During the Blackboard Academic Leadership Tour in November, The University of Groningen demonstrated their institution’s focus on the student experience and the role of technology to support the student journey.

Below is a summary of some of the ways that the University is improving the students’ experiences and the quality of education:

Providing Students with One Place to Manage Their Education Experience
The University supports their students through the delivery of a personalised and mobile learning environment called ‘Nestor’ which also serves as their student portal and provides educational information and resources that are easily accessible. The functionality of the Blackboard Learn Community Engagement module enables individual faculties to develop a tab within the learning environment to display all the relevant information, news, and announcements for their students in their faculty. In this same learning environment, students can select personalised widgets to add to their My Nestor tab so they can decide on what information they want to access including My Grades, My Current Library Loans, My Schedule, Available Workplaces, Balance for student cards and many other individualised and customisable features to create an engaging ‘one stop’ environment for students to meet all their needs.


Running Digital Examinations
The University set out an approach to deliver online testing including the submission of essay based exams up to 15 hours a day, 6 days per week. The main aim in going digital is to improve the quality of testing. Students can write essay examinations using a PC, enabling them to rearrange text fragments more easily. No more strikethroughs and arrows which has increased the quality of examinations for many students. Digital examinations have saved academics an estimated 6600 academic marking hours.


A Student-Oriented University
The University enables student partnership, collaboration, decision-making and involvement at the corporate, faculty and programme level putting students in charge of their own learning experience and preparing them for societal career aspects. One of the many examples of a student centric approach which has helped Groningen in achieving operation excellence is utilising students for the support of ‘Nestor’ their digital learning environment and supporting digital examinations. With logins growing from 6,000 in 2003 to 60,000 in 2014, students are a critical part of the strategy in helping academics and students in the adoption, support and use of Nestor. With every faculty in the university having its own Nestor Co-ordinator as a main contact support for academics – this approach is key to driving the widespread adoption and use of the technology university-wide.


Driving Student Success and Interventions using the SIS and Blackboard
The University has made significant improvements in reducing dropout rates and improving success rates at the Bachelor’s level. This is being achieved by developing an early warning system to highlight student performance, academic preparation and student support using data from their SIS and Blackboard. This information is easily accessible by students via a visual dashboard in Nestor of how they are achieving with their studies to ensure that they receive early intervention and support when needed.


Missed the Blackboard Academic Leadership Tour?
If you are interested to know more about some of these topics at the University of Groningen, please click here to view the presentations.

For more information about how Groningen are working in partnership with Blackboard, contact us at AskUs@Blackboard.com

Related Posts

Share This Article

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Email