The University of Adelaide has begun its 10-year IT transform program with plans for a campus centre where teaching staff, technology trainers and librarians can work on digital content development.
As part of a series of articles on new technology in tertiary education, CIO Australia spoke to Mark Gregory, CIO at University of Adelaide, about its e-learning transformation across education and research portfolios.
Gregory said the campus centre will be essential for the university to remain competitive, enhance student learning and grow research collaboration opportunities. The university plans to treble its investment in e-learning and “commit to a transformation that will see it recognised as Australia’s most distinctive university.”
He wants to enhance the university’s use of the Blackboard virtual environment and course management system.
“We are allowing students to audit courses and watch lectures as they are being recorded while fixing some instructor information integration with our enterprise resource planning [ERP] system,” Gregory said.
The university is also looking to blend software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps with its own core business apps and data, Gregory said.
“We will be building more mobile platform-friendly and virtual desktop offerings. Networks, storage and virtualized server infrastructure are evolving as well, driven primarily by security needs.”
A new system refresh within the student admin space – which includes enrolment, admissions, scholarship and study abroad management – will take place over the next two years, Gregory said.
“We are increasingly using externally hosted apps and currently building some of our human resources functionality that way but the driver is not cost alone- there are some very good apps available that will help make our business processes better.”
Turning to bring-your-own-device (BYOD), he said that this is already dominant practice at the university. For example, there are far more iOS and Android devices on its campus systems than desktops.
“Our Faculty of Sciences has an all-iPad based curriculum which has been very well received by both staff and students. We are licensing more mobile targeted apps, improving wireless access and shifting our security models to cover BYOD platforms.”
While the university does not have a BYOD policy as yet, Gregory said he is shifting all services toward the new reality.
“Standard operating environment desktops are going to be the niche offering,” he said.
Read about the Queensland University of Technology, Flinders University, the Australian National University, Monash University, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, the University of Technology, Sydney, Curtin University, and the University of Sydney.
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