Quality and Productivity Database

Descriptive Title of Proposal: MaTÉLUQ, the university web portal for TÉLUQ students
Year Submitted 2016
Awarded 3rd prize (Open Category)
Person(s) Responsible for the Idea
Name Title
Martin Noël Interim General Director and Director of Academic Affairs
Sabrina Tremblay Business Analyst and Project Manager
Amélie Bourgault Guidance Coordinator and Project Leader
Name of Institution TÉLUQ
Office Address 455 Parvis
Québec, Quebec G1K 9H6
Map It
Telephone: 418-657-2747 x5201
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Name (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Louise Boucher
Title (Senior Administrative Office of the Institution) Director of Administrative Services
Office Address 455 Parvis
Québec, Quebec G1K 9H6
Map It
Telephone: 418-657-2747 x5207
Email Address: Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Abstract

TÉLUQ is an entirely remote university that advocates quality and accessible university-level study. As such, it attracts non-traditional students who can easily access higher studies thanks to the program’s flexible approach, including ongoing registration. TÉLUQ believes in its responsibility to offer its students the best tools for their success. This is why it has recently developed MaTÉLUQ, a new university web portal that puts students at the centre of their university careers.

 

Launched in September 2014, MaTÉLUQ gives students an innovative way of managing their studies. In just a few clicks, students can access their entire file, including their program summary, course selection, performance indictors and various tools. MaTÉLUQ also allows students to receive messages of encouragement, reminders and study scenarios that reflect their reality and motivate them to persevere. This personalized follow-up is a humanized approach that creates a positive learning environment in which students can complete their studies at their own pace, take action and oversee their own education. This tool is therefore a key to their success. 

 

MaTÉLUQ also increases organizational efficiency, since it allows guidance staff to follow students’ development virtually in real time and thus better orient their interventions. The TÉLUQ staff has noticed that the kinds of questions have changed since the launch of this new web portal as students are now better informed. Finally, the shift to a digital platform, which was made possible through MaTÉLUQ, has helped reduce TÉLUQ’s environmental footprint.

 

Since September 2014, MaTÉLUQ is considered a virtual campus devoted to student success.

Criteria Please submit one paragraph describing how the proposal fulfills each of the evaluation criteria.
Transferability

The MaTÉLUQ student web portal concept could certainly be used, in whole or in part, by other teaching establishments. Since it is made up of various modules that students can access through a web interface, each establishment would be able to choose the modules it wishes to use according to its specific needs. MaTÉLUQ was designed with the possibility of adding new services or improving on existing ones. The majority of the information available on the site comes from TÉLUQ’s central database, which is used to manage student files. The site also makes it possible to access two other databases, one for administrative documents and student projects, and another for student services. Oracle reports can be used to generate certain documents upon request, including transcripts in PDF format. This approach allows students to download documents in real time. Since MaTÉLUQ is based on a three-tier architecture, the establishments acquiring the system would only need to foresee adjustments to the databases’ adaptability. Finally, the web portal’s development team could offer support to establishments implementing this tool and provide them with all the required information and expertise.

 

It should be noted that students who choose TÉLUQ as their host university for a class or two within their program have access to MaTÉLUQ. They then return to their home university with experience using MaTÉLUQ. This can be an attractive advantage for a university wishing to change its own student web portal to resemble TÉLUQ’s. In a survey of web portal users carried out in December 2015, 42% of respondents reporting an experience in another higher-learning establishment over the last five years mentioned that MaTÉLUQ offers a level of quality equivalent to the other web portals, while 50% of respondents said that MaTÉLUQ is of greater quality.

Quality Impact

When the overhaul of the student web portal was begun, a consultation was carried out with TÉLUQ students to identify their needs and satisfaction with the tools already being offered. These responses greatly influenced the orientation and objectives pursued thereafter. Among the objectives retained, three are directly connected to the quality of the services offered to our students and three others are linked to improving internal working processes.

 

The table below presents the objectives for the quality of services and the results observed to date. It should be noted that some data was collected from a survey of MaTÉLUQ student users carried out between December 4 and 23, 2015. Over 750 students took part in the survey.

 

Objectives

Results and comments

1. Offer students the possibility of managing their university careers dynamically and in a situation-relevant way.

  • 95% of survey respondents mentioned that the web portal provided them with an overall view of their university career, past and future.
  • 96% of survey respondents claim to better understand the deadlines and important dates in their university careers.
  • The studies management tool is one of the best liked and most frequently used MaTÉLUQ tools.
  • The web portal’s great transparency makes it possible for students to easily check prerequisites and better manage their files, among other services.

2. Simplify and facilitate access to relevant information and make it easy for students to consult it regularly.

  • According to statistics on the web portal use, there is a:

- 16% increase in the use of the student web portal since its launch in September 2014, and;

- 73% increase in consultations via mobile devices and 7% via tablets. The former web portal was not designed for multi-platform accessibility.

  • 83% of survey respondents said they consult MaTÉLUQ regularly, at least several times a week, as compared to 68% who answered similarly in a 2011 study.
  • 95% of respondents mentioned that MaTÉLUQ makes it easier to access their course materials.
  • 88% say it gives them easier access to the information they are looking for.
  • More than 91% of respondents feel MaTÉLUQ tools are accessible and user-friendly and provide them with the correct answers to their questions.

