EUNIS 2021:Papers with Abstracts

Abstract. Digital innovation is a significant source of business and operational improvements in almost all sectors. The progress of digital transformation and the response to the Covid- 19 pandemic have changed the role of digital innovation in the Higher Education sector as well. Digital innovation has moved from the fringes of the business to the core. This paper describes the changes that are taking place and the underlying dynamics of those changes. We also describe how the digital innovation process needs to be updated to accommodate the new requirements and to meet the new expectations.
Abstract. In the era of data-driven policies, there is a need to ensure that decision-makers and citizens alike have easy access to the highest quality data. In the creation of RAD-on: an information system comprising reports, analyses, and data on science and higher education in Poland, we have attempted to overcome barriers to decision-making in the field of research and innovation. The system presents open government data (OGD) on subjects that are relevant to science and innovation policy, including: the publication patterns of scientists and academics in Poland; graduates from Polish universities and their incomes; and data on research projects conducted in Poland and financed using national and international funds. RAD-on aims to ensure transparency and participation through interaction with its users and a methodologically coherent approach to data. In this article, we describe the complex architecture of the RAD-on system, and present its reporting capabilities. While doing so, we focus on the development process, which accounted for recent studies on the usability of open data. We address the problem of users’ understanding of the possibilities of the data platform, and outline our efforts to mitigate the risk of data being wrongly interpreted and used in decision-making processes.
Abstract. Mergers in university IT are a major challenge, as ongoing operations should be affected as little as possible. At the same time, it is not uncommon for different work cultures to collide between data centres, decentralized IT and administrative IT. There are also different expectations on the part of the user groups that need to be met. The merger of the Zentrum für Informationsverarbeitung (the IT centre with approx. 100 employees whose focus is on infrastructure) and the Stabsstelle IT und Prozessentwicklung (the administrative IT department with approx. 60 employees whose focus is on operations and organisation projects) to form the “WWU IT”, which took place at Münster University (WWU) at the beginning of 2020, can serve as a good example for similar IT restructuring at universities.
Abstract. The German Online Access Act (OZG) legally paves the way for the implementation of the EU regulation "Single Digital Gateway", which provides for digital availability of public services in the EU by January 2024. With this, the EU defines the standard for making public administration faster, more efficient, more user-friendly and consistently digital for citizens.
For the higher education sector, Germany has set up a coordinated implementation management for the so-called "study life situation", although universities are not a focus of OZG. Beyond the OZG, there are model projects in which digitised formats of data exchange are being developed in the national and European context. In addition, HEIs have used digitized solutions for study-related services such as application, admission, enrolment and administration of study and examination processes for quite some time.
An overarching study should now show the relationships between the various activities and at the same time outline what remains to be done to implement the OZG.
The study certifies that digital administrative services for students at higher education institutions can be described as far advanced. However, with regard to networking purposes of HEIs, especially with state agencies, important legal, institutional and technical prerequisites are lacking to allow for implementing the solutions already developed in model projects as extensively as possible. The study provides recommendations for action for decision-makers at federal and state level, universities and IT service providers and is important for a European discussion of the results because it shows the complex structure of the political multi-level system in the implementation of digitisation for the higher education sector. At the same time, it makes clear that successful results can only be achieved through networking and involvement of all relevant levels and not through centralisation alone.
Abstract. Until now, IT departments run a multitude of systems and components in order to offer services to their University’s users. Nowadays, many of the same IT departments find themselves also in the role of a broker between their users and services obtained from community cloud or public cloud providers. In such an environment, it’s inevitable to complement traditional IT metrics by metrics that are aligned to the users’ needs in order to measure the contribution of IT.
Abstract. We propose to give a French experience feedback on a problem known to all of us in Europe in Higher Education: strategic decision support for HigherEd digital. We hypothesize that one of the elements of success in terms of decision making is the understanding of the HigherEd digital object, especially the impact. We propose to relate the experience of La Collection Numérique in the AMUE (the French shared-services agency for universities and other higher education and research Institutions) and how it contributes to better understand our digital? La Collection Numérique is a tool for prospective watch that deals with a given topic, in a systemic way, its interaction with the university’s digital. It’s a magazine proposed every two months to the French HigherEd community, and more particularly to the decision makers of Universities and Schools: Presidents, Directors, Digital Vice President, CIO, business departments.
