ANU: Student experience comes first in our digital future

I feel honoured to be working at ANU as we embark upon a large-scale digital transformation that will not only enable the University to meet its strategic goals but, ultimately, make the lives of our staff and students much easier.

Improving the student experience, revitalising our aging digital infrastructure and adopting more cloud services are the first priorities of the University’s Digital Master Plan (DMP), and work is already underway in the new year.

The 10-year plan will see us embark on the biggest digital transformation in our history and is an important part of the ANU 2025 Strategic Plan. As part of this work, the ANU Information Technology Services (ITS) team will recruit new talent and invest in more development opportunities for existing staff.

Student First Program off & running

Some important developments have occurred in the Student First Program since our announcement of the launch of the DMP in September last year. Dean MacDonald has joined ANU as the Student First Program Director. The program is synthesising the work that has been done on the student journey at ANU to date and will develop a plan for our students’ digital future across learning and teaching and student services.

ANU Chief Information Officer Jonathan Churchill says the Student First Program team is engaging the University community on this initial work around the student experience as it forms the foundations of the program.

“Building broad University engagement and ownership is vital to the success of the program and anyone who would like to be involved is encouraged to contact Dean or Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education & Digital) Maryanne Dever,” Jonathan says.

“A business case will be presented to ANU Council in June 2022 with the initiatives designed to improve the end-to-end student experience, from application to graduation.”

Improvements for students & teaching staff already underway

Other work will see improvements for students and teaching academics this year.

“The Class Allocation Project is on track to deliver a personalised digital timetable to students through the new platform MyTimetable,” Jonathan says.

“During semester one, the project team will conduct a small pilot, roll out training and undertake full user acceptance testing in preparation for a semester two launch.”

New learning space technology will be installed at 24 teaching facilities on campus by the start of semester one.

“The Centre for Learning and Teaching is offering familiarisation sessions for academic staff to ensure they feel confident with the new technology, using it in a way that will enhance and complement their teaching approach,” Jonathan says.

Revamping our digital foundations & expanding the team

Meanwhile, the Digital Infrastructure and Cloud Enablement Program will improve the University’s core digital foundations, by upgrading and replacing aging platforms and providing contemporary cloud services and automation.

ANU has just launched a recruitment campaign to attract new talent to work with us during this transformational time for the University and to realise our digital future, Jonathan says.

“As part of this recruitment drive, we will be offering internships and graduate opportunities to ensure we are making the best use of our outstanding students at ANU,” he says.

“Over the past four months it’s become clear that I’ve joined the University at an incredibly exciting time. I feel honoured to be working at ANU as we embark upon a large-scale digital transformation that will not only enable the University to meet its strategic goals but, ultimately, make the lives of our staff and students much easier.”

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