Universitas Gadjah Mada—enhancing learning and distance education with Office 365

Today’s post on Office 365 was written by Widyawan, Ph.D. and director of the Directorate of Systems and Information Resources at the Universitas Gadjah Mada.

UGM profile pixOur educational philosophy at the Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) is deeply rooted in the culture of our country: the university was founded shortly after we declared independence in 1945. We are committed to preparing our students for a modern, global workplace. So while our students fulfill their mandatory, two-month rural community service, you’ll likely find them using mobile devices to access their latest class assignments. It’s scenarios like this that reflect the high priority we place on using technology to improve the quality of our academic services. As the director of the Directorate of Systems and Information Resources, I am responsible for integrating technology and educational resources to transform learning. Microsoft Office 365 is playing a huge role in that promise.

Students and faculty had been using Gmail and our in-house email system, but we believe in offering a choice of learning tools, so in 2014, we made Office 365 available to the university community. These services offer more collaborative and mobility features to support interactive learning with teachers, inside and outside of the classroom.

Through a close collaboration with Microsoft, including joint development projects conducted at the Microsoft Innovation Center on campus, we have completed the integration of Office 365 with our learning management system, called eLisa. We achieved this integration through the flexibility of the Office 365 application programming interface, which enables interoperability with non-Microsoft platforms. We are also using Office 365 to support our distance learning programs, where staff and students can use the collaboration features to create an online educational community that reaches across the country and sets UGM apart from other universities in Indonesia.

Students and faculty are excited by the new online collaboration capabilities, and they’re adapting easily to the new tools at their disposal. With no limitations to worry about around emailing, online storage capacity, and virtual conference participation, we are able to connect online like never before. As more people adopt Office 365, we’ll be using OneNote Class Notebook Creator to create highly secure online learning communities for lectures, student–teacher communications, and the handling of assignments. Staff have already begun using SharePoint Online for virtual collaboration on curriculum development.

While we only began offering the technology to our campus community in September 2014, we feel confident that most everyone will find a reason to adopt the latest productivity platform at UGM, and we’re excited to see what develops as we take our IT initiatives to the next level, both here and across Indonesia.

For more information, read the full story here at Why Microsoft.