Friday Aug 08, 2014

A Library for You

"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library." -- Jorge Louis Borges

I first saw that quote taped to a co-worker's computer screen in the early 1990's when we were all just beginning to explore the possibilities of the internet. Mr. Borges--who was born in 1889--could hardly imagine having access to so much information. It is arguable whether he would still think it would be 'paradise' to have the internet be so pervasive in our lives today. Nevertheless, the internet has made it possible for us to access and explore vast amounts of information that can be of value to our personal and professional lives.

Oracle's student solutions development teams travel to higher education institutions all around the world. They often hear comments like, "I didn't know Campus Solutions could do that!" or "What a great feature. You mean I already have it?" Not surprising, really. There is so much information 'out there' that it can be difficult to filter out what could be of real value to us.

So today we are just going to point out some places you can look into for more information about Campus Solutions and the new Oracle Student Cloud being developed. Even if you are not a Campus Solutions customer today, you can still access the public sites below. And, if you license any product from Oracle, you have access to the customer support site and can access the Campus Solutions pages as well.

 So start exploring. Information--your library--is just a click away!

Campus Solutions product pages on Oracle.com

New PeopleSoft Campus Solutions brief

New Oracle Student Cloud brief

Pre-sorted search of Campus Solutions Customer Success Stories on Oracle.com

PeopleSoft Campus Solutions demo library (on YouTube)

Using MyOracle Support for Campus Solutions

Oracle Events Page (search and sort by your interest, region, etc. There are two higher education-specific events in August. You can also subscribe to your saved search to be notified when new events are planned.)

--Oracle Student System Teams

Friday Aug 01, 2014

How in the world...?!

How in the world could any single software vendor serve all the needs of all the post-secondary education institutions around the globe? Considering all the different and changing teaching and learning models in higher education, how in the world could any institution hope to quickly adapt technology requirements to meet student needs and accelerating global competition?

Well, the answer is that all over the world, Campus Solutions customers are finding innovative ways to use the application's highly flexible and configurable tools to give them the agility they need to meet local needs and unique requirements.

For example, a University in South Africa is leveraging the activity guide functionality in Campus Solutions to support a local process that administrators use to request new or modify existing courses in the course catalog. Combined with the notification framework delivered in Campus Solutions, requesters and reviewers can automatically process the required approvals. Some institutions are also using activity guides to require students to evaluate the courses they are taking before they can  receive their grades--another unique use of the tool.

In many countries where culture, language and governments present their own unique requirements, customers have been able to take the frameworks and tools to evolve the Campus Solutions product meet their unique needs. Universities in countries such as the Republic of Djibouti, Oman, Turkey, Botswana, and Romania did not need to wait for a vendor to develop a special solution or integration with another partner or software provider. Instead, they took the frameworks and tools delivered with the Campus Solutions student system, innovated and forged ahead to configure the product without customizing, without risk, and without increased costs.

And the best part is that all these innovative uses of the delivered application do not add to the maintenance costs. When upgrades or new features are delivered by Oracle to the Campus Solutions customers, their innovative configurations carry on.

 How in the world, indeed!

More information about the frameworks, activity guides, and other Campus Solutions capabilities, can be found on the Campus Solutions pages and resource library on Oracle.com

--Oracle Student System Teams


Sunday Jul 27, 2014

Involve Me and I Will Understand

There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand."

It reminds me of all the times in the long-ago past when I made a new purchase--something for my home that had to be installed or a ready-to-assemble piece of equipment or furniture--and how I struggled with the instruction manual! Trying to understand all the pieces and parts and how they fit together! Frustration would ALWAYS ensue--sometimes accompanied by words uttered that cannot be written here.

Then something wonderful happened. The companies STOPPED printing instruction manuals (although you can still get them online, of course). At first, they came out with "Quick Start" guides with pictures. That was a little better. You could sort of SEE how they were trying to show you how to get the thing put together and working.

But then something even MORE wonderful happend! The companies started offering online videos so you can WATCH it all come together--and learn the technique of HOW it comes together. Better yet, if you still need more INVOLVEMENT to really UNDERSTAND, you can interact with a customer support person--through chat or other methods--to complete your project.

So what does my story have to do with Oracle and the PeopleSoft Campus Solutions applications? Well, Oracle offers all this interactive support for its customers. And ALL Oracle customers, whether or not they currently license the Campus Solutions product, can log on to the MyOracle Support site to watch videos about the many different product features delivered in Campus Solutions.

These videos, called Transfers of Information (TOIs), are created by the product developers who actually design and build the features and functionality. So you are getting your information straight from the builder. The videos range in length from five minutes to 60 minutes or more, depending on the depth and complexity of what you are seeking to learn...or assemble. Each video typically includes an overview of the feature, the different aspects and use cases for it, how to set it up, and how it can be used.

Most of our Campus Solutions customers use these videos to evaluate whether or not they want to activate a new feature for their users. They learn what is involved to 'turn on' a new feature and what the benefits and uses will be for their students and staff. If they decide to take on the new feature, the TOIs show them how.

We also have several videos that provide informative overviews of various new features in Campus Solutions. Now you can be INVOLVED and UNDERSTAND! Try it!

--Oracle Student System Teams

Friday Jul 18, 2014

Students at the Center: Leading the Way for Student Success

What if you could build a personalized student center for at-risk students? What if this center could invite the student in and provide him or her with a clear pathway to success? Good news! Oracle provides you with the tools to do this as part of the Campus Solutions suite and another Oracle customer experience solutions.

You define your criteria for what constitutes an at-risk student--skipping a term, grades below a certain level, attendance, etc., could all be entered as criteria. Once the at-risk profile is complete, you can then create a step-by-step communication and action pathway to guide the student through all the steps and resources available to keep her moving toward her educational goals.

