From filling up an application form to paying fees online and from writing internal exam to getting attendance report at a click – Symbiosis Skills and Open University (SSOU) Pune has been leading the technology wave in the education sector in India. It all started with SSOU’s sister institution Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning, a premier distance education institution decided to go green with admissions, teaching and certification more than ten years ago.
“Technology not only brings the transparency in the entire academic cycle for a student but also increases the efficiency at all levels of operations of the academic institutions,” believes Dr. Swati Mujumdar who herself is a software expert and who has led the technology initiatives at Symbiosis from front. Today, Symbiosis Skills and Open University has one of the most robust Student Information System (SIS), which is not only developed in-house but also time tested over the period of past fifteen years. Its online examination engine matches with best of the online exam and assessment systems one will find anywhere. It can conduct exams for lakhs of students at any given point of time and this has been time tested for past many years. The exam engine has best of security features as well as authenticity checks to make sure that the same student appears for the exam who has enrolled for the same.
Today, SSOU not only has its internal exams going online but it also conducts internal assessments for many other academic institutions online. Besides, SSOU students access learning material through custom-made learning management system that is available at a click. Faculty members upload e-books for reference and also assignments are uploaded online every month. “We intend to make SSOU 100% paper-less organization in next two years. Except for statutory and compliance related communications, we shall have every academic activity conducted through system. Today, parents access student attendance, progress and even behaviour in the university through parent portal,” explains Dr. Swati Mujumdar who is also the Pro-Chancellor of the university.
Faculty members award stars to students for their achievements on various fronts thereby motivating students and adding to students’ online profile, which is shared with prospective employers. This gives a holistic view of student candidature to companies who are offering internships and placements to students.
SSOU became a pioneering university to start using augmented reality content in its programs. Such content now will be available at a larger scale and for all technical subjects soon. Even the admissions department has an in-house developed marketing application that acts as a CRM for all admission related work.
The systems developed and implemented by SSOU are definitely pioneering in the higher education sector. The university also helps other academic institutions in developing their own systems as well as offers such systems for the use.