ROSI, U of T’s age-old student web service, has reached the end of the road, making way for a newcomer — the Next Generation Student Information Services (NGSIS).
ROSI is receiving a makeover to reduce wait times and create more efficient functionalities. The changes will gradually integrate with the old system over the next 10 years.
$15 million will be spread out over five years with another $15 million being allocated to fund staff and resources.
“The student interface, the way information is presented to students, and the variety of functions and services made available, are quite limited,” said Jill Matus, vice-provost, students.
Many of us experience that when we try to log in to ROSI and it shuts down each night so the server can be reset.
Matus said that students want a more user-friendly system that allows them to access services and information resources easily and hassle-free.
“The collection of services should do the running around in the background so students needn’t go from office to office, re-entering information to perform the transactions they are required to do,” said Matus.
Because NGSIS will contain more than 90 different services, she added that round-the-clock availability and real-time updates to course selections and enrolments are being considered.
Services such as the degree audit utility, which speeds up awards payments, and the “Wayfinding” project, which uses an interactive map to help students find campus services, have already been introduced under the NGSIS banner.
“The objective is to make visible all kinds of important information related to getting around the university such as ‘Where are the accessible entrances to buildings?,’ ‘Where can I find a place to eat?,’ and ‘Where are my classes located?,’ she said.
Matus stressed, however, that the NGSIS is not a replacement system, and the database and function outcomes will remain largely the same as ROSI.
The technical implementation and solutions of the NGSIS will be overseen by the office of the chief information officer, with input largely being sought from the student body, as she said was the case with the recent email services project.
To augment this, the vice-provost, students’ office will launch a tri-campus student contest to determine the name of the new system.
“ROSI was named by staff on behalf of students. This time we would like to see students name the new ROSI,” said Joan Griffin, special projects officer for the office of the vice-president and provost.
She added that more wide range initiatives involving students would be held in the future.
Corey Scott, vice-president internal and services for the UTSU, said that he was excited about the prospect of the new integrated system creating stronger social bonds among students but hoped many of the complaints raised by students will be resolved.
“The ROSI system quite obviously needed an overhaul. It cannot meet demand and use. Many of us experience that when we try to log in to ROSI and it shuts down each night so the server can be reset,” Scott said.
“This project involves a considerable investment from the operating budget of the university, and so we hope that administrators will continue to consult students to help shape the system so it will meet the needs of our members,” he said.