The year 2020 has been primarily about preparation and strategy making for the Student Services team, including the department dealing with digital development. Students’ needs were assessed and international examples were analysed to gather ideas for initial developments. One of the key findings of the research is that students get most of their information about university life from their peers, and rely primarily on the opinions of their fellow students about their perception of the university.
Another important lesson learned is that students want to make the most of their university years, take advantage of as many opportunities as possible and spend as little time as possible on the administrative aspects of university life.
The digital innovation team has set up a digital development strategy in response to student feedback. In 2020, we saw the first steps of the implementation of the strategy with the development of the MyCorvinus app, the renewal of the university’s website and the launch of the Intézd Online (Do It Online) platform for student administration. It doesn’t stop there, and the really big plans will start to materialise.
A student mentoring system is being built
The most significant development this year will be the first stage of the development of the student mentoring system, which, according to Péter Major, will be the “most beautiful task” of all. He said that the University envisages a solution where all students would receive continuous support from the start of their studies until graduation, both online and offline, based on counselling: “We want to provide the student with as many recommendations as possible to help them achieve their career goals, and the system can suggest Erasmus scholarship destinations, courses to take, student organisations that match their interests and many other ways to get them closer to their career goals.”
It is important to point out that this is a completely unique solution, which has not been seen to work in other universities as a single solution. Partial solutions, such as drop-out protection, exist in several institutions, but no such comprehensive support platform based on student needs has been found. Dr. Éva Bodnár, the head of the Teacher Training and Digital Learning Centre, took a leading role in the professional and content development of the completely unique concept and in addition to her methodological knowledge, she also supports the professional work with her teaching experience.
“We are currently putting together the concept of the system, which is just as important as the actual development,” said Péter Major, adding that they would also like to incorporate machine learning algorithms into the system, in order to make better use of the large amount of data generated in the system. This would also allow important internal feedback to the university’s management. With the right amount of data, it would be possible to see more accurately, for example, why students drop out of a course.
In total, 13 process groups are planned to be covered by the mentoring system, six of which will be ready in 2021, so that students enrolling in certain degree programmes in autumn 2021 can be the first to try out and use the functions.
This year, student feedback will be renewed, as the current situation is that students can always give their feedback after the end of each semester, and it is questionable how accurate it is if the University only receives feedback in one feedback session for a 15-week period. They would also like to include the MyCorvinus application in the process, and it is also possible that the Microsoft Teams interface will be used for evaluation.
Another major development will be the renewal of the international student application process, which is also under continuous development and is expected to be launched in 2022.
More efficient online administration, developing an application
The current systems are also constantly being improved, and students can now request help on the Intézd Online platform, which has 70 processes, but they want to take its operation to a one step more professional level. “We’re making it easier for students to find solutions to their problems quickly with a free word search, but we also need to introduce a case management system, which is currently being selected,” said Péter Major
The aim is that students can search the Student Services knowledge base to find the answers to most questions, but if they need more information, they can open a new case with Student Services staff, who will respond to the problem online.
The MyCorvinus mobile app will be updated in July, and from then on, new features are planned to be added every quarter, including the increasingly fashionable “dark mode”, and also want to display important information in the comment box for exams through the application.
There are also plans for an internal system for students and staff to find news and further information of interest to them, and the university website will eventually be used only for communication with the outside world.