iTnews Benchmark Awards 2019: Education finalists revealed

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iTnews Benchmark Awards 2019: Education finalists revealed

Social robots, cheat-stoppers and CRM consolidation top the charts

The contenders for the annual iTnews benchmark awards are becoming clearer: in recent days week we’ve revealed finalists in the Finance category, the Industrial sector and showcased the best users emerging technologies, to go with the late 2018 reveal of State Government and Local Government finalists.

Today we reveal the three finalists in the Education category, to celebrate the most innovative uses of technology across the sector.

Curtin University Intelligent Remote Invigilation System

Universities recognize that students want flexible learning arrangements and have therefore started to move more courses online, even delivering exams over the internet. But doing so raises the risk of cheating during exams.

Enter Curtin University’s Intelligent Remote Invigilation System (IRIS) an application that records audio and video from a student’s computer as they sit exams. Using machine learning, IRIS flags suspicious behavior.

University staff were aware that students could find the application intrusive or stressful, so made installation easy, used cloud-based tools so the on-device footprint is very light and added a friendly avatar to explain its operation and use cloud-based tools.

The result is a tool that supports the University’s strategic goal of more online delivery by ensuring the integrity of exams. The software has proven itself in pilots and also sparked interest from other educational institutions: Curtin has budgeted for six-figure sales of the software in 2019 as it targets just ten percent of the local education market.

Coverage of this story still to come

University of Canberra

The University of Canberra found itself in an all-too-familiar situation: while it had records of its students, they were scattered across a dozen systems, which made it hard to deliver services to students.

The University’s “UC Student 360” project changed that by integrating those diverse apps into a single CRM. The results include:

  • Improved student retention, in part thanks to integration of an app that helps academic staff to identify students at risk of dropping out;
  • Improve staff morale, thanks to automation of many tasks;
  • Software license savings thanks to consolidation.


Read iTnews’ coverage of the project here and here

LaTrobe University social robots for special needs students

Victoria’s Waratah Special Developmental School serves students with significant intellectual disabilities. The school works with students aged between five and eighteen.

The school is an innovator: new ways of engaging its students are always welcome.

Enter LaTrobe University’s Business School, which deployed “Social Robots” developed by Japan’s NEC to work with Waratah Students.

Social Robots can recognize human faces and voices, detect emotions, read text and play music.

The bots’ deployment at Waratah have had impressive results: the robots have increased student engagement and accelerated development of their cognitive abilities.       

Read iTnews' coverage of the project here

Finally, some housekeeping: all finalists will be contacted by the iTnews events team to explain how to attend the gala awards night.


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