Technology and process
We will transform our student services, introducing improved processes supported by new and upgraded technology. This includes: Campus Solutions 9.2; Microsoft Dynamics CRM; My Manchester; My Placement; and engagement monitoring software.
- Students will have an overview of their academic progress in one place in My Manchester. This will include course unts, grades, progression status, and the criteria students are measured against to progress through their programme.
- When results are released students will receive relevant information at the same time, for example related to re-sit arrangements, wellbeing support or graduation. This will reduce both the need for Schools to send result communications, and the number of queries received from students following result publication.
- A new process for transferring grades directly from Blackboard to Campus Solutions will reduce the amount of time PS staff spend handling coursework marks.
- We’ll be able to assess students’ progression or award eligibility more efficiently: new Programme Enrolment functionality in Campus Solutions will give staff greater flexibility when building degree programme rules, for example by indicating where a course unit cannot be compensated for a particular degree programme, or where a programme has a higher year mark for progression.
- A new ‘Activity Management’ tool will replace Gradebook in Campus Solutions, allowing for more accurate build of course unit assessment structures, providing greater clarity for both staff and students.
- Our re-designed course unit selection service, optimised for mobile devices, leads students through the process in a much more user-friendly way.
- Selections are validated against programme rules at the point of entry, reducing the need for students to contact staff for help.
- Validation against programme rules at the point of entry removes nearly all requirements for post-enrolment manual checks by PS staff.
- Students will have a simple, one click process for recording attendance at classes, common across all their taught course units.
- Colleagues will be able to view an attendance summary of their students in My Manchester.
- With a common method of capturing attendance data, reporting will be simplified, particularly for students studying course units from more than one School.
- It will be easier for student support teams across the University to work together, and provide appropriate support when necessary, as PS and academic colleagues will have access to a single system (Microsoft Dynamics) for recording support-related interactions.
- Standardised digital forms will be introduced in My Manchester for these processes, and students will be able to track progress of their cases in a new dashboard.
- When a form is submitted, the information it contains will be automatically added to a new case management system (Microsoft Dynamics). Cases can be assigned and re-assigned to individual staff, improving our ability to manage peaks in workload and staff absences.
We'll have a single system, My Placement, to manage all types of student mobility including work placements, study abroad, field trips, group travel, PGCE, PGR fieldwork, PGR Placements, Summer Schools etc.
This will deliver:
- An improved, more consistent experience for students undertaking student mobility activities
- A clearer picture of student mobility activity for strategic/ operational planning
- Less duplication and clearer processes for staff
- Coordinated emergency management processes
- Escalation processes for high risk and complex issues
- Opportunity for alignment of policies/ procedures (e.g. attendance monitoring, insurance, fitness to travel etc.)
- Improved data quality and reporting functionality
- A new area of My Manchester has been launched allowing students to make one-off payments for tuition or accommodation fees digitally and manage their ongoing direct debits.
- This has already saved a significant amount of staff time, by replacing the previous phone and paper-based processes. By February 2021, 7,000 transactions had been made using the new service, reducing phone calls by the same amount.
- 3,000 students were able to provide direct debit details online rather than sending in a paper direct debit mandate which would need to be manually inputted.
- New process ensures the University can meet Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) regulations which require students to be provided with timely, up to date and accurate ‘key’ information about their programmes.
- A fully integrated Curriculum Content Management system is being investigated, that will:
- Enable us to meet CMA requirements more efficiently.
- Provide a definitive record of a student’s programme and any changes throughout their study.
- Generate key information for prospective, current, and past students in a more accessible format.
- New fields will be introduced at different levels, enabling us to store more detailed information about students, course units, programmes, and plans. This richer detail will allow for improved reporting, analytics, and data insight.
- A new component to manage and track Postgraduate Research activity improves our ability to measure our students’ research activities.