Enhancing the user experience and increasing interactions with students
Considered one of the best young universities in the world, Maastricht University (UM) in the Netherlands has more than 20,000 students and 4,400 employees. UM is known for its innovative Problem-Based Learning model, its multi-disciplinary approach to research and education and its international focus – with more than 50% of its students coming from outside the Netherlands.
Before choosing KeyLinks, UM was using its own in-house reading list management system which worked for many years, but did not integrate with other key library systems and had become complicated and time consuming to manage and update. With no resource for further developments of their own system, MU decided it was time to seek a new solution.
To meet their needs, UM wanted a solution that would:
- Fully integrate with other library systems and their VLE
- Optimise workflows and provide a better user experience for librarians and course coordinators
- Enable increased interaction with students
To ensure their systems stayed current, UM were seeking a more commercial, supporting partnership to provide an enhanced solution with a flexible approach to future development.
Ineke Schmetz, Library Systems Specialist at Maastricht University, said:
We saw a lot of potential because [KeyLinks] were, at that moment, eager to improve and to listen to what we wanted.
We introduced KeyLinks to two faculties as part of an initial trial and provided full training. Some development work was needed on the library side to enable books and journals to be searched for easily and added to the resource list – this led to us rapidly developing the ‘Bookmarