Three exceptional projects are being implemented in the 2021 summer semester, aimed at finding new solutions for the students and advancing digitalization at TU Wien with the students for the students. The varied project ideas deal with networking, access to information and the students' learning routine. Each project addresses a particular problem. While working on the projects, students are able to rely on wide-ranging support within TU Wien.
The first project tackles a problem that intensified even more last year. A year spent distance learning, away from lecture theatres and fellow students, and being tied to a screen while working from home, made one thing clear: it is difficult to get together in learning groups.
A TU-wide learning group application combats this problem and makes it easy for all students at TU Wien to network. With just a few clicks, students have the opportunity to organise new learning groups with their colleagues. With the support of the Campus Service Development team, a networking option is being set up in TISS as a central point, independently of instant messengers and communication platforms. Requirements are being developed in workshops and feedback sessions together with the students and the "studyability" working group. This should also help the students to network long-distance.
Student TUWEL API
A committed team of IT students is setting about making TUWEL more accessible for student purposes. In the second project, the "Student TUWEL API" will allow the students themselves to gain access to their course information stored in TUWEL, even without a browser. The project team is putting all TUWEL functions that are relevant to the students under the microscope, and creating a basis for future developments, as the API will be made available as the point of reference for information for their own programming projects.
Together with the TSC, TU Wien is opening the door to a controlled provision of data. Once the project is complete, students will have the opportunity to press ahead with independent developments – it will be possible for TO DO app integrations, calendar integration and much more to be programmed by students for students.
Digital manual note-taking
This project takes a new approach and prepares the way for a vision. The "digital manual note-taking" project envisages replacing paper in everyday student life. With a tablet and a stylus, it is now possible to switch to digital note-taking. Diagrams, formulae and notes can be quickly recorded, shared and saved, meaning we can say farewell to paper. This idea opens up a realm of possibilities and we want to know the best way to support the process going forward. That's why the first thing the project does is ask. We want our fellow students to tell us, in a generic questionnaire, what we should be aiming at, the stumbling blocks we still have to overcome, the areas that have already made the move to digital technology, and whether or not we should even try to make the move.
The background to the projects – the Student Life Hacks ideas competition
All three of the projects described here come from the ideas competition: "Wanted: Student Life Hacks". By running this competition in 2020, the .digital office extended the digitalization calls (.dcalls) to the largest group of people at TU Wien – the students. All three projects are going ahead with students managing them, and thanks to the collaboration with the experts at TU Wien, the students can gain access to extensive expertise and are also given an insight into everyday university life beyond teaching.
Although the projects have only just begun, we are already looking to the future, as the first .dcall for students merely marked the start of their participation in the digital transformation at TU Wien. Students will also be asked for their opinions in future!