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Alert Driven Communications Management for Distance Learning. Dickson K.W. Chiu , Senior Member, IEEE Dickson Computer Systems, Hong Kong kwchiu@acm.org, dicksonchiu@ieee.org Samuel P.M. Choi School of Business and Administration, The Open University of Hong Kong. schoi@ouhk.edu.hk.

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alert driven communications management for distance learning

Alert Driven Communications Management for Distance Learning

Dickson K.W. Chiu, Senior Member, IEEE

Dickson Computer Systems, Hong Kong

kwchiu@acm.org, dicksonchiu@ieee.org

Samuel P.M. Choi

School of Business and Administration,

The Open University of Hong Kong.

schoi@ouhk.edu.hk

introduction
Introduction
  • Increasing mobility of students and educators
  • Awareness, accessibility, and responsiveness
  • Using innovative technology to facilitate learning
  • Process integration and data integration are required among education partners
  • Managed multi-channel communications
  • Alerts - urgent requests and critical messages
  • Experience from healthcare alert system
  • Alert Management System (AMS)
    • Routing, monitoring, and logging the alerts
    • Find suitable service - application specific considerations like costs, waiting time, service time
stakeholders of distance learning ouhk
Stakeholders of Distance Learning: OUHK
  • Both human and computerized systems involved
  • Different degree of computerization
main problems and requirements
Main problems and requirements
  • Traditional communications are no longer adequate
    • online learning platforms
    • web-based administrative services
    • cellular phones and pagers
    • email or instant messenger
  • Main problems and requirements
    • Large number of messages require timely communication
    • Managed multi-channel communications
    • Seamless Integrations
  • Web Services supports both type of interaction in a single framework
  • Both human and computerized systems involved
  • Different degree of computerization
role of alerts in is
Role of Alerts in IS

What are Alerts?

  • Different from general events, alerts have more specific attributes, e.g., urgency and service requirements.
  • Different from exceptions, they need not relate to abnormal behaviors.
  • asynchronously received by external events / exceptions, incoming E-service requests
  • synchronously generated by internal E-service application.
  • handled by the AMS by requesting services:
    • internal information systems
    • human service provider
    • external E-service providers
phased system implementation
Phased System Implementation
  • Phase 1 – Call center support system
  • Phase 2 – Upgrade existing system to support also alerts
    • Tutoring and discussion system
    • Venue management system
    • Assignment management system
    • Student and tutor monitoring system
    • Complaint and exception management system
advantage from student s perspective
Advantage from student’s perspective
  • full-time job during their part-time study
  • senior management positions: travel frequently
  • availability of flexible, anytime, anyplace help from tutors
  • though quality responses are often more important than the response time
  • AMS reliably routes their questions
  • finds alternative tutors for assistance
  • communications among peer students for discussions and group work
  • communicate with the course coordinator upon exceptions: assignment extensions, attending another tutorial class, changing the tutorial group, or even deferral of examinations and studies
advantage from educator s perspective
Advantage from educator’s perspective
  • similar anytime anyplace requirement for the access and management of messages
  • AMS help keep track of the messages, esp. important and urgent ones
  • avoid being overwhelmed by the large amount of messages from the students
  • full-time course coordinators monitor the performance of the tutors (e.g. marking lateness)
advantage from administrator s perspective
Advantage from administrator’s perspective
  • coordinates the partner institutions’ communication with the students and the tutors
  • especially upon exceptions such as changes in tutorial venue and tutor absences or substitutions
  • call center automation
  • forming a tutor pool to answer student queries: better response time and substitution
  • monitor the tutors’ performance
  • data integration with the partner institutes
conclusions
Conclusions
  • A conceptual model for specifying alerts based on the requirements of distance learning
  • A practical architecture for the AMS based on contemporary Web Services – supports human and programmatic interfaces
  • matching service providers to alert requirements
  • A mechanism for (re-)routing alerts and increasing their urgency when alerts are not acknowledged or processed within deadline.
  • Applicability for distance learning
  • flexible and reusable AMS can be plug into other systems
future work
Future Work
  • Interfacing and platform-specific issues
  • Inter-relations among alerts
  • Failure of commitments and their relation to contract enforcement
  • managing the diary of the personnel with agents
  • Impact of cancellations, other possible exceptions
  • Tradeoff between quality/response time and cost, and service negotiation
  • Location dependent applications
    • Workforce management
    • Mobile CRM