Saudi Electronic University's Digital Transformation
Saudi Electronic University “SEU” is one of the premier universities in the Middle East that provides on-campus and off-campus
students with a holistic and futuristic learning experience. SEU has been an early adopter of cutting-edge
technologies, building a robust IT framework for its faculty, administrative personnel, and
students. The institution aims to be perceived a trendsetter among its academic peers through its
adoption of different technologies.
SEU realized that examinations were still conducted using paper-based methods, even though various other educational departments in the institution were making use of the latest technologies. SEU recognized that paper-based examinations consumed significant academic time that could otherwise be used for learning new concepts. Secondly, conducting, evaluating, and assesses students’ performance was laborious via the paper-based examination methods. The paper-based assessments lacked innovation, were not scalable, and possibly hindered the overall learning experience. After obtaining a countrywide license for Blackboard (a learning management system), it was imperative for SEU to lead education entities in the kingdom in adopting digital assessments. In line with the NTP, SEU aimed to transition to a 100% paperless and secure examination environment. Teams at the university started engaging technology partners to achieve this goal
Solution and Strategy
Microsoft catalyzed SEU’s digital transformation by enabling the institution to scale up or down, optimize cost, improve efficiency and elasticity, and create new methods of working. While SEU already utilized Azure’s disaster recovery components, the overall platform is much more than server, network, and storage infrastructure. Azure provides users with security, artificial intelligence, and analytics out of
the box without clients even asking for such features.
GamaLearn is Microsoft’s ISV that focuses on implementing technology in academia to facilitate and
digitize the teaching and learning experience. SwiftAssess is GamaLearn’s differentiated solution that
helps universities assess students, especially students taking distance learning programs.
Microsoft recommended SwiftAssess because it is a proven cloud solution built on and powered by Azure. SwiftAssess uses various application programming interfaces (APIs) and Microsoft services to deliver such a seamless user experience. Additionally, SwiftAssess is hosted on Azure, a robust, a powerful, and scalable cloud platform that is available all over the world, giving users the reassurance of high availability during peak examination periods and minimum latencies due to its advanced caching technology and hosting options.
Project Implementation Timeline
Some of the key business benefits SEU received are listed below.
- A 40% decline in repetitive complaints from users.
- Seamless availability of assessment solutions to students and faculty at 95%.
- An increase in service uptime.
- Cost savings as a result of going paperless and digitizing exams.
- Safe access to exams from anywhere using laptops, mobile, phones, and tablets.