Software firm improves student and staff safety with digital enrolment program for the education industry

13th Jul

A Hull-based software company developed online enrolment software for the education sector in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

With growing concern over a second wave in autumn 2020, Smashed Crab Software, based in the K2 Tower in Bond Street, worked with nearby Hull College to create a digital system that would improve the safety of staff and students during the traditionally face-to-face enrolment event.

The team of developers at Smashed Crab understood that time was of the essence. They worked tirelessly to meet the tight deadline without compromising on function or design. Following months of planning, coding and testing the software was successfully implemented.

Being completely remote, the newly deployed digital system meant there was no need for students to travel to the college or share any equipment in order to enrol. An alternative may have been enrolling students in timed groups but there would still have been a risk, not only at the open day but also during the travel time for those involved.

Hull College became the first education provider to use this technology, putting it at the forefront of digital adoption for UK further education organisations.

The software created an opportunity for the college to appeal to potential students. The management team knew their target market (primarily the 16-18 age group) and were aware of their desire and expectation for up-to-date digital processes. Hull College felt this was an important consideration for attracting students, not just through the pandemic but for years to come.

Integrating with Hull College’s information system enabled the direct and instant input of the data from the student’s device as it was submitted. This included all the information the college would traditionally take in person at the enrolment event. The students could even take their own photo and upload it for their ID confirmation.

The software offered the college administration and management departments a sizable benefit. There was a real and significant time saving for admin staff both on the enrolment day and the weeks following, which translated into a substantial stress and cost reduction. Furthermore, this student-led input resulted in fewer accidental human errors such as names being spelled incorrectly or postcodes being one digit out.

John Applegate, director of funding and information services for the Hull College Group, said: “Smashed Crab undertook substantial development to our enrolment system at very short notice in order to meet the needs of the college during the Covid situation.

“Moving from paper to online was a huge step for us, but we were guided through the process very well. Smashed Crab developed the system which makes for a very smooth enrolment process both for staff and students, from whom very positive feedback has been received.”

Alex Beamer, managing director at Smashed Crab Software, said: “The solution offers individual integration with the institution’s management software, no matter which management information software they are using.

“A tailored approach is taken so that, even though they will function in a similar way, each college’s version of the system will look different and take their needs and branding into account.”

BusinessWorks Hull & East Yorkshire Autumn 2021

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