Stakeholders & Beneficiaries
The main beneficiaries are the students of the university. The university has three campuses in Hungary, which are located in Budapest, Orosháza, and Székesfehérvár. It has full-time, part-time, and distance education programs, primarily at BSC level, however, some MSC programs and further education short programs are also offered mainly on the field of humanities and management, both in Hungarian and English. Inner stakeholders are the university leadership and staff. As an outside stakeholder, the Hungarian Accreditation Committee can also be mentioned, responsible for the accreditation process of all Hungarian universities, mostly because of its expressed interest in the SD development concept.
The university engaged with the SD development project inspired by an SD workshop of the consulting company. The company brought its expertise on SD-based assessment and service-improvement and through the project they refined their tool for the university. The lead consultant educated the university leadership about the SD concept and reported the results in written reports and presentations. The project measured students’ LX with an SD methodology-based questionnaire (created and validated in previous research and updated after the first data collection) and provided an overview through customer satisfaction index (CSI) and net promoter score (NPS). Students were asked about the importance of certain touchpoints as well as how good their experience is with those touchpoints. Additionally, open questions were also offered to gain further insights. After the 2017 data collection, an SD workshop was organized with four groups using inspirational board, montage, and value proposition canvasing. Results of the assessment were brought further and got implemented by the Welfare Cabinet that involved students mainly from the student board.
Digital Transformation Process
Results, Outcomes & Impacts
Survey results provide feedback for teachers and staff at the university. Educational material about SD, the questionnaires, and the survey reports are accessible via the Moodle system for all the teachers and university staff. The reports had been discussed in meetings of several departments as well. Changes have been implemented based on the 2017 survey, including:
- Thematic weeks: The new thematic week system (previous educational innovation) was not at all well taken by students: it was perceived as meaningless and forceful, not taking into consideration students’ working life outside of the university. The concept of the weeks was completely redesigned.
- Distance learning programme: Many students choose the university because of its distance learning programme, however, they got more and more dissatisfied with several features of the programme. While earlier online materials available for full-time and part-time students had been separated from those available for participants of distant learning programs, this limitation was lifted and online consultations had been recorded. The university plans to produce more pre-recorded and edited online materials in the future and has already organized Skype training for teachers.
- Administrative services: Based on the results both the Study Office and the Welfare Cabinet revised some of their administrative processes.
Challenges & Bottlenecks
The primary problematic aspect was the scarcity of free time for workshops and further investigation that could give explanations for the survey results received. Difficulties in the inclusion of educators in the problem-solving process are quite problematic, as the essence of the method can get lost if not every party is represented and engaged in the process. However, some colleagues of the university feel the project unnecessary and expect the consulting company to solve the existing issues. The survey fill-out rates are to be improved for better overview and engagement. A challenge during the implementation process is that students’ expectations are controversial: while they demand practical approaches in education, they often resent creative tasks and group works, making it unclear how to step forward in this question. The deeper involvement of students might start a tendency of complaining, thus, it is very important to “direct” these co-creation events so that they contribute to development, keeping a positive and proactive stance. If the opinion of smaller groups gains more attention, it might lead to a bias – this should be avoided, too.
Transferability & Replicability
The initial assessment has been repeated in 2019 at the university and the continuation of the development process is expected. As the consulting company’s LxLab (Learning Experience Lab) service is dedicated to educational Lx projects, further cooperation of the higher education sector and the business sector is possible.
One of the main success factors is the engagement of the university’s leadership, especially the vice-rector for education, who acted as an initiator and owner of the project. Another important factor was the trustful relationship between the vice-rector and the lead consultant. The external professional expertise and the internal organizational support for change, carried out mostly by the Welfare Cabinet leader, were a great combination to make focused improvements in students’ Lx happen.
Through the project and the SD methodology, the university learned about hidden aspects of students’ learning experiences, enabling university staff to come up with improvement ideas they had not been able to do themselves. The project itself points to the importance of a dedicated and united leadership front that can engage and include the staff and studentship of the university and an external partner that is familiar with impactful service development methodologies but are familiar with the sector’s unique characteristics and context. Quick wins regarding first implementations also seemed to support the continued commitment to the project.