IT Services

Annual Highlights 2015/16

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Providing your digital campus

Here are our highlights for the 2015/16 academic year

We scored 93% in this year's NSS for IT question 17, up 3% from 90% in 2015

We continue to expand our creative media services to meet academic growth and student demand

We created an additional multi-purpose media suite equipped with editing facilities

We transformed an old conference room into a state-of-the-art digital radio studio

We built a dedicated media facilities office and set up an online booking system to make it easier for students to loan equipment

Our Videographers filmed Essex Abroad students in and around Europe for a series of promotional videos

We worked on an innovative video project to capture the Essex journey through the eyes of a student

With over 40 thousand views, this is the University's most watched video to date

We partnered with Lynda.com to improve digital literacy through online video training

We delivered over 35 engagement activities to staff and students to promote Lynda.com

So far, Lynda.com is proving to be really popular with everyone

We gave Pocket Essex a boost by adding more features and links, including access to Welcome Week events and guides

We introduced A3 printing and reduced our colour printing costs for students

Was Now
A4 colour single-sided 35p 20p
A4 colour double-sided 35p 30p
A3 colour single-sided 70p 40p
A3 colour double-sided 70p 60p

We opened the new 40-seater IT lab N featuring desktop charging points and four large presentation screens

We refreshed our Colchester Campus IT lab map

We installed specialist audio equipment to create the Interpreting Lab (Constable Building)

We equipped 20 seminar rooms in the North Teaching Centre with advanced AV including dual short-throw projectors

We installed new high-spec computers in the social research ESSEXLab

We extended Listen Again to deliver on-demand recordings and innovative video feedback to nursing students

For this work, we were featured at the 2015 Panopto Conference, and were finalists at the 2016 UBTech/Harmon Innovation Awards in Las Vegas

To help our staff stay safe online, we introduced a new online information security awareness course

We made it easier to change your password

To meet the growing demand for wifi, we increased our capacity by adding more access points and authentication servers

Guests attending conferences at Essex can now connect hassle-free to a new wifi network called EventEssex

We worked with Estates to make it easier to pay for parking and manage your permit online

We re-engineered Course Finder to make it easier for students to find and compare courses on the web and on any device

We've created Direct Admissions, a new online service that applicants and recruitment agents will be able to use to apply directly to Essex

We developed new identity management software to help Admissions staff identify applicants applying from different sources more quickly and easily

We've further enhanced our telephone services by replacing analogue infrastructure with digital technology

This work has improved our telephone resilience and capacity, and controlled maintenance costs

In the month of October 2016, we logged a record 3,467 support requests in our incident management software

We implemented powerful new website search software to provide better results

We optimised the University website to greatly reduce page loading times for users browsing from Asia

We moved East 15 Acting School's paper-based student application form to a new online system

We developed new software to automatically upload scanned visa and passport documents at Registration

This software has saved staff a significant amount of time post-registration, and nearly eliminates the chance of human error

We completed a successful pilot of a new personal tutoring system with the Essex Business School, which is now being rolled out to all departments

We've introduced 'tap and release' printing on our print-copy-scan devices to reduce the amount of printing waste

At Southend Campus, 'tap and release' has so far saved 13,988 printed pages - that's 10.3% of a tree!

Looking ahead

We've begun work on capital projects to improve our data backup systems and to introduce a High Performance Computing service

We're implementing IT Service Management best practice (ITIL) to improve how we deliver our services

We're working with Communications and digital agencies to implement the content management system for the new University website

We're working on improvements to our online coursework submission and feedback service (FASER) to make it faster and easier to use

We're creating a new media facility for streaming live TV interviews from Essex to international broadcasters

We're setting up a network of Data Champions to make sure everyone knows how to keep our information safe

Work is under way to test a wide range of software and systems in preparation for the University-wide upgrade to Windows 10 and Office 2016

Here's to another successful year!