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The Challenge

Student information barriers & duplicated data

The University of Huddersfield faced a number of challenges prior to the implementation of myHud. Most important were the barriers students found on their path to the information they needed:

Students were unsure on where to go to find the relevant information;

Service silos - information wasn’t presented in a way that was user focused;

• Information was built around departments and therefore was separate and varied;

• The previous system had grown organically, over a long period of time and had therefore become unwieldy.

Information was duplicated and it had become hard to manage.

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Head of Engagement at the Students’ Union

Lydia Blundell

“Having everything a student needs in one place, on the app, makes it much more succinct and easier to access - students just have to go to one place and then are signposted to everywhere else. This makes it less overwhelming for them too, particularly if they’re just starting their course.”

The Solution

Centralised Solution & Additional Benefits

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Project approach

‘The right message, to the right student at the right time.’ With that mantra in mind, the myHud project was kicked off.
 
“The myHud platform needed to be the ‘shop window of university services,” says Lydia. The Students’ Union first looked at how the previous student hub worked for students. The Union then set-up focus groups where they listened to the voice of students - how they wanted the future platform to work for them, as well as how they interacted and what they liked and disliked with other popular apps like Amazon and eBay.
 
They were involved in the entirety of the myHud project in the steering group, working group, marketing (content) and project group. In addition to the valuable student input and the Student’s Union’s involvement, Shailesh Appukuttan, Collaborative and Research Systems Manager, highlights the importance of collaboration with colleagues to ensure the success of the project.
 
 
 
 

Student first approach

So, they’ve got myday; now what’s next? How do you ensure the best experience for students and easy access to everything students need?
 
The key driver for the University of Huddersfield in their implementation of myHud, Ready Education’s student engagement platform, was focusing on the students’ voice. “That the Students’ Union was involved from the beginning of the project highlights this collaborative working relationship and the key focus of this project,” explains Lydia Blundell, Head of Engagement at the Students’ Union. “The voice of the students was critical to this project.”
 

The importance of communication - closing the feedback loop

Throughout the project, the university has had a pool of students to communicate with and it was vital that the feedback loop was closed with a ‘you said, we listened’ response. The students also had the final say on the design - 1600 students voted on the final dashboard design and helped shape which tiles appeared and their order. This was essential in ensuring the app was useful and therefore accessed on a daily basis. Both staff and students needed to be communicated with about the app prior to its launch to ensure awareness and maximise reach on multiple platforms. The university put together a communication plan for both staff and students. It’s testament to the communication plans that the usage statistics now are as high as they are.

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SCALABILITY

Scope For The MyHud Application

Help is available whenever and wherever a student is. A student can find their resources when they’re up late writing an essay or they can check when the support services opens the next morning, for example. Day-to-day students use it for accessing email, timetable, calendar and their VLE (Brightspace).
 
The university keeps a ‘wish list’ for future developments, regularly engaging with students to ensure that the platform continues to meet and exceed their expectations. Any changes that are suggested go through a review process. The institution also engages with Ready Education’s Ideas Portal, collaborating with other peers in higher education too

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