Abstract. The German Foundation for University Admission (Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung – SfH) operates the Germany-wide procedure for awarding university places. With over 2 million applications per run, the system causes a high workload in the supporting technical infrastructure, especially at the end of the allocation period. In order to handle such a load, the SfH cooperates with one of the leading scientific computing centers, the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Leibniz-Rechenzentrum der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften – LRZ). The goal of this cooperation is to continuously improve the IT infrastructure via joint research and development. It is a showcase project in the LRZ for coordinated workflows across institutional boundaries. The research results are intended to help not only the SfH procedure, but also other specialized software stacks, to perform optimally through innovative solutions. This article presents the results of the first two years of this research cooperation and the planning for 2021.
Abstract. At the IT department of the University of Mu ̈nster (WWU IT) we build a private IaaS cloud based on OpenStack and Kubernetes (WWU Cloud). This cloud provides a generic platform for data storage and service hosting. WWU IT operates a JupyterHub on WWU Cloud for use in research and education. Researchers have access to virtual GPUs from their Jupyter sessions. These may be used to compile and natively run CUDA accelerated code, e.g. for machine learning. Using VirtualGL, we also provide an accelerated X server in Jupyter sessions. X11 applications are then accessible from the browser using noVNC.
Abstract. We present ongoing developments and projects concerning the digitization of Higher Education Use Cases, Processes and Infrastructures in the context of EU developments and standardization efforts (EU SDG). These use cases and projects include: (i) student applications at Higher Education Institution (HEI) portals at HEI and at the Stiftung für Hochschulzulassung (SfH) sites for admissions; (ii) secure and trustworthy production of exam certificates for HEI and EDU applications; (iii) student mobility digitization, e.g. ELMO, EMREX, EDCI, eIDAS, PIM, and (iv) standardization efforts embedded in the EU contexts such as XHigherEducationInstitutionExchange (XHEIE).
Orchestrating the process participants (SfH, universities, applicants) is necessary for effective operation and calls for the strategic and systematic expansion of digitization. In the future the Online Access Act (OZG) reinforces the need to digitize admissions processes operated by the participants.
Abstract. Spear-phishing is a growing threat to the education sector. This analysis maps a specific attacker and demonstrate a likelihood 15% to be attacked by this attacker. The analysis uses open source intelligence tools to reveal a continued pattern where the actor is reusing infrastructure and procedure against several HEI in Europe.
For a spear-phising attack to become successful, it has to be able to lure the enduser. This study includes a user vulnerability assessment on the specific spear-phishing attacks used in two comparable studies consisting of 36,851 respondents from two educational institutions. The studies show that without prior training, the concrete spear-phishing attack will lure 20 to 49% of all users.
To investigate the high risk of this attack to endusers an eye-tracking study was conducted. The study shows that respondents generally spend more time viewing phishing indicator than one expect by chance, but there seems to be no correlation between viewing indicators and lured to action. Endusers seems to rate the trustworthiness of mails by an overall reading. As a consequence endusers are easily lured by the attacker because of the trustworthiness of the specific spear-phishing mail.
Abstract. The campuscloud sciebo is a widely used service for higher education in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) in compliance with German data protection legislation. The project started in February 2015. Currently, there are over 200.000 registered users. Modernizing the infrastructure for future demands is one of the current major challenges of sciebo. Due to evolved technology, a modernisation of the setup became necessary. Not only for scalability, but also for the closer integration with other services, the shift to a Kubernetes-based platform was an obvious step. Today, the modernized setup consists of two synchronously mirrored server sites, each with a 5 PB net capacity Spectrum Scale file system and two Kubernetes clusters running ownCloud software.
Abstract. While building services for individuals from academia, uniquely identifying a person is a challenge that was widely addressed in several contexts like eduGAIN. Sometimes, alongside the “who?”, information systems also need reliable information about the “from where?”. During the past years several alternative standards came up to tackle that problem from different directions. In this paper we would like to introduce some of them: Research Organization Registry (ROR), eduGAIN Entities and The Organization Ontology and give an opinionated overview of how they can work together.
