Thank you for taking part in the Ideahub pilot, with Computing Services being the guinea pig.
There were lots of very interesting ideas, many of which we’ll be able to act upon.
We have looked through the ten most popular ideas to assess whether they should proceed, based on cost and benefits, and if so, how.
Allow Dropbox to be downloaded onto University PCs
The need to share large files outside an organisation’s own network has led to the development of services such as Dropbox. Computing Services is currently developing a solution that offers the added security and IP features that the University requires. This is currently in pilot stage and we hope to deliver it in 2016.
Central Information management system for units and programmes
Information management is undertaken by departments across the University, and IT would form one component of a solution. A coordinated process improvement approach offers the most potential benefits so I have asked Mark Ricketts, Director of Process Improvement, to look into this.
Link Moodle to SAMIS for entering marks
This is a good idea and Computing Services is working to progress it where possible. This could be in 2017, due to work the teams are already committed to, so they are going to approach other universities to see if they can accelerate this.
Allow PhD students and staff admin rights to install software
The University must carefully balance the desire to easily install programmes with the need to protect its IT infrastructure, as any unauthorised install could breach our licensing agreements. Computing Services will investigate ‘tiered controls’ to permit differing levels of access dependent on need. This will be part of a larger programme to improve the desktop experience for students and staff which will be delivered from 2016.
Ability to scan receipts when claiming expenses
This system was revised recently, and this included input from users and an investigation of options. The paper receipts process was retained to address security concerns and the need to retain physical receipts for some research contracts. Changing this would therefore not be an immediate priority for further development.
One single free wifi network for the whole campus
Some colleagues’ comments on the idea strongly suggest that coverage is an issue in some parts of the University, so I have instigated a coverage survey and the results will inform how Computing Services improve the service. To complement this we will create ‘top tips’ for best access, with a coverage map and how to report areas that need improving.
We are also working with other universities and Sky to change the name of our guest network “_The Cloud” to begin with a letter further down the alphabet which, perhaps surprisingly, will mean most devices pick up Eduroam as default.
Live Bus Tracker
The data on buses and their movement is managed by the bus companies. As colleagues added in their comments on the idea, the bus checker app is already available, and any new platform would use the same data. As an aside, all the reports are that the new campus bus service has improved the situation.
Signatures are required in lots of areas from SDPRs to broadcast consent, so to progress this Computing Services will contact those who posted the idea and comments to identify in which specific areas to start this.
Synchronising iTrent with Outlook calendars
This is a good idea with clear timesaving benefits so Computing Services will contact our iTrent provider to understand the level of work required.
Integrate Turnitin Grademark with Moodle for easy lab marking
The e-Learning Team (LTEO) is leading work to implement this functionality.
I will keep you updated on progress as these proceed.
Thank you again for your ideas and comments, I have found the exercise very useful and would welcome more sharing of innovation and collaboration like this.
Director of Computing Services