Today, student outcome and educational success depends on great instruction/lecturing practices, supported by the right learning technology. However, choosing the most effective technology at an affordable price is a challenge almost every University is facing. So how can your University make the best use of its available budget?
Here are four valuable tips to enable you to use your IT spending budget carefully.
1. Evaluate your current technology state
Begin by evaluating what you currently have, and how it is working (or not) in your University. As a major part of this review you should:• Identify any current IT challenges and what needs to be done to overcome these
• Evaluate the compatibility of your existing technology with your teaching goals/learning outcomes, budget and teaching environment
• Assess all the current warrantees or contracts and establish what has/is going to run out
• Address any security concerns
• Identify where you could simplify your University’s technology management
Determine how your college may gain advantage from new IT and, once you recognize
what you need to do, establish how your University can help you to accomplish this.
2. Replace out-of-date technology and systems
Keeping old systems can hold you back from achieving the maximum potential and success - it can also leave you open to viruses and malware. Be sure take into the account ALL new costs prior to investment into any new technology. Be aware that a higher initial cost may save you money in the long run if it needs less maintenance and fulfils more of your criteria. Change can be a challenge but keeping older technology if it is no longer fit for purpose is a real disservice.
“46% of schools have either not upgraded their classroom display technology in the last five years, or do so ad-hoc as and when required.”
University of Huddersfield Study
3. Invest for growth
If your University struggles with finding the funds for ICT enhancements year-on-year, research how to maximise any investments you do make for long-term success. For instance, take into consideration cloud-based platforms and tools that don’t require extra annual upgrade costs. Make sure anything you invest in delivers benefits when it comes to future-proofing (e.g. regular free updates, less need to invest in new hardware, etc.) Look at where it might be more cost-effective to replace rather than repair.
4. Engage with your lecturers
By engaging with your stakeholders in advance, you can maximise your investment from day one. So, when any new tech is implemented your teaching staff will already be on side and ready to use the new technology to its full potential.
While the most known response from Universities to a decreasing spending plan is reduction of investment in equipment, there is a more beneficial approach to manage this challenge. By adopting a more strategic approach to ICT investment, as well as addressing your current budgetary challenges, you can make efficiency savings and maximise ROI.