When it comes down to education, every student strives to get into the best university. The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign is one such university. For those who don’t know, this is a public university with a grant research niche and it operates under the Institution of the University of Illinois. It has been around since 1867, which means there is a legacy.
However, even if it’s old, it’s still moving forward with the other world. That’s because they are embracing technology and have launched UIUC self service to make students more independent. So, if you would like to know more about this service, we are sharing all the details you need to know.
What Is UIUC Self Service?
As the name suggests, UIUC self service enables the students to have access to important notes without running after professors. In fact, the students will have access to their academic as well as personal information that’s fed into the university’s systems. There is an option to register for classes (imagine not having to stand in line to get an application form).
What we love about UIUC self service is that students can check out the class schedule rather than asking the CR to provide information. From the dashboard, students can pay fees. In case you need financial aid, the information can be collected from the same dashboard, so you can apply for financial aid as well.
On top of everything, when the results are announced, they are updated on this platform, which means you can check out the grades as well as the transcripts. In fact, you can print the transcript if you need for paperwork. Lastly, there is an option to update the contact information without going through long processes.
Is UIUC Self Service for Faculty As Well?
Of course, UIUC self service isn’t only for students because the faculty and advisors also have access to this dashboard. When it comes to faculty, they have the option to check out the course sections (it’s a great help when they have to prepare lectures). In addition, they have access to class rosters. The teachers can also enter the grades of their students (midterm as well as finals).
On the other hand, if you are wondering how advisors can use UIUC self service, they have the option to access advisee information. On top of everything, the faculty members can access the timesheet entries as well as other apps, such as the salary planner.
What Are The Benefits Of Letting Students Manage Their Own Account Balances And Payments Online?
This generation of students has only known immediate access to information via the internet—with around-the-clock access to virtually. It just makes sense that our universities—which should be on the leading edge of technology and education—would offer that ease of access as well. This is why we love what UIUC self service has to offer.
Meeting this expectation can also greatly improve the efficiency of our business operations due to the decrease in hands-on processing. Since many business offices are being challenged to do more with fewer staff, providing resources that allow the student to manage their account directly helps us to meet that goal.
A growing number of students are also considered non-traditional, which means they are no longer coming directly to college from high school. Many are attending college while working and raising a family and may not be able to address issues with their student account during typical office hours.
By making access to student accounts available around the clock, students can make payments through UIUC self service, enroll in payment plans, consult FAQs, and send inquiries at times that fit their lifestyle. By providing virtually unlimited access for students to manage their student accounts, universities are not only providing quality customer service, they are improving the efficiency of their operations and meeting the expectations of our students.
Creating a Portal Like UIUC Self Service
Technology is the pen and paper of our time, so we need it in every school and in the hands of every student and teacher. This is how technology is used in schools today. Students from Generation Z who are used to using technology shouldn’t be held back by the lack of technology in their study space, especially in college.
Luckily, tools like mobile devices and cloud computing are already a big part of how we teach and learn. Together with the work of educational technology experts, these changes will lead to new technologies like augmented reality being used in the classroom to make it a better place to learn. But for all of these projects to work, the IT help desk team at the school needs to be on board.
Digital transformation (DX) in educational institutions, such as UIUC self service, depends heavily on internal IT teams, just like it does in businesses. A portal like the UIUC self service portal is a key part of an educational school that connects the IT service desk team to the people who need help.
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When thousands of students join and leave big schools every year, it can be hard for the IT department to keep track of everything. As important as it is to have a well-thought-out process for managing IT services in an educational system, it’s also important to build an IT service desk site that encourages a culture of self-service by making it easy to get to the IT services that people need.
Step 01 – Choosing Who Your Audience Is
Since computers were first brought into the school a few decades ago, people have found new ways to use them and UIUC self service is one of them. Technology has come a long way since the days when computer rooms were filled with big desktops. Now, each student has a small, smart device.