Abstract. Due to the rapid shift to online learning, it has become increasingly difficult for teachers to monitor students’ learning experiences. This paper analyzes teachers’ experiences with an online tool for monitoring students’ metacognitive states during the learning process. Through an open-ended questionnaire, we collected teachers’ aims for starting to use the tool and experienced benefits. Our results show that teachers use this tool to understand the learning status of students in greater depth and to adjust their teaching according to feedback collected during the course. Moreover, teachers reported receiving better quality summative course feedback after starting to use the tool.
Abstract. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, learning rapidly has undergone a digital transformation into eLearning in order to cope with the circumstances of a global outbreak. This paper presents the use of synchronous and an asynchronous service both for teaching and assessment in one of the largest universities of Greece, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). The transition to eLearning has been achieved through a combination of commercial and open source software tools (mainly Zoom and Moodle). Moodle has reemerged in the AUTh academic community with improved functionalities from various plugins installed to meet the diverse range of pedagogical needs. It also describes the integration of Zoom Meetings solutions using centralized account authentication, i.e. single-sign-on (SSO) for the entire campus. End-user support and training is also provided as a combination of methods to support users on a large scale. We also present figures that highlight the high usage of eLearning systems with an added survey of positive users’ opinion on how Aristotle University has gotten ahead with the pandemic and the architecture designed to balance the workload. Finally, we introduce current and future improvements.
Abstract. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has caused a great disruption in higher education worldwide. Traditional face to face teaching had to change suddenly and in an unplanned way in emergency remote teaching, a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis circumstances. This paper presents the transition to emergency remote teaching at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) during the COVID-19 pandemic and explores the challenges and the opportunities in several aspects, technological, pedagogical, organizational, individual and social, based on lessons learned.
Abstract. The paper presents a summary of findings from the student digital experience insights survey carried out among students of bachelor, master and doctoral studies at the University of Warsaw during the Covid-19 outbreak in the winter semester 2020/21. It provides an overview of how students perceive the university digital provision as well as the digital teaching and learning at their courses during the pandemic, when the university was forced to introduce immediate online education with a very limited face- to-face component carried out at laboratory or field classes only.
Students share their opinions on what digital tools were most commonly used at their courses and assess their reliability and usefulness in the education process. They also indicate the advantages and disadvantages of digital education, revealing its potentials and barriers.
In fact, the pandemic emergency teaching circumstances have accelerated the process of the University digitalisation in didactic. The findings of the survey and the experience gained are valuable for identifying which elements of the digital education should be developed further and adapted to the post-pandemic reality within a “new normal”.
Abstract. Academic IT centres throughout Europe and beyond were affected heavily by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. In particular, teaching services and video conferencing tools had to be significantly enhanced and scaled immediately, while the impact on research IT was moderate, in comparison. In addition, after the Schrems II ruling of the European Court of Justice in July 2020, the situation was further complicated by the fact that the EU-US Privacy Shield was declared invalid. Therefore, tools and services by IT companies based in the US can hardly be used at state-funded universities in the EU without substantial negotiations with the vendors.
A survey across 94 academic institutions in Germany shows which aspects stand out and what priorities many of the German IT centres have set for this sudden, inevitable surge in digitalisation in 2020. The working group on “Strategy and Organisation” of the ZKI Association for German academic IT centres conducts an annual survey on the most important topics and focal points of member institutions. The survey takes up and documents the most relevant or trending issues of IT facilities from universities and research institutions. It is completed by CIOs, heads of data centres, IT directors and persons in comparable roles. The 2021 survey, carried out in December 2020 and January 2021, had an additional focus on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on IT institutions in 2020. The results might also shed light on the effects of the pandemic on academic IT facilities in other EU countries – or serve as a basis for differentiation.
Abstract. This article offers an overview of how Laurea, a Finnish university of Applied Sciences navigated the unprecedented situation with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. We also share our reflections on the support provided to online teaching and learning through the lens of TPACK, communities of practice (CoP), and learning design models. The empirical part describes how Laurea supported its academic staff in transitioning their teaching online, and at the same time, introduced a new learning management system. A support structure based on channels of peer support played a major role in the success of the transition. In retrospect, we have learnt the importance of routine and psychological safety, especially in these exceptional circumstances. Teachers feel more inclined to try out new technology and methods if there is a safe environment to learn from one’s earlier experiences and experiment with new methods.