The recently-announced digital transformation program at ITMO University aims to assist the university in its development and expansion into the global education market, as well as the scientific and innovative communities. To make that happen, the university’s digital services must be flexible and quick to adapt to new goals. This program is also expected to improve the efficiency of the university’s various “life support” units and make the decision-making process faster at every level.
“Our main goal is to change the accepted approach to digitalization,” says Andrey Lyamin, head of the Open Education Department. “Traditionally, it has been like this: we take a workflow process and we digitize it. But the more processes there are and the more complex they become, it becomes impossible to optimize them all. We want to adopt an approach based on value and importance for everyone – students, online course participants, professors, mentors, administrative staff, our industrial partners, and other universities. First, we identify a value, structure a business model around it, and only then do we build a digital platform that follows the model using the latest digital technologies.”
Seven steps to efficiency
The program will concern the university’s seven core areas of activity. In terms of infrastructure, the creators plan to develop the university’s digital environment, optimize data control methods, and create as well as develop new business models.
“It’s important for us to keep these innovations non-traumatic for everyone,” explains Andrey Lyamin. “All of the services that already exist will remain. All of the new ones will become upgrades to the existing digital infrastructure, meaning that the users use today’s services via new digital platforms.”
Another set of tasks deals with education, science, finance, and university management. The program team plans to use digital tools to turn up the dial on the individualization of learning, help propagate the results of scientific and engineering activity, optimize the university’s economic and financial processes, and manage the university.
Call for ideas
In order to make the transformation process efficient and truly relevant to the needs of ITMO.FAMILY members, all willing participants are invited to join the process and put forth their ideas.
“We’re sure that there are people at the university who have long dreamt of seeing their ideas implemented in one of the aforementioned areas,” says Andrey Lyamin. “Maybe some of the students know what needs to be changed about the course selection system or how individualized learning tracks are made. Perhaps researchers or heads of labs have some ideas for ways to create research teams, find grants, and so on using digital tools. Or maybe, some of the teaching staff have long harbored thoughts about optimizing the way we assess students’ academic performance. Indeed, the projects can concern nearly anything.”
To submit an application, simply download the corresponding form and send the filled-in document to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Digital Transformation”. Once approved, the projects will be automatically added to their authors’ online portfolios. Financial support may also be provided for projects if needed.
“Most importantly, in your application you’ll need to flesh out the main idea of your proposal and what it would mean for students, for teaching staff, for our industrial partners, and other universities. That will be the main criterion by which we assess the projects,” concludes Andrey Lyamin.