Today, IT service desk teams have to deal with a lot more problems than they used to because their customers range from visitors who only need Wi-Fi to teachers and students who need long-term access to a wide range of tools and apps. So, IT service desk teams must figure out who they need to help before they can build an IT self-service portal that’s as great as UIUC self service.
Most of the time, IT clients in schools are students, teachers, staff, parents, alumni, and guests. As the use of technology in education has grown, IT is no longer just a separate job from teaching or managing. In fact, IT has become an important part of how students and other users use technology because they use its services so much in their daily lives.
Let’s take a quick look at the IT self-service portals of three of the best US colleges and who uses them:
- The University of Chicago helps students, staff, teachers, and people who are just passing through.
- The IT provider, staff, teachers, and students are all served by the University of California.
- Stanford University helps past employees, people who work at the hospital, parents of students, people who want to do postdoctoral research, people who want to go to school, alums, suppliers, people who get paid, and retirees.
The layout of the school and the way the IT service desk team works are used to divide the audience into groups. After dividing the audience into groups, the next step is to create an IT or enterprise service management portal that meets the needs of each group. Before we move to the next step, you can also check out the UIUC self service portal.
Step 02 – Putting Up A Self-Service Website
End users can get to different services through the online self-service portal, which works as a gateway. Most of the time, these portals should do more than just hold the service catalog. They need to explain what IT’s role is in the school and give an overview of the services they offer as well as any requirements end users need to meet in order to use these services.
The old way of doing things versus an enterprise service management (ESM) way of doing things. IT service teams can build three different types of portals (UIUC self service is a great inspiration) based on the surroundings and the needs of the process. The first method, called the focused method, is the traditional one. It involves hosting several different self-service websites, such as one for IT, academics, HR, facilities, etc.
The second method, called the “unified approach,” is an enterprise service management method. It uses tried-and-true IT service management practices, such as service request management and incident management, and applies them to all of the institution’s offices and other parts. The third and last method is the hybrid method, which, as its name suggests, combines the focused and united methods.
- Focused Method
Multiple portals, such as an IT portal, an education portal, a facilities portal, etc., make it easier to handle requests in different departments.
- A Coordinated Effort
A single company portal that gives access to different departments, such as IT, academic and student services, facilities, etc. The self-service portal at Stanford University as well as UIUC self service has a uniform style.
- Hybrid Method
Some departments that are used often are put together in a single portal, while other departments are housed separately.
The Most Important Components
No matter what method is used, every self-service site must have a few key parts, such as:
- Subportals That Are Right for Each Group
There are different portals for students, staff, teachers, and visitors. This makes it easier for people to figure out what the portal can do for them.
- Getting To Know the Help Desk
This can include a short summary of your IT team, such as their names, what they do, when they work, how to reach them, etc.
• Services before they get there, such as helping them get university IDs and email accounts set up.
• Services when they’re at college, which include all the services for which they are eligible.
- List of Services
A list of all the services that are available to each end user. The service catalog is an important part of any self-service site. In the next section, we’ll talk more about it.
- Status of Service
A short list of all the services you offer and when they can be used. This list can also include any planned repair work that might stop the service from being available. For example, Ohio State University and UIUC self service a list of all its service statuses with information about their past availability, present status, service degradation, outages, and planned maintenance.
- Base of Knowledge
It’s important to put in the time to build the information base of your service team. The Wharton School of Business at UPenn has one of the best knowledge base repositories. Its IT team can handle all student onboarding through its knowledge base, which we’ll talk more about in the next parts.
- Dashboard for Executives
In every service desk, it’s important to keep stakeholders up-to-date on key performance measures, which show how much value the service desk team is providing.
The above list is pretty complete, but more items can be added or taken away depending on your needs.
Look at the University of Chicago or UIUC self service if you want to see a real-world example of a self-service site that does well in all of the above ways. The central IT self-service site at UChicago tells you all about the service desk team and all the services they offer. It also has a dashboard and platforms for different types of users, making it easy to get to their best services.
