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Improving student experience with self-service device loans

By Debbie Exley, Events and Marketing Executive, Lapsafe

Posted by Ed Brown | December 07, 2017 | Technology

More and more colleges are offering their students the opportunity to borrow a laptop or similar device for set periods of time. Offering this type of service is a great way to enhance the students experience with very little staff interaction. Whether it’s for short term loan or long term, students are constantly looking for ways to access resources such as laptops/tablets to finish that essay or research for their assignments.

The LapSafe® Diplomat™ LMS self-service device loan lockers makes device loans easy to manage and allows students to borrow devices at any time of day, whether staff are present or not; offering 24 x 7 x 365 access. Almost half of UK Universities are now offering self-service device loans to their students and the Diplomat™LMS is really living up to its expectations. In some instances, it is the Student Union that has provided funding for this service and it is becoming increasingly popular.

Since automating their service, universities are seeing an increased usage of their laptop or tablet loan service. One such university is the University of Huddersfield. Wayne Winterbottom, IT Support Manager for Computing and Library Services, commented that “since it began its long-term investment in the LapSafe® Diplomat™LMS, positive feedback and the use of loaned devices has increased dramatically. The university has received encouraging feedback from students about its ease of use, being able to borrow laptops, not just to use in the Library but to be able to take them home to work on, they like the 24/7 access to the system with no need for staff interaction. The usual complaints of having no computers to access have dwindled and the university are fighting to keep up with the demand from students for laptops”.

Increased student fees across the sector and the high cost of laptops due to Brexit and exchange rate fluctuations have led to financial constraints for some students. – Wayne Winterbottom, IT Support Manager, University of Huddersfield

Wayne also commented that “Increased student fees across the sector and the high cost of laptops due to Brexit and exchange rate fluctuations have led to financial constraints for some students, a laptop has become more of a luxury item and isn’t within everyone’s budget. A decrease in funding for some bands of students with disabilities, who no longer receive funding for their own laptop, are now accessing the service. The Student Union are active in supporting the marketing of the Diplomat™LMS and are working with us to develop the service, including the recent introduction of MacBook’s. The Diplomat™LMS has improved student experience and looks to continue to do so for some time to come”.

The introduction of self-service device loans has also been popular with Library staff as it has helped to free up staff time, enabling them to give more face-to-face time with the students. In a recent survey carried out by LapSafe® the reasons why universities have decided to automate their manual loan schemes was to give students access to fully charged devices 24 x 7 x 365 access and as a direct response to student surveys.

If you want to know more about how to automate your manual loan service or introduce self-service device loans into your university then visit LapSafe® have many case studies and can also put you in touch with other universities who have successfully deployed self-service. Alternatively visit us on stand E130 at The Bett Show 2018 at London Excel 24th– 27th January where you will be able to view a demonstration of the Diplomat™ LMS.

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