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ICT DIRECTORATE

The ICT Directorate was established by the University in order to keep up with global trends of integrating the power of information technology to better deliver effective teaching and learning services

Vision

To become a Centre of Excellence where the potential of ICT is connected to serve as a catalyst for effective teaching, research and learning which is aimed at the promotion of innovation in education technology and transformation of academic excellence.

Mission

The mission of the ICT Directorate is to support the successful achievement of the University's vision and mission statement through the effective use of ICT resources.

Objectives

· Providing leadership in the execution of ICT services, documentation management, development and implementation of ICT management systems and strategies and technology infrastructure.

· To provide excellent Student/Staff centered services that are responsive to the changing needs of teaching and learning in higher education.

· To maintain an effective staff development programme to ensure that ICT staff continue to develop the necessary skills to provide high-quality services and support to Students and Staff

· To increase the efficiency of the administration and management of educational systems.

The ICT Directorate is responsible for facilitating the development of ICT systems and infrastructure within all the campuses of the University. The Directorate undertakes a number of software developments and maintenance of various ICT products.

Additionally, the Directorate handles the following functions:

· Network design, planning, installation and maintenance

· Software and Operating system configuration, testing, installation and support

· Change planning, recording and management for ICT infrastructure development

· Software and License Control for all Software purchased within the University

· Database/Environment creation, maintenance and administration

· Implementation and Monitoring of the best practice information related security processes

· Project co-ordination for both internal infrastructure-based and the University-wide projects

· ICT Policy & Strategy development and implementation

· Install and maintain server functions for email, internet, databases, file storage and administration

· End user ICT training, data management services and technical support services

· Website design and development

Website and portal

The website and portal of WCU represents the window to all information about the on-line services. As far as possible, no efforts have been spared to ensure user-friendly navigation and easy access such as one-time login ID authentication process. The website and portal have essentially become the gateway to a virtual campus where staff and students are able to conduct many activities, access information and materials, and interact with each other without having to be physically on campus.

Student information system and services

The student support system is another priority area that strengthens WCUs’ online teaching and learning platform. It covers a broad range of items including student registration, personal particulars, admission records, course selection and enrolment, examination timetables, test scores, transcripts and other student-related data. Students Connect are dedicated to serve the students’ needs as well as ease administrative processes. Student enrolment system is an integral part of its

digital campus. Students’ information is stored in a database which is easily accessible by both students and administrators.

Learning management system

The learning management system (LMS) forms the backbone for designing online courses and managing the classes, assignments and tests. A robust LMS will go a long way in supporting both the instructors and students by ensuring effective interactions between instructors and students, uploading and downloading of lessons and course materials, submissions of assignments and reports, evaluation and grading of examinations.

To ensure an efficient network, the proposed network equipment will fulfil the following requirements:

• The deployment of various network exits meets the demands of all kinds of external links from staff and students, and guarantees the multi-connections among campus networks.

• The deployment of a double directional structure safeguards the normal working condition of WCU’s core network.

• The installation of the link flow control equipment guarantees normal online teaching activities by balancing the in- and out-traffic volume.

• The deployment of antivirus hardware and software has effectively restricted virus outbreaks within the campus network and external hacker attacks.

• The deployment of anti-spam gateway has effectively filtered much junk mail.

• One-time login learning portal with ID authentication: Once registered as a user of WCUs database, both faculty and students can easily access teaching and learning materials with a one-time login to the unified learning portal, which has integrated different systems on the homepage. This improvement has quickened the flow of information and increased efficiency in teaching and learning support.

• Essential platform to offer diversified support: Resource sharing, functional duplication and system interactions have been the major concerns of the university’s technical professionals both at the design and upgrading stages. Now, diversified supporting services and applications will be successfully integrated on the homepage with a user friendly navigation bar.

• Database standardization to solve information key problems: The standardization of the university’s database aims to solve information key problems arising from the diversified demands

of teaching and learning at different times with different purposes. These varied data and systems have been processed into a core database, integrating teaching resources of different academic subjects. Technically, as a data-exchange platform, the sharing of teaching duties and materials will be achieved successfully through the WCU’s web platform.

• Security system of online teaching: A security system, which includes an integrated information safety system to handle vulnerabilities and standards for platform construction, safeguards the efficiency of online learning through improved management of data and communication.

Current Services Using ICT resources:

Online resources in Digital Library: - The online library holds 20,000 volumes of e-books and e-magazines. The off-campus access to these resources through VPN will be improved their usages significantly in all campuses near future.

• Online video resources: Through the use of a self-developed Enterprise Voice Over Data (EVOD) system, YouTube online video resources have been facilitated with internet since 2016/7 in digital library and some internet laboratories. Supported by three different servers, access to these resources is quick and easy.

• Network courses: ICT development directorate has developed Cisco and Huawei Academies using web-based courses with multimedia courseware, two e-lab office systems through registering academy’s web portals. All these online learning resources are used by the students comprehensively since 2016.

· Maintain server functions for email, internet, databases, file storage and administration of institutional e-mails

· End user ICT training and Technical Support Services

· Website design and development, Application Development for different offices

· Expansions of Campus network to each offices

Future Recommendation:

Students’ services should be lived on popularizing the smart card to handle ID recognition, financial services, information services, and processes and so on including current student systems. Online advisory service system facilitates students in getting online advice from their instructors on the selection of topics all the way through to completing their theses, freeing them from time and physical constraints.

Administration support and human resource management system

An efficient system that handles student affairs and manages programmes and courses is a boon to both administrators and academic staff. At the same time, the WCUs and Higher Educations have drawn attention to the utility of ICT for human resource management.

Summary of ICT Development Directorate outputs and outcomes

A high standard network infrastructure will be installed, accommodating numerous automated systems. This enables initiation of faster and more reliable Internet access to all offices and service areas. Because the systems under the way of implementations as:

All offices will own hardware and software IT facilities and there will be online intra- and inter-office communication and collaboration yielding smooth and fast flow of information and simplified sharing and distribution of common information/resources.

The University will have a dynamic website and Intranet that incorporates organizational email service and telephony system towards a smoother internal and external communication and constructive image-creation of the University to the external world.

A digitally assisted flexible and interactive classical teaching and learning process will be developed, further allowing e-learning practice (Smart-room facility) in the University.

A reliable and up-to-date collaborative, linked and communicative status of the University with other Universities and relevant partners and stakeholders will be established, elevating the academic, research, consultative and administrative statures of Wachemo University.

A developed knowledge and skill status of internal and related external parties in ICT assured, contributing to multi-lateral professional, academic and career endeavors and competencies.