Eduix cares deeply about how our solutions are helping our customers to address their challenges and how we can improve our services. In this interview, Tarja Kuppiainen, a principal lecturer in tourism and hospitality management at the Karelia University of Applied Sciences (UAS), shared with us how Wihi has supported the university to manage thesis work.
She told us how thesis work used to be before the adoption of Wihi at Karelia, the training process of teaching supervisors how to use Wihi and the workflow change management at the university deployed during Wihi implementaiton. She also underlined the main benefits that Wihi brought to her daily work, considering the way that Wihi structures thesis phases and facilitates thesis management data analysis for decision making, as featured in the image below.
… Thesis process was quite complicated at Karelia. “Our study counselors were unable to access thesis projects, and advisors had to manage a great deal of supervision through email or Moodle. This often led to important messages getting lost”, said Tarja.
However, with Wihi, all of this information is now available in one central platform, making it easy for students and advisors alike to keep track of their progress. Advisors now have access to all the necessary information in one platform, making the process much smoother. Students no longer have to navigate multiple email addresses; all messages related to their thesis are now in one place.
One of the greatest benefits of Wihi is its flexibility. With the ability to add more than one advisor in the system, students can now contact all their supervisors and project’s commissioners and send their work for feedback. This allows students receiving feedback from different experts, all within the platform.
The platform also allows students to add their own tasks and indicate whether they are in progress, done, or still waiting for a response, similar to a scrumboard. Advisors can easily follow up with students through the platform, providing up-to-date information on the guidance of the thesis projects.
The Study Counselors and Heads of Department have also been impressed with Wihi, as it provides up-to-date information on the guidance and management of the thesis process.
Change management and training challenges
Of course, like any new system, Wihi has had its share of challenges. “Some colleagues at other universities of applied sciences have found the platform difficult to use, but I believe that this is due to a lack of proper training.”, said Tarja.
Some teachers were also initially skeptical about using “one more platform”, but at Karelia, Tarja worked to train fellow teachers on how to use the platform. She explained that by having teachers train other teachers, the process was much smoother and easier to follow – which didn’t happen at the other universities from her colleagues.
“At Karelia UAS, we trained our teachers by teachers, which allowed us to create a comprehensive instruction and training program. By using thesis coordinators to train other teachers in different departments, we were able to disseminate Wihi training around the university. It took us about six months to complete this process, but it was well worth the effort.”, said Tarja.
Despite some initial opposition, Wihi has been a resounding success at Karelia UAS. Most teachers have praised the ease of use of the platform, and students appreciate the ability to keep all of their thesis-related messages in one place.
“Of course, there will always be some who complain about the tool or want additional features”, but overall it seems that Wihi has been a game-changer for Tarja’s team.
Expectations for future development
Tarja has expressed her wishes in terms of Wihi future developments. One of them being the ability to aggregate and transfer data from Wihi to other systems, such as different types of CRM systems, or through data export, such as excel files. Tarja mentioned that this would greatly enhance Wihi usability and compatibility at Karelia.
By integrating Wihi data with tools that are already familiar to education stakeholders, like excel sheets, Tarja believes that users can leverage their existing workflows and take advantage of additional functionalities. This data transfer would streamline data analysis, reporting, and decision-making processes, more than Wihi already leverages, enabling organizations to maximize the value of their data across multiple platforms and systems.
Eduix is constantly updating the Wihi system and we were glad to share with her that the new version, with a planned release time for Autumn 2023, will integrate this new functionality!
If you’re a study counselor, a head of department, or teacher thesis supervisor looking for a better way to manage the thesis process at your university, Wihi might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
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