IT Industry Service Management Tools for Managing Large Classes

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Issue Date:
Filename Description Size
FiE__IT_Industry_Service_Management_Tools_for_Managing_Large_Classes-2.pdfAccepted version130 kB
Adobe PDF
Full metadata record
Innovation Paper: With ever-increasing numbers of students entering university, large classes are becoming the norm rather than the exception for universities in many parts of the world such as Australia and some areas of the USA. This is particularly true in technical degrees such as engineering and IT. Cohorts of around 700 or even 1000 students are no longer uncommon. With so many students it can be difficult for academics to manage the administration of these classes, taking time away from curriculum development and teaching duties. Hundreds of email enquiries grace the modern academics’ inbox, and in addition, increasingly there are multiple communication channels to monitor such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, LMS discussion forums, LMS instant messaging, and many more. The IT industry has had a long history of dealing with large volumes of enquiries or in the case of software development, ‘bug’ reports. Further, tools developed by the IT industry have increasingly been seen outside the IT sector to help with non-IT service delivery. This project sought to use IT industry knowledge and tools to manage the administration of our large first-year engineering class \emph{Introduction to Engineering Projects}, a project subject that sees approximately 1000 students per year asymmetrically split between approximately 700 students in the first semester and approximately 300 students in the second semester. To that end, in the second semester of 2021 (July – November) we implemented a service management tool, Atlassian’s Jira Service Management Cloud, to manage our large volume of student enquiries, replacing traditional emails and most other communication channels. While we discovered these tools can be complex to set up, once set up they significantly improved academic-student communication and communication management. The tool allowed for emails to also feed into the enquiry portal, simplifying where students submit enquiries to coordination staff. Staff found it easier to respond to queries, clarity on which enquiries had been dealt with or who was responsible for responding to open enquiries, and students found we communicated with them in a timely manner. A further trial will be run in our larger first semester in 2022 (March – June). We would recommend academics consider IT service management tools for communication/query management of their large classes, especially where responsibility for responding to enquiries is delegated among a team and not just a single individual.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: