Information Strategy

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					                      Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010



Information Strategy
2005 - 2010


1. PURPOSE & SCOPE

The Information Strategy is key thematic sub-strategy of the Corporate Strategy. It has been revised
and outlines how information will be used to support the business of the College and describes the
infrastructure that is (and will be) required to support it. As such this strategy aims to deliver
components against other key thematic sub-strategies (e.g. e-Learning; Communications).

The existing Information Strategy (1999-2004) identified the need to ensure the fullest use of its
shared information and focused on six themes
       • The Library as an active repository and a manager of information to support research,
           teaching and learning
       • E-Learning and the use of information in all media to support teaching and learning
       • Unlocking of administrative data to ensure the understanding of corporate information by
           users and the provision of access to that information
       • Records Management. The management of information to support the deliberative decision
           making processes of the College
       • The management of internal and external communications
       • The Communications, Information Technologies and Systems (C, IT&S) infrastructure
           required to support the developments including Information Security.

Much progress has been made in delivering on objectives against these themes. Discussions and
consultations in the College of this revised Information Strategy have underlined the need for a
continuously evolving process and the development of these themes.

The revised strategy has been prepared through discussions and consultation with individuals and
stakeholder groups. It has also been approved by the Information Services Advisory Group and
Academic Board. A summary has been included in the Corporate Strategy, approved by Council and
submitted to HEFCE.


2. CONTEXT

Strategic Goal 6 of the Corporate Strategy highlights the importance of providing first-rate facilities
for students and staff, thus enhancing the student experience. In particular providing

       •   the physical and information infrastructures fitted to sustaining high-quality academic
           activity and support functions and to enhancing the student experience,

and specifically to

       •   promote and support an information culture which drives innovation and achievement in
           our key areas of activity.


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                    Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010


3. VISION

The aim of the revised Information Strategy is to ensure that information and technology are harnessed
effectively to support these wider needs of the College and empower the user community.

   Over the next 5 years, the strategy aims to support
      • the planned growth in student numbers, changing learning and teaching styles, the
          developments in e-learning giving all of its students an enhanced experience through web-
          based learning opportunities (including distance learning), progress towards easy to use,
          state of the art classroom and facilities (including collaborative learning, teaching and
          research facilities), underpin improved internal and external communications, deliver
          personalised and easy to access information (in one or more of the following roles, as a
          student, teacher, researcher, or administrator)

   This will be achieved by
      • improved, intuitive navigation and access to (electronic and printed) information
          resources, and an increase in the breadth and scope of e-resources, facilities reflecting the
          aspirations of the information seeking research community and the ‘Google’ generation

   This will be achieved through harnessing developments in Communications, IT & Systems
      • including the pervasive use of wireless technology, provision of innovative learning spaces
          (physical and virtual), improving remote access to services to support an increasingly
          diverse population through improved web-enabled services, and responding appropriately
          to storage demands

   This strategy will underpin the College’s strategic goals of
      • good governance through, good records management, support for effective decision
           making processes and compliance with changes in information legislation.



4. STRATEGIC AIMS

The revised Information Strategy is built around four core themes:

Strategic   Core Theme
Aim
    1       “Accessible Information &             To provide access to information based on
            Communication”                        personal need and preference. Enabling access
                                                  from a range of computing devices. Bring
                                                  together information from different sources.
                                                  ‘Click & Publish’ Environment.

    2       “Supporting and Enhancing             Supporting collaborative research facilities,
            Excellence in Research and            with a focus on data processing, storage and
            Knowledge Transfer”                   ease of publishing.



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                     Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010


    3       “Supporting and Enhancing              The Information Strategy underpins the
            Blended-Learning”                      information and C, IT & S implementation of
                                                   the College e-Learning Strategy. Enhancing
                                                   the student experience through access to web-
                                                   enabled learning facilities that can be used
                                                   remotely, collaboratively or individually or
                                                   face-to-face in classrooms. ‘Turn up & Teach’.
                                                   Keeping relevant emerging technologies under
                                                   review. Integrate resources and services to
                                                   support online learning.

    4       “Effective Decision Making &           To save time, space and effort through
            Good Governance”                       effective data and records management,
                                                   supporting departments to respond effectively
                                                   to information requests. Time saving through
                                                   improved workflow and business processes,
                                                   improving confidence and access to centrally
                                                   maintained corporate data and appropriate
                                                   management information.



These themes are underpinned by a solid a robust enterprise infrastructure and ensuring that services
are flexible, responsive and user-focused.


5. IMPLEMENTATION, MONITORING & REVIEW

The Information strategy should be a continuously evolving document that reflects the College’s
Corporate Strategy and addresses its users’ requirements. Change is inevitable and it is planned to
review and refresh this document as necessary.

