eISP brings unity to individual study plans
A working group has started to work with introducing a university-wide digital system to manage doctoral students’ individual study plans. The system, eISP, is to be introduced in three pilot departments during the autumn of 2020, and throughout LiU in 2021.
Currently, the templates used for individual study plans, ISPs, differ between faculties, and sometimes between departments. Management of ISPs requires a lot of work, and there is no coupling between the ISPs and Ladok, which makes it difficult to exchange information. In addition, the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) criticised the way in which LiU handles ISPs a few years ago.
The new digital platform is web-based and allows updates directly from Ladok. All archiving is automatically carried out, and users are informed of revisions and other measures. An ISP for a doctoral student is drawn up following a defined procedure, with a clear distribution of responsibilities between the various actors involved, such as supervisor, administrator and doctoral student.
“Our objective is to ensure that the ISPs of all students at LiU are managed in the same way”, says Patrik Högberg, leading the project.
The new system has been developed under the auspices of the University of Gothenburg, and is currently used at five Swedish institutions of higher education. It is to be introduced at three LiU departments – IEI, IDA and HMV – during the autumn, and at other departments next year.
“We will contact the relevant operational units and determine a timing that suits them. And the performance of the system at the three pilot departments will be evaluated”, says Patrik Högberg.
All existing individual study plans will be entered in the system, possibly with the exception of some doctoral students who are very close to their thesis defence. In such cases, the original ISP can be retained.
“Transferring the old material will, of course, involve some work, but otherwise I see only advantages for the users. The platform provides support and help, and can, for example, inform the student that a plan has not been approved or needs to be completed. At the moment, such information may be in the form of printed plans, where no one has a full overview”, says Patrik Högberg.
Another important difference is that the web-based individual study plans will be unified across LiU, for all faculties and institutions. The system currently used at the University of Gothenburg will be configured for use at LiU, with contents that are common across the university. It will, however, be possible to make small adaptations for individual operational units.
Much of the work in the project is currently focussed on establishing working methods, and determining who is to have access to the platform. The work is being carried out by a project group that reports to a management group. (More information is given in the presentation below.) Test and reference groups have been set up in the three pilot departments.
It is hoped that a test environment will be ready to use at the end of June, to enable users to get the feel of the system. A regular newsletter will also be published, and more information here on the website.
Are you interested in learning more about the project?
Please contact project manager Patrik Högberg: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2020-05-12