Integrating data has improved the student experience at University of Canberra by allowing thousands of students to access a “one stop shop” of information on things like exams, classes and campus activities.

The University of Canberra is in the midst of a “digital student journey” program, the largest ICT upgrade in the school’s history. The goal is to provide both the student and the university with more data on a learning journey and ultimately improve student acquisition and education outcomes.

“It was a conscious decision by us to have a deeper understanding of our students during their time at university,” says University of Canberra’s AI, projects and innovation deputy director, Kate Raimet.

University of Canberra’s AI, projects and innovation deputy director, Kate Raimet. Image: LinkedIn.

However, the organisation, like others in higher education, is challenged by legacy technology and often siloed data sources. University of Canberra uses iPaaS provider Boomi to link “archaic” and often disparate data sources, to give students access to information in a “one stop shop” platform.

The ultimate goal is to improve the student experience, Raimet says, particularly for those which may face additional challenges like rural students or those without a family history of higher education.

“Boomi’s allowed us to do that by pulling data in from, say, exams, classes, what’s happening on campus, and making that one element [students] just don’t have to worry about,” Raimet said Thursday at the iPaaS provider’s annual event, Boomi Out of this World Summit.

At peak times there are 85,000 logins per week to the student portal and Raimet says student satisfaction rates are around 70 per cent.

The next phase is extending the digital student journey to new or potential students, using data sources to help acquire and onboard them at the University of Canberra.

Testing a digital experience

Such a focus on student experience required a departure from traditional attention on research outcomes at the university, and, Raimet says, it needed to be demonstrated to leadership.

The University of Canberra brought in a small group of students to test the experience as it was being developed. It gave staff a powerful demonstration of the potential of the platform, according to Raimet.

“The wonderful thing about that was that we can bring in our executives across the university to witness it. And for them and helps them validate that big leap of faith we took [of] we want to focus on the student journey, putting our students first, make sure they look at University of Canberra and [know we’ve] got this understanding of my needs.”

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