2. Add a digital concierge for 24/7/365 access to campus services.
As part of this transformation, we also wanted to empower students to find and discover ORU’s campus services, technologies and degree programs outside of regular business hours. So, in 2015, we rolled out OneCampus from rSmart as our “digital concierge” platform. OneCampus is a cloud-based portal that allows us to organize our web-based campus services in one location, such as curriculum, academic calendars, email, events, athletics, counseling, maps, degree plan sheets, and dining services. It also has a Google-like search tool that allows students, faculty and staff to quickly connect with the services or resources they need from any computer or mobile device.
The result is that our digital concierge is now taking the 93 billion data transactions we do every semester and making them seamless and engaging for our students, whether they are in their dorm room or across campus or anywhere in the world. Further, because our digital concierge is accessible 24/7/365, we can make sure students’ needs are met even when the IT Concierge Service is closed.
Since launching our digital concierge, we have improved productivity and efficiency in our IT department by 40 percent. In just two years, we are managing 20 more applications with seven fewer people–and much of that is because everything is now centralized within our OneCampus portal.
3. Use telepresence robots to bring current and prospective students on campus.
In addition to organizing traditional campus services, our digital concierge serves as the portal into ORU’s Geovision technologies, which include telepresence robots, virtual-learning management systems, and wearables such as smartwatches and FitBits. The outcome is a streamlined technology ecosystem that allows students to more easily engage in our digital networked campus and complete their degrees.
Using our telepresence robots, for example, students can use real-time, streaming, mobile telepresence technology to take campus tours, attend classes, and even participate in graduation.
The telepresence robot works like standard web-conferencing but through an iPad mounted on a Segway. From a Mac, Windows PC, iPad or iPhone, students can wheel the robot around campus and interact with students, faculty and staff via live two-way video and audio streaming. For prospective students and current students, it is the closest thing to being on campus without actually being here. It is important to note that the robots, which weigh approximately 8 pounds, do need a human chaperone because they can’t go up or down stairs, and they can occasionally tip over.
Delivering education at the right place and time
At ORU, we use an array of technologies to accelerate the delivery of education while connecting students around the world to our whole person education program. No matter where someone is, we can teleport education, nano-byte style, to the right person at the right time. In addition, because students have easy access to campus services, resources and events, they are more engaged in campus life, which makes for a richer experience all around.