Designing a University induction experience in 2020

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Equantiis helps City University London support students in these new times

The challenge

The challenges posed by social distancing, necessary to keep students and staff safe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, means that an in-person welcome to new and returning City University students might not be possible for 2020.

City were looking for help to digitalise as many activities as possible, so that they could be ready to implement an appropriate welcome and induction programme, in time for term start.

The Solution

Equantiis recommended that instead of digitalising all activities, we use the opportunity to review and assess, and then improve and map out, a desired welcome programme for new and returning students.  This would enable City University to ensure activities were optimised as well as designed in such a way that they could be delivered digitally or self-serviced.

The Result

The project was phased as follows:

  • Phase 1: Review and assessment of what currently happens
  • What activities are delivered?
  • When do they happen?
  • What’s the student experience?
  • What are the desired outcomes we want to achieve?

This enabled us to assess the complexity and value (strategic importance) of each activity, and the opportunities to improve and digitalise.  Equantiis then presented recommendations to prioritise and  an opportunity report for phase two.

  • Phase 2: Design

In the next phase Equantiis worked with activity owners to design priority activities, mapping out the underpinning to-be (desired) processes required to deliver.  Staff were challenged to consider whether the activity was necessary, ways to improve it and to think about optimising the students’ experience.  Mapping also ensures that City have documented processes for consistency, training and an as-is state for future optimisation.

  • Phase 3: Mobilise

Once created and mapped, Equantiis created a functional and technical requirements specification in the form of User Stories to collate the resources required to deliver the to-be welcome activities.  This enabled City to review what’s needed to deliver and ensure viability.

  • Phase 4: Recommendations

Finally, Equantiis shared the outcomes of the project and a high-level implementation roadmap.  This included recommendations for continual improvement and future year’s planning.

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"Working with Equantiis was invaluable in helping us to maximise the small window of opportunity in which to review, redesign and implement Welcome ready for the start of the new academic year. The feedback from all of the stakeholders involved was extremely positive, both about the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues as well the healthy challenge to redesign rather than just replicate digitally. Everything was grounded in terms of what students need and want. We also now have in place a roadmap that goes beyond 2020 and provides the opportunity for further and future improvements.”

Natasha Bennett
Change Lead, Change Support Unit

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