytic strategies. This talk will outline some of these techniques including personalisation, predictive analytics and CRM ‘student’ life-cycle integration.
by Paul Boag
Working in a University Digital Team can be a thankless task. Your expertise is often overlooked. The value of digital is under appreciated and you have little control over strategy. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
Digital Transformation expert Paul Boag has worked with over 30 higher education institutions. Over that time he has seen some teams prosper, while others struggle. He has seen techniques that have empowered teams. But he has also observed mistakes that damage the influence of others.
In this practical presentation Paul shares these observations. He outlines tips and techniques that will raise the profile of digital. Approaches to win over colleagues and make your teams life easier.
11th–13th July 2017