An implementation plan will be devised in order to deliver the strategic objectives.

Information Services Advisory Group (ISAG) oversees and monitors progress on delivering the
Information Strategy.

Provision of relevant input and new business cases for the dependent elements of the strategy arise
from:

           •   Library Users’ Advisory Group,
           •   Computer Users’ Advisory Group (revised membership),
           •   Administrative Computing Management Group
           •   Learning & Teaching Quality Committee (E-Learning Strategy)
           •   The Archives & Records Management Service




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                                           Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010


1. ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION

The management of information should increasingly become transparent to the end user. Accessible Information & Communication will
deliver easy access to information based on personal need and preference, enabling access through a range of computing devices from virtually
any location. State-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure will provide staff and students with first rate services and facilities, enhancing the
student experience and providing both the physical and information structures fitting for high-quality Learning and Teaching and
Research. Collating content into fewer repositories and providing common entry points will make the retrieval of information quicker. Tools
will ease the publication of information and further enable collaboration.

Objective                            Key benefits
1.1 To increase the accessibility    • Provision of a flexible Learning and Research environments, integrating traditional published
of information resources &              material with digital and online resources, meaning that students, lecturers, researchers and
services                                administrators no longer have to search multiple repositories to find the information they need to
                                        carry out their studies, research, or daily work.
                                     • Improved physical and virtual access to information resources for disabled and special needs users.
                                     • Provision of improved multi-lingual support for international students.
                                     • Users should be able to use whatever software and data they need regardless of the point of entry or
                                        the device being used.
                                     • Access to data should be as intuitive and transparent as possible, using common access points
                                        wherever possible and with minimal investment in time to learn how to use resources.
                                     • Where appropriate, access to information is enabled by a single instance “sign on”.
                                     • Access to information is provided 24x7, wherever possible.

1.2 To explore mechanisms to          •   Currently the onus is on users to “go find” the information they are seeking. It is intended to deliver
‘push’ information directly to            this information “passively”, direct to the user based on their role and preferences (e.g. program of
users.                                    study or research interest). It could even include being notified when key websites or documents have
                                          been updated.
1.3 To enable easier publication      •   Delivering the capability to easily publish material (e.g. to the intranet, extranet, ePrint repository)
and dissemination of                      the so-called “Click and Publish” concept. Users will be able to edit web content directly in a browser
information.                              or quickly upload a Word (or other) document without having to use complex and specialist
                                          applications

1.4 To enhance the collaborative      •   Improved communication tools, such as advanced e-mail, messaging and video-conferencing
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                                          Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010


sharing of information.                  facilities, to enable better communication internally and easier collaboration externally.

2. SUPPORTING AND ENHANCING EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

Researchers demand ready access to information and require easy ability to publish research output. The Information Strategy aims to support
and enhance excellence in research by robust and scalable architecture and tools to promote interdisciplinary research and support
collaboration.

Objective                            Key benefits
2.1 To provide easy upload,          • Researchers can store their research output via an easy to access environment, without having to
storage and publishing of digital       worry about storage needs, and specialist tools and skills etc. Research that originates from Royal
research material.                      Holloway can be readily made available to the wider community.

2.2 To provide high-                 •   Provision of an inter-departmental resource for compute-intensive applications, increasing
performance computing                    productivity and an enabler for attracting research income and external collaboration.
facilities to support the needs of
compute-intensive research

3. SUPPORTING & ENHANCING BLENDED LEARNING

The Information Strategy underpins the information and technology delivery of the College’s e-Learning strategy, providing an environment
where technology is used to enhance and enrich the student experience while making the creation and use of online content easy, efficient
and effective.

Objective                            Key benefits
3.1 To enable the ability for        • Easy ability to develop & publish learning material, including the reuse of content in a variety of
course and program tutors to            contexts (e.g. material related to study skills)
“Click & publish” learning           • Staff are empowered to use the web to deliver material related to teaching/learning
material.                            • Students are able to publish reflections on their study to enhance their own understanding, and to
                                        share knowledge with their peers
3.2 To provide an Integrated e-      • Single login for staff and students
Learning environment                 • Close integration between different aspects of course content (e.g. discussion groups and online
                                        lecture materials)
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                                       Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010


