University of Arkansas
Provided by: Heidi Scher, M.S., CRC, Associate Director – Assistive Technology
Feedback provided on January 11, 2016
Prior to using DSMS
Prior to implementing DSMS,
we used a home-grown access database with multiple linked modules.
We also used many Excel spreadsheets for the various areas (note-takers, testing, alternative format tracking and production, etc.)
While our database was in-depth, we needed something more robust.
We had already become a 'less paper' office – all student documentation was scanned to (PDF).
We also used our in-house server to house case notes (Word files). So, moving to DSMS
was not a huge step or change in these areas.
How did AIM help you import data from your old system into DSMS?
We worked closely with DSMS to import data from our ACCESS database.
DSMS support made the process relatively smooth and quick!
What's one tip you would give to a school implementing DSMS?
Understanding the workflow in each DSMS module is crucial, including what actions trigger events/emails.
You will need to compare your current office processes and workflows to how DSMS is structured.
You may need to tweak some of your office processes, but it will be well worth it!
Networking with others who have gone through the process will also assist with understanding how DSMS
functions as well as what items need to be considered along the way.
Regarding campus support: Make sure to get your campus folks on board EARLY in the process!
What was your experience from start of implementation to the day you launched the application?
Working with IT: This process took the longest. Getting campus IT and the bookstore data took quite some time. This included implementing daily uploads of students' course schedules, daily upload of bookstore data, and setting up a Shibboleth log in. We did not import any data from our University student information system.
Data Integration: Once we understood how DSMS used the data, integrating our old data was fairly painless!
First Day of Launching DSMS: Only a few students had any difficulties with requesting their letters online. Once we showed them how to access their profile, they were good to go!
On Site Training: Our onsite training was great; however, we should have done our homework ahead of time to gain a better understanding of the different modules within DSMS.
How did you feel about working with AIM technical support and training for 4 years?
We are just starting our 4th year with AIM (spring 2016). I have never worked with a software vendor that is so quick to answer questions or resolve problems!
DSMS is not a static software, but rather ever-evolving. While there are occasionally bugs
(not very often), the support teams gets it resolved ASAP!
How were faculty responding to DSMS?
We implemented DSMS in a phased stage approach, with the first few modules implemented consisting of: Alternative Testing Module, Note-taking Services, and email Faculty Notification Letters. Faculty appreciated the quick notification and response regarding note-takers for their class.
As of spring 2016, only a few faculty have used the faculty access feature. We look to implement this fully in fall 2016. To date, we've had very positive responses from faculty.
The vast majority of faculty appreciate receiving these letters via email. We have found that we actually have more faculty contact now than previously when students delivered hard-copy letters.
How was AIM system availability (down time, etc)
We have been impressed with the functionality and availability of DSMS. Rarely is it down, and if there is some type of a glitch, we are notified quickly of the problem and the problem resolved very fast. Our University student information system is down must more than DSMS.
How was AIM responding to your questions, feedback, or frustrations?
Questions are always answered promptly – typically within a few hours, but always within 24-hours. This vendor wants user feedback and they listen! While some features may be customized to one institution, if it seems to be a good idea then it's implemented into future updates for everyone to benefit.