Thanks to KentVision Change Session Attendees!

Over the last three weeks or so, the KentVision Programme has held Change Sessions almost non stop. We opened the door, invited everyone in and got the conversation flowing. Each session is an opportunity to look forward positively, learn more about upcoming changes and understand what steps to take to prepare for the launch of KentVision.

The first raft of Change Sessions has come to an end, although there’s still much more to come we’re taking a moment to reflect on the last few weeks …

Firstly, thank you to all of you who joined us! That’s thank you for your time, for your insights, for embracing change and for all the positive reactions to the future with KentVision.

The ‘Introduction to KentVision’ embraced change by taking a look at the leap we are making from recording data to student lifecycle management, exploring the evolution of our institutional culture needed to effect this change. See how a reactive environment must become a managed environment for significant improvements all round in the presentation.

‘Business Rules, Deadlines & Reference Data’ illustrated the links between institutional culture, rules, processes and system functionality. Rules and reference data underpin the processes and system functionality in KentVision, view the presentation to get a feel for what sort of rules we’re talking about, how they will work and what that means for the way we plan and administer the student journey.

The idea was to open the door to conversation, there’s change on a range of scales to acclimatise to and talking about it can ground those changes in our individual realities. There was no shortage of contributions; the discussion was free-flowing and diverse in perspective. Ideal for rounding our understanding, clarifying where we want to get to against where we are and all the time focusing all of us to prepare in the ways that most suit our needs and daily patterns.

Jayne Hornsby, our Change Manager and who led the sessions, encouraged everyone to look forward with rules in mind:

If there’s one thing to take away from these sessions, it is the realisation that programmed process rules (actually, the University’s own rules) cannot be worked around or circumvented in the way that is possible now. Given the advent of CMA, that is exactly as it should be! It’s not easy to imagine what you’ll be doing in six months time, but certain things that we currently spend an exhaustive amount of time laboring over might just be taking care of themselves if we have fully thought through and committed to our own rules.

The point here is that defining our rules from the outset and embedding them within KentVision powers a whole world of workflows and some degree of automation that means we can concentrate on our strengths and deliver to our full potential while the system does the background work. There will always be curve balls, there is no denying that, but this way we’ll have more time to deal with them!

There were many more points drawn out during the sessions that were received positively too:

  • The majority of users will access KentVision on the web and it is easily accessible from most locations. If you have access to the web and your credentials you can get on system, unlike now, where you may have to use a VPN. Even better in the light of GDPR, as you will have no need to export and store data to manage it elsewhere when you can so readily work directly in system.
  • There is only one student number and one student record (ish). One record holds all of the student’s personal details (including their one student number), and course records are set up against this record as a new instance for every level of study undertaken. For more on this, see our paper ‘Student Instances’.
  • Every module change is validated against the published module diet for that course, so module choices and changes do not require manual checking to stay on course.
  • Awards are calculated automatically in system. Enter coursework and exam marks, and through the system they go – results are processed without further intervention and onward functionality is initiated (reassessment/proceed/award). No more retagging!
  • The clarity of process that will be created by consistent and fully observed rules and deadlines was welcomed, if cautiously! Colleagues were very much in favour of the clear expectations that arise through firm application of the University’s rules, although recognised that this will involve a huge cultural shift for the institution.

There were concerns too, but we were fortunate enough to be able to allay some:

  • Everyone wants to see the new KentVision screens. We promise they do exist and they do look great! If you attended, you’ve had a bit of a preview – everyone else, keep an eye out for more events and training videos going online soon!
  • ‘Will I be able to see xxxx information?’ Access – Another recurrent question! Under most circumstances, if it’s something you see at the moment and you will need to see it moving forward in order to carry out your job role, then yes! Of course you will be able to see that information! The difference will be that anything you do not need to see, you won’t – this will be a significant step forward in terms of our GDPR compliance.
  • No mark verification? Yes, and whilst it’s completely up to schools if/how they want to undertake checks, mark verification is not a feature in system. In KentVison, marks can be entered directly in a marks input screen by administrative staff, or via a preformatted spreadsheet that can be uploaded. The latter can mean less manual intervention during the input process, which is great as whilst anyone can mis-key, we actually increase the possibility of mistakes when we add additional pairs of hands to the process.
  • Week numbers. Teaching weeks should be considered separate from University week numbers, they are two different things with entirely different purposes. Whilst underlying in-system University week numbering will be 1-52, a week numbering system that reflects teaching period weeks as we have currently is also fine. Understanding the distinction of the two will just allow us to better navigate where the two cross paths. The University week numbers are not obtrusive in KentVision, and you’re more likely to navigate by date; date will actually be what is surfaced as the primary reference, and there will be a look up to refer to if needed as well. There is much more to read on this, if you’re interested see the paper ‘University Week Numbering’.

A day without a Change Session now feels like it has something missing, and none of us like it when there’s something missing. So for you and for us, it won’t be long before there is a new selection of sessions for you to come along to. We encourage that everyone who can takes the opportunity to join us at relevant sessions – we are here to introduce the changes and guide everyone through them too. Keep an eye out for more sessions here. And get in touch or browse our SharePoint site, in particular the Student Lifecycle Library, for information in the meantime.

And just to remind everyone, when you sign up to a session you are saving one of a limited number of places – a place that is very likely also wanted by another. With your colleagues in mind, please do tell us if you cannot make a session you have signed up to. It is incredibly unfortunate that we were not able to accommodate everyone who wanted to attend the recent sessions, and even more unfortunate that there turned out to be lots of free spaces those refused individuals could have taken on the day.