                                   •   Single point of access to academic content (e.g. discussion groups) and administrative information
                                       (e.g. exam results)
3.3 To enable the integration of   •   Improved support for Resource Based Learning (RBL)
library resources with             •   Enrichment of courses with information resources (e.g. Early English Books Online; Nature Online;
teaching/learning material             Locally created content)
                                   •   Digitised articles and chapters reduces problems with access to library materials
                                   •   Easy access to library resources (online and printed) to enable students to take research further
                                   •   Improved ability for the library to supply the materials required for courses across the College in
                                       appropriate quantities
                                   •   Students gain valuable Information skills
3.4 Improved support for           •   Distance learners feel more part of the College community by use of e-Learning tools (online
distance learning                      discussion, e-seminars, email)
                                   •   Distribution and updating of course materials becomes more efficient and better value for money
3.5 Provision of improved          •   Students are able practise transferable skills and receive immediate feedback. Examples include:
Collaboration and                      writing skills, argument analysis and construction, the use of evidence to support claims, and use of a
Communication tools                    discipline specific discourse
                                   •   Enables students to engage more fully in discussions regardless of gender, language and cultural
                                       background
                                   •   Provides a record of students contribution to discussion over a period of time. This can be used both
                                       for assessment and as evidence in study portfolios
                                   •   Increased support for students from their peers
3.6 Training and Support in the    •   Students gain valuable transferrable skills, contributing to employability
use of e-learning tools            •   Staff are empowered to use tools
                                   •   Longterm reduction in support overheads

3.7 To provide state-of-the-art    •   Lecturers can just “turn up and teach” – having advanced yet easy to use, consistent AV facilities
Audio-Visual facilities by             available in all central teaching spaces.
exploring the use of smart and
interactive teaching technology
(interactive whiteboards, and
videoconferencing).


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                                          Royal Holloway, University of London - Information Strategy 2005-2010


4. EFFECTIVE DECISION MAKING & GOOD GOVERNANCE

As the volume of information increases, it is essential to be able to provide the right information in the right format and at the right time in
order to support effective decision making. The Information Strategy will deliver the systems and processes to ensure legal compliance, more
efficient working and will release the value held in the College’s data.

Objective                            Key benefits
4.1 To provide leadership in C,      • The College understands its legal obligations with regard to information management through the
IT&S legal, regulatory, security,       provision of specialist advice targeted at both corporate and departmental levels.
and audit compliance.                • Departments save both time and physical space through effective information and data management
                                        and are more able to respond to FoI/DPA requests.
                                     • Data is stored according to criticality and type.
                                     • Protection of assets (physical, software, and data) is assured at all times.
                                     • The College as an institution and individual users each know their own obligation(s) with respect to
                                        protection of those assets.
                                     • Effective records management, risk management and disaster recovery procedures and policies are in
                                        place.

4.2 To streamline the                •   Improved confidence and data quality in centrally maintained “corporate” data, reducing the need for
management of corporate                  local copies to be manipulated and stored.
information (by enabling wider       •   Time savings and efficiency gains by providing easier access to management information (through
access to corporate data and             advanced use of data warehouses and management information reports, e.g. Cooke Project, seamless
reducing the duplication of data)        path from enquirer to alumni)
to support better decision           •   Transparency between research output, financial and IP information related to research projects (fEC,
making.                                  RAE submissions)
                                     •   Delivery of appropriate and timely information to key decision makers (e.g. committee members can
                                         save time and effort in publishing, accessing and disseminating committee papers and associated
                                         documents)
                                         More efficient and effective collection of data.
4.3 To deliver more efficient and    •   Time and cost savings, freeing up staff time for more productive use, by the delivery of “workflow
effective business processes             solutions” (e.g. increased turnaround in offers to applicants, more effective room bookings)
                                     •   Improved services to students and staff

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5. ENTERPRISE INFRASTRUCTURE & FLEXIBLE, RESPONSIVE USER-FOCUSED SERVICES

Delivery of the key aims and objectives of this Information Strategy is dependent upon having a secure, robust, and scalable core
infrastructure, and the ability to deliver flexible, user-focused services that are able to meet the changing demands of the College.

Objective                            Key benefits
5.1 To provide and manage            • Providing robust and resilient server infrastructure to support the College's need for services and data
secure, reliable and scalable C,        storage, through the development of an “Enterprise Architecture”
IT&S infrastructure                  • Provision of appropriate network “bandwidth” according to need and point of access

5.2 To ensure effective               •   Services reflect the needs of the core business areas of the College, namely Research, L&T and
consultation and                          Administration.
communication with users at all       •   Users are represented and are able to contribute to determining strategy.
levels                                •   Appropriate lines of communication and channels exist for users to obtain support, provide feedback
                                          on services and receive redress for service deficiencies.

5.3 Adopt best practice in            •   Clearly defined services and performance indicators so users know what to expect
service management and                •   Services are based on sound principles such as value for money, exploiting economies of scale,
support and demonstrate services          outsourcing (where appropriate and cost-effective to do so).
are accountable                       •   Additional and specialist services are delivered on a discretionary basis as dictated by market forces
                                          & need (e.g. Apple Macintosh support).
                                      •   Support and assistance is provided proactively by working with departments to ensure students gain
                                          information literacy and transferable skills, for example.


July 05




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