Now available: online training for the new Student Information System
As Concordia’s new Student Information System (SIS) implementation continues to hit important milestones, training remains a key focus.
The SIS is based on a software package from Oracle/PeopleSoft called Campus Solutions — currently used at more than 25 educational institutions across Canada — and supports virtually all student-related and teaching-related administrative services, processes and business functions at the university.
As Concordia prepares for the transition to the new system, targeted training is underway.
“Training is paramount to help prepare people to ease into the new system and see that it achieves results in a much more efficient manner,” says Terry Too, SIS project director.
“We’ve got three different modes of training — instructor-led sessions, coaching for very small user groups and, now, self-study learning modules online.”
Self-study modules on Moodle
Concordia’s training team created a virtual training package using Oracle’s User Productivity Kit (UPK), a software program they utilized to provide simulations that teach literally hundreds of tasks and functions within SIS.
The self-study modules are available on Moodle to teach the most basic, common functions of the SIS and to augment instructor-led learning for more specific functional areas.
Campus Community is the first module coming online the week of November 10.
This is the mechanism for managing information about various members of the Concordia community, including prospective students, applicants, students and employees. It covers common and cross-functional topics that affect the admissions, financial aid, student records and student financials streams of the new SIS.
Other modules addressing specific functional areas will follow.
“See it, try it, do it”
“The self-study approach is visual, with step-by-step cues for what to click,” says Reham Mahdi, SIS training coordinator. “Users are introduced to topics in phases — ‘see it, try it, do it,’ and even ‘print it,’ if you like to have a hard copy as reference. You don’t have to progress until you’re comfortable and feel you’re ready.”
As Mahdi points out, “online training accommodates different work schedules and learning needs, and users can revisit the information to refresh their memory.”
To further ease the training process, there is a help menu in the SIS, as well as a telephone extension and email link for help in Moodle.
Users are encouraged to send feedback about the training to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An institution-wide transformation
Excitement continues to build over the many improvements that the SIS provides.
It supports virtually all key student-related and teaching-related business functions and processes across the university, including recruitment, admissions, enrolment, academic advising, registration, course and exam scheduling, student accounts, graduation, government reporting for funding purposes and invoicing.
As the system implementation progresses, watch for updates on how different components of the SIS will benefit faculty, staff and students.
About the SIS Renewal Project
The business case for implementing a new Student Information System at Concordia was approved by the university’s Board of Governors in November 2012.
Deloitte Consulting LLP was hired as the integration partner after a rigorous bidding process, and based on its successful track record of implementing the chosen system at other North American universities.