Coventry’s web-based voting with SharePoint

You're probably already familiar with SharePoint, and some of its capabilities to support communication and collaboration for both students and staff. But what never ceases to amaze me are the other uses that people find for it in education.

Coventry University has 17,000 students, and has recently moved from a paper-based campus voting system (with long-winded hand counting of ballots) to an electronic one based on SharePoint. It makes sense to them, because their Active Directory contains all of their student community, and it also appeals to students, who seem to love anything web-based. Not only does Coventry save £1,000 per vote, but they also make it possible for students to vote over the web - increasing participation.

You're not going to have the same needs in an FE college, but one of the things it points to is another way of using technology to engage more with your students. It's an issue which comes up regularly when talking to colleges - with the student base being particularly fickle, and changing rapidly.

We've published a full case study on our global case studies database.

The case study left me wondering - just how many elections does a university run?

Comments (3)

  1. callum nash says:

    shame it doesnt work. every year in our uni the computers crash and all the first votes are mysteriously lost. the votes are repeated at an obscure date and typically no one votes, leading to our current **** SU president getting elected.

    the guy hasnt done anything good for students in 2 years, we still have a **** student atmosphere, ridiculous university fees and no events EVER.

    nice one share point, clearly not such a fool proof system

  2. Ray Fleming says:

    Hmm. Sat thinking. Should I publish this comment or not – Callum has a pop at people as well as systems. So I took a look at Callum’s website, and decided it was a serious comment, and making a serious point. So I got out my asterisk key, and lightly edited to remove the names etc so small children wouldn’t be offended. But essentialky, the comments stand…

    Well Callum, fair points to make – if the computers do crash every year, then that’s definitely a bit of an issue! I don’t know if that’s a sharepoint problem, or something else, so I’m not going to hazard a guess.

    As for blaming the system for the choice of SU president – not sure if that’s fair – be a bit like blaming the lottery machine for the fact that I don’t win every week (err, actually, I don’t win every week because I stopped doing the lottery years ago).


  3. pete says:

    callum and ray…

    well done ray for *** callumn's mention of names… well done callum on highlighting on either how bad it has been implement in cov uni or how bad the software is.  I'm a student there and agree there is a failing there.

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