"Fostering “Teams” Spirit for Online Learning"
ECF Data and the University of Utah’s partnership provided the institution with a centralized platform that fills in the gaps in face-to-face working, learning, and teaching.
Juggling Multiple Platforms & Disengagement
The University of Utah, founded in 1850, is a public research university in Salt Lake, Utah. Despite being stricken by the pandemic, it experienced a 5.5% increase in freshmen enrollees and a growth in their total enrolment. Their numbers proved a unique year as they set records for having the largest and most diverse first-year class and breaking their 170-year history by accommodating its biggest number of students.
Stricken by the pandemic, it became a struggle for the institution to provide high-quality education because of the need to modify how the staff teaches, conducts research, and engages with the students and communities. Cascading instructions, managing the class, organizing events, grading papers, and collaborating on a project turned from simple routines to tedious and arduous tasks. Using different productivity platforms decreased learning and teaching motivation, added time consumed switching applications, and inefficient workflows. To bridge the gap between working, learning, and teaching inside and outside the classroom, ramping up their efforts to modernize the university’s communication technology is imperative.
From Classrooms to Screens
The university-wide migration of Microsoft Teams and Poly helped the University of Utah adapt to unexpected changes, especially during the lockdown. Concurrently, it continued to pursue its fundamental mission as a public research university – to teach, research, and serve. The users particularly benefitted from hosting Teams meetings with unlimited pupils, easy access and storage of files, one-on-one, and group chats, and assignment and calendar features.
“Teams’ greatest advantage is that they consolidate office tasks into a single interface with persistent chat, calling, video messaging, calendaring, a wiki, and a place to share documents,” said Clayton Norlen, product manager in UIT Product Management (CTO Office). “It’s an alphabet soup of everything you might need to do your job every day.”
Despite circumstances returning to normal, the new communications and collaborations hub serves as a mainstay as conversations are still carried out using this platform.
A Centralized Environment with Microsoft Teams
The U of U partnered with ECF Data, one of the top Managed IT-services providers in Las Vegas. ECF Data recommended a centralized communication and collaboration platform that the entire community can use utilizing Poly Teams Room System and Phone Devices. Microsoft Teams andPoly allows learners, teachers, and staff to use its features, such as persistent chat, calling, video messaging, calendaring, storage, and more. Because the application and hardware is fully integrated with familiar productivity apps like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, users can conveniently work (alone or with a group) using their preferred devices like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Hosting Teams meetings with unlimited pupils, storage and access of easily accessible files, one-on-one and group chats, and assignment and calendar features are only some of the features purposeful for the students, staff, and teachers. Moreover, the array of GIFs, emojis, stickers, and backgrounds inject the human aspect and provides personality to everyday conversations. ECF Data and the University of Utah’s partnership provided the institution with a centralized platform that fills in the gaps in face-to-face working, learning, and teaching.