3. Foster student success

  • 82% of respondents say that MaTÉLUQ helps them stay motivated for their studies and reach their goals.
  • 89% believe that MaTÉLUQ facilitates their university careers and provides them with the tools they need to manage their studies.
  • Among the main effects that students have identified are:
  • Better organization = 47%
  • Easier access to information = 34%
  • Motivation for studies = 16%
  • The number of cases of exclusion caused by lengthy undergraduate studies was reduced by nearly 25%.

 

TÉLUQ is confident that it will be able to connect the dots between the implementation of MaTÉLUQ and an increase in its students’ success and perseverance. With its individualized profiles, relevant available information and easy access, MaTÉLUQ can only be helpful to students. Everything was designed to facilitate their remote learning.

Productivity Impact

MaTÉLUQ was developed to increase organizational efficiency and the quality of student services. The new web portal does indeed allow staff to virtually follow students’ progress in real time. This allows administrators to intervene in more appropriate ways, for instance providing personalized follow-up, proposing classes adapted to students’ careers and warning students about class prerequisites. Since MaTÉLUQ has been put in place, we have also seen a change in the kinds of requests for information that are made: since students are now better informed of the possibilities available to them, they ask fewer general questions and more questions directly related to their university success. The shift to a digital platform has also helped TÉLUQ reduce its environmental impact. A considerable reduction in printing is noted each semester as information is now available in real time, rather than by mail. This is a true added-value both for students and the establishment.

 

The following table presents organizational productivity objectives and the results observed after one year.

Objectives

Results and comments

4. Reduce the number of calls to Student Services and to guidance staff regarding requests for information that is already available on the web portal.

  • The number of requests for information is proportionately equivalent to that of last year, given the increase in our clientele. However, we have noticed a change in the type of information requested. Students are better informed and their questions are now more specific.
  • We have seen a decrease in questions regarding class withdrawals now that everything is online. There are also fewer questions about a semester start and finish dates, since students have a better understanding of their class deadlines.
  • Many calls are about newly available information, like admissions criteria and program structure.

5. Sustainable development: reducing paper mailings and improving online services.

  • Here are the new online student services, as well as grouped services now available through MaTÉLUQ:

- Class registration

- Changes in personal information

- Letters of confirmation of student status

- Access to administrative documents in digital format

- Prerequisites

- Transcripts

- Management of favourite classes in view of future registration

- Posting graded schoolwork

- Requests for test and end-of-class postponements

  • Online class registration has reduced by 8% the number of rejected registration requests that then require intervention by hand.
  • Before MaTÉLUQ, 45,000 unofficial transcripts were mailed each year. Students now have access to these documents online. If they wish to have a printed version, they must file a request. Over the last year, fewer than 10 unofficial transcripts were mailed, representing annual savings of more than $100,000.
  • Thanks to official online transcripts, the number of requests handled manually has also dropped by 45%.
  • 62% of address-change requests were made online, which considerably reduces manual data entry.
  • With the increase in online services, not only do students have access to more services, but TÉLUQ has successfully reduced its full-time office positions by two. This represents an annual savings of more than $100,000.

6. Update the web portal’s technology according to the IT Service’s new architecture.

  • Updating software following MaTÉLUQ’s implementation has given students access to recent and effective apps.
  • The information available on the web portal is updated more frequently. The implementation of a weekly routine has improved the management of updates content and the quality of the information delivered.
  • There are now fewer maintenance requests for the web portal-related applications.
Innovation

MaTÉLUQ was the product of extensive consultation. It sought to further contribute to the success of remote-learning students by giving them greater control over the management of their studies. The design and development of the web portal were based on performance indicators to ensure that the portal is focused on students’ university careers. The ergonomics, presentation of information and design were proposed by a company specialized in developing interactive digital solutions. In this way, TÉLUQ was sure to present information coherently, attractively and uniquely. Indeed, 77% of respondents of the survey conducted last December mentioned that MaTÉLUQ is cutting-edge. The main innovations students mentioned were the web portal’s ergonomics and presentation (48%) and the educational support tools (36%), including personalized reminders, cumulative GPA indices and the posting of graded schoolwork.

 

There are several web portals that offer students follow-up, but these only present one class at a time. To our knowledge, no other web portal is focussed on students’ careers within their programs of study. What’s more, MaTÉLUQ is the only web portal to group all the tools students need to manage their studies in one place. Be it registering online, accessing their class sites, carrying out administrative transactions or turning in school work, everything is there to facilitate the tasks of these entirely remote students. The web portal is even accessible from mobile devices and therefore adapted to students’ hypermobility.

 

We should also mention that MaTÉLUQ was a finalist in the Web Solution category of the OCTAS 2015 contest presented by Réseau Action TI. This category is intended to recognize a private or public organization that stands out for its integration of web technologies to optimize its transactional processes with its clients, suppliers or partners and thus increase its productivity. In this same contest, MaTÉLUQ was also a finalist for the Coup de cœur prize, which is awarded by popular vote from all the submitted projects.

 

Finally, no project submitted to the Quality and Productivity Awards Program in the past five years compares with what TÉLUQ offers its students. The revitalization of Dalhousie University’s website in 2011 has several similarities in its set-up, but the site’s clientele, targeted objectives and content are completely different. It is important to remember that MaTÉLUQ is an interactive web portal which evolves according to students’ choices, results and careers, and it does this in the context of fully remote training.