Skip to main content

Enhancing Student Support: Personal Tutors

Our new system for Personal Tutors system launched last week, as part of the University's Enhancing Student Support initiative. From now on, each student will have a Personal Tutor who will help them get the best from their courses, become more confident learners and meet the challenges and opportunities of University life.

Applications Division have implemented a simple IT system to support scheduled and ad-hoc meetings between undergraduate Students and their Personal Tutor or Student Support Team.  Both tutors and students can record notes of their meetings, which will then be available to those parties to view.

From our perspective, this project was made challenging by the tight timescales and ongoing discussions about the requirements.  The Personal Tutors system will affect staff and students throughout the university and was initiated late in the academic year, which left us little time to find out how people wanted it to work.  Different people had different ideas about what the system should do, some of which were very ambitious.  So the team had to focus minds on what could realistically be achieved by the start of term, with the emphasis on providing a system that did a few things well, rather than one that attempted to do lots of things and did most of them badly.

It is early days but so far the system seems to be working well.  The project team will gather feedback about what people like or dislike about the system and use this to plan future developments.  The long-term goal is to provide considerably more functionality, to be guided by actual experience.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

2016 has been a good year

So much has happened over the last year with our Enterprise Architecture practice that it's hard to write a succinct summary.  For my day-to-day experience as enterprise architect, the biggest change is that I now have a team to work with.  This time last year, I was in the middle of a 12-month secondment to create the EA practice, working mainly on my own.  Now my post has been made permanent and I have recruited two members of staff to help meet the University's architectural needs.

I have spent a lot of the year meeting people, listening to their concerns and explaining how architecture can help them.  This communication remains vital, the absolute core of what we do and we will continue to meet people in this way.  We also talk to people in other Universities in order to learn from what they are doing and to share our own experience back.  A highlight in this regard was my trip to the USA last January.

Our biggest deliverable for the past year was the design of the data wa…

A new EA Repository

One of my goals since starting this job two years ago has always been to create a repository for architecture documents.  The idea is to have a central store where people can find information about the University's applications, data sources, business processes, and other architectural information.  This store will make it easier for us to explain our plans, to show the current state of the University's information systems, and to explain what Enterprise Architecture is all about.

It's taken a long time to reach this goal, mainly because we're often had more pressing and immediate work to be done.  The creation of a repository is one of those tasks that is very important but never quite urgent.  So I'm now very happy to say that we are in the process of deploying a repository and modelling tool.


This is the culmination of a careful process to select the most appropriate tool for our needs.  We began by organising several workshops to gather requirements from a rang…

New staff for the EA team

I'm delighted to welcome Jason Murphy, who joins us as our CRM Architect, and Wilbert Kraan, our new Data Architect.  Both Jason and Wilbert have worked as consultants for several years and bring new skills and considerable experience to IS.  They both know more than I do about their respective fields, which is how I like to hire people.

So the Enterprise Architecture practice now comprises the three of us, instead of me working on my won, which means we have more capacty to guide the University's IT architecture.  We can offer a greater range of skills and can bring a wider range of experience to bear.  I'm really excited about the opportunities this presents.

As his job title implies, Jason will focus on contact relationship management, working to build a user community and to create a strategy for managing and improving the University's relationships with prospective students, research partners, community organisations, and other parties - to give them all a better …