Hundreds will test drive Workday Student next week during mock sessions

Students, professional staff and faculty will participate in a hands-on practice exercise next week in Workday Student. It's part of the training planned to prepare would-be users for March, when they'll complete tasks in the platform for real. The "mock semester" simulation also will be a barometer of sorts for Workday Student implementation teams on highlights and perhaps some hiccups that need attention.

"We need the consumer to test it, practice on it, maybe even try to break it," said Jason Follett, an academic advisor in the software engineering department, Professional and Scientific Council officer and member of the planning team for the mock semester. "What we learn should help shape training materials and communications in February for go-live in March."

Academic advisors will be represented among the 500-plus students and employees who preregistered to show up, log in and complete tasks in Workday. After logging in, advisors will navigate student records to locate, for example, an academic record or progress toward degree completion. On their advising dashboards, they'll find their advisees and try tasks such as overriding or substituting requirements in a student's degree program, and adding, removing or overriding a hold on a student's record.

Student participants, undergraduate or graduate, will log into Workday and, working with their own academic records, drop or replace a class from their schedule and update their personal and contact information.

Faculty will review a class roster and submit interim and final grades. Faculty who advise students also will complete the advising tasks.

The tasks available to be completed will be limited, not the full range of tasks in Workday Student. Participants also will be invited to try the tasks on various hardware -- desktop, tablet or smartphone.

Where is it happening?

The mock semester event features five sessions. The first-floor testing center in Durham Center will host the mock semester exercise for most of the week, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Jan. 29-Feb. 1. On Friday, Feb. 2, the simulation moves to the College of Veterinary Medicine (3-5 p.m.).

About 100 faculty and staff will take part, and more than 70% of the participants will be students. As an incentive, students were offered priority registration status for fall semester. On site, participants also can enjoy lots of ISU-branded giveaways, and snacks and beverages.

What do we hope to learn?

Allowing users to test drive Workday Student is an important goal, but observing their efforts and collecting their feedback on the experience also are a vital part of the mock semester exercise. That input will include both a short survey and informal conversations among participants and Workday Student implementation team members, many of whom will attend the sessions.

"Providing exposure to the system among key user groups -- students, advisors, faculty, staff --and collecting feedback to help us plan for the next go-live for Workday functions are key goals for this event," said Laura Doering, associate vice president for enrollment management, who serves on several Workday Student committees and the mock semester planning group. "Lots of team members will be talking with students and other participants about ease of use, what they think of the platform, tasks they completed, any suggestions they want to give us."

Dean of Students Sharron Evans said she's hopeful that tasks in Workday make sense to students.

"With students, it often comes down to how intuitive the processes are, how easily -- or not -- they're navigated, whether the language makes sense to them or creates confusion. That will be an important thing to learn from this exercise," said Evans, also a planning team member.

The current timeline is for students to have access to Workday for the first time on March 4. Later in the month, on March 26, returning students will begin registering for fall classes in Workday. Registration for summer session will remain in AccessPlus.


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