Step 03 – Making the List of Services
Now that the approach to the portal like UIUC self service and its parts has been chosen, it’s time to build the service catalog. There are a few important parts to keep in mind as you work on your service list. According to “The Higher Education IT Service Catalog,” a study by Educause, the four main parts of a service catalog are:
1. The service type, which is a grouping of services that are very similar to each other. Most service catalogs have between six and ten service types, which makes it easier for end users to find the service they need. There’s no exact rule about how these services have to be grouped, so we’ve given you a look at how different universities have done it.
ITIL® says that a service is a way to give the end user something of value. Setting up a new email account, asking for a software license, and so on, are examples of services.
2. The service offering is the ways or types of technology that an end user can use to get a service. Wharton, for example, offers the following services for each of its services:
3. All important information about the service is included in its characteristics. Some of the most important things that university websites like those at UC Davis, UIUC self service, and Ohio State University list are:
- A short summary of the service and a description of it
- The benefits the service gives to the person who is supposed to use it
- Whether or not the service is available
- Who the service is designed for
- Any prices for the service, if there are any
- The Service Level Agreements for the service
- A way to request the service, such as a link to the web form, contact information, or access to platforms and markets like Onthehub.com.
- A list of services and articles that are linked
So, now that you know what the four most important parts of a service catalog are and have seen examples from university service desks, you can get started on making your own service catalog.
Step 04 – Building Up A Body of Knowledge
Any self-service portal, including UIUC self service, needs to have a well-stocked information base in order to work well. A thorough knowledge base can help keep the number of tickets under control by giving end users the information they need to solve some problems on their own and encouraging them to do so.
Usually, articles and solutions in a knowledge base and UIUC self service portal are organized by service area to make it easy for end users to find what they need. Because Wharton’s knowledge base is so strong, the school mostly uses it to bring new students in and get rid of old ones. As part of its knowledge base, Wharton mentions the following groups:
- Wired and wireless connections
- Email, login, and accounts
- Printing and technology for the public
- Canvas and the tools for learning
- Apps and group work
- Look into
- Get set up assistance and other help
These information base categories and their service categories go together well. Every part of the self-service portal’s information base should have the following:
- List of types of knowledge
- A list of items that can be read
- Articles that were read the most
- The most popular stories
Also, each knowledge piece should have a way for users to rate it so that it can be kept track of how well it fits the category or purpose. These data inputs can give the service desk teams important information, such as:
- Which stories don’t do well and should be taken down or changed?
- Articles that are popular and can be moved to a more visible part of the site.
- Articles with average scores that need to be changed or made better.
Step 05 – Getting Students Started
Now that we know who our audience is and what the most important parts of our IT self-service portal like UIUC self service’s catalog, and knowledge base are, and have filled them out, the next most important step is to bring end users into the IT environment. Every semester, thousands of new students sign up, and it can be hard for an IT help desk team to manually get all of them set up.
In ITSM, the shifting left model means moving the problem-solving process as close as possible to the end user, ideally through a self-service site. When done right, this method speeds up the problem-solving process, cuts costs, and makes end users happier. Given how tech-savvy today’s students are, you might want to move the whole onboarding process to the left and use thorough, relevant articles and tips from the knowledge base.
Step-by-step instructions make it easy for students to join the university’s IT environment and then use the self-service portal to access services. For those who don’t know, the UIUC self service portal has the same system. This gives the IT service desk team more time to deal with other, more important issues.
Wharton has taken it a step further and moved the place where students get off to the left. In addition, IT service desk teams that want to automate or move the onboarding and offboarding processes to the left can use different processes and workflows as a guide.
In the end, these are the five steps needed to set up a self-service site like UIUC self service that will be the hub for technology in schools. Mentioning different university service desks and their websites is done only to show how things work in real life. IT service desk teams don’t have to use the exact settings, configurations, and setups shown here, but these examples should give them a good foundation to work from.