RWTHonline in Pilot Operation

  Students in a study room Copyright: Martin Braun

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Around 1,000 students and employees in the Bachelor’s program in Chemistry and the Master’s program in Political Science were involved in the initial implementation of RWTHonline over a two-year period.

To minimize the risks of introducing the new software, different processes related to the areas of student, course, classroom, exam, and study program management were tested out on this relatively small user group.

Preparations for the pilot stage were already in place in Winter Semester 2016/17 to ensure the software could successfully start on July 10, 2017. The two courses of study in the pilot stage transitioned to normal operations in Winter Semester 2018/19. The processes for both courses of study were not intended to last longer than a year to avoid unnecessary extra work due to the different operations.

The system faced great challenges in its implementation during the pilot stage. Students initially only had access to a restricted number of functions, as the RWTHonline providers could not make all the necessary functions available prior to the pilot stage. In some cases, this meant that IT processes were not fully supported and coordinators in both courses of study had to cover this organizational step – entailing much flexibility from the students.

The feedback from the pilot stage resulted in software optimizations for all students before RWTHonline went fully live. The objective of improving the system’s safety so that the software could be implemented across the university was therefore successful.

RWTH staff members can find further information and manuals on RWTHonline in our internal wiki.