Examples of resources and actions managed and tracked in the personalized student center could include initial and continuing communications with the student, setting up an advising appointment, requiring the student to take an online workshop, asking the student to sign a commitment agreement, providing the student with easy-to-access links to tutoring and other aids, etc.

The system lets you automate the actions and establish prerequisites and subsequent tasks to move the student through the success process without ever losing touch. All of this can be prebuilt and automated and is available today in Oracle's Campus Solutions.

We've got a lot going on in the student system teams and are working closely with customers and the HEUG to move ahead on continued development for PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and a new Oracle Student Cloud. Come back here for more stories, news and information!

--Oracle Student System Teams

Friday Jul 11, 2014

Start with a Solid Framework—then Do it Your Way!

Why not make software like you would build a house? Why not provide a solid foundation and structure, but allow the homeowner to personalize it by the way they finish the interior and exterior to suit their needs and tastes? And why couldn't you make it flexible enough so the homeowner could easily update and refine the look and feel as their requirements change over time? Why not put the power back into the hands of the owner?

Well, that's exactly what the Campus Solutions product teams have been doing with their student solutions. Oracle provides its Campus Solutions customer with frameworks that put basic functionality in their hands so they can more easily change and adapt as needed.

For example, colleges and universities need an efficient way to upload test scores from external organizations such as ACT. But the testing organizations frequently change their formats or fields, requiring changes to the receiving software to ensure accuracy of the data. Not anymore! Now a framework is delivered in the Campus Solutions product that allows institutions to take the external data source and map how that will be pushed into the student system quickly and easily...and with the reassurance that the data will be accurate.

Another delivered framework allows you to add data elements without customization. For example, if you have unique data that you need to report to your governing body, you can now add these new requirements to the system yourself without customization.

Other frameworks and tools provide your business users with power and flexibility for reporting and analytics. They don't have to wait for IT departments to program for them. What's more, your users can use these tools to build their own custom dashboards and reports that deliver just the information they need, when they need it and the flexibility to change it all--at any time!

And all this functionality has been delivered to Campus Solutions customers with each bundle--at no additional cost! CS puts the power in the hands of those who use the software and most need the information.

We've got a lot going on in the student system teams and we are working closely with customers and the HEUG to move ahead on continued development for PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and a new Oracle Student Cloud. Watch this video to learn more about Oracle's investment in higher education. 

--Oracle Student System Teams

Tuesday Jul 08, 2014

Guiding Students to a better Online Experience with Your University

With the cost of tuition on the rise and student loans creating staggering debt, college students today (and their parents!) want to achieve their education goals in as short a time as possible. Whether looking for a degree, professional certification or training for a new marketable skill, students are anxious to complete their program and minimize their debt.

With that in mind, the Oracle Campus Solutions team, working with its higher education customers, made sure their new Student Activity Guide feature included functionality to help students make the right choices and take appropriate actions to get them to their goals.

Although the Student Activity Guide can be used in many, many ways by colleges and universities to guide their students through steps necessary to accomplish any number of tasks, one of the best examples is steps required to graduate. You can watch a brief demo of how Student Activity Guides work on YouTube.

An additional plus for you is that the activity guide can be personalized to fit your unique requirements and enrich your students’ experiences at the same time. What’s more, Oracle has developed several typical activity templates you can grab and use to save them time spent on creating your own. All this was delivered at no additional cost to Campus Solutions customers when the last bundle of upgrades went out.

This flexible, enhanced functionality is made possible using a framework technology developed by Oracle. Come back here for more about these flexible frameworks and what’s ahead for Campus Solutions.

--Oracle Student System Teams

Thursday Jun 26, 2014

All for one and one for all…the power of partnership in higher education

Recently, several of our Oracle student solutions team members were in Latin America at a user group conference. Not an Oracle user group--although the conference was about and for higher education customers using Oracle software--but a Higher Education User Group (HEUG) conference.

So what's the difference?

First of all, the HEUG is an entirely independent organization from Oracle, incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation governed by a Board of Directors. As a self-governing organization, the more than 26,000 higher education members (and growing!) actively participate in a multitude of initiatives, communications and shared-learning opportunities that benefit each of them and their institutions.

For example, one of these programs includes 16 active and effective Product Advisor Groups (PAGs) that interact directly with Oracle management, developers and business partners to provide input into product strategies and improvements. The HEUG also provides a variety of online tools to help its members navigate the world of Oracle applications software. There’s a lot more that this organization does, but you can go to www.heug.org yourself to learn more. We want to get back to our story!

Anyway, as we were leaving the HEUG conference in Latin America, one of the guests invited to attend commented: “Do these users realize and appreciate how many people from Oracle come to support them? You have a much larger representation at these types of conferences than any other vendor. It shows the tremendous support you have for your higher education customers.”

So that’s it! This is why the partnership between the HEUG and Oracle is so powerful and unique in the software industry. Two distinct, independent organizations come together focused entirely on providing the highest value and mutual benefit to each member, each organization and the larger higher education community.

Through open communications and active engagement since the HEUG was formed in 1997, our partnership today is stronger than it has ever been and membership growing globally. Result? Everyone benefits. All for one and one for all—we are in this together.

We’ve got a lot going on in the student system team and are working closely with customers and the HEUG to move ahead on continued development for PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and a new Oracle Student Cloud. Come back here for more stories, news and information!

--Oracle Student System Teams

About

The Oracle Higher Education Student Solutions Blog is intended to help inform and update readers on the most current activities, resources, and strategies relevant to the ongoing investments Oracle is making in its PeopleSoft Campus Solutions suite of products and the new Oracle Student Cloud product now in development. Higher education team members contributing to this blog include product strategy and development, customer support, product specialists, technical experts, and other organizations in Oracle that serve the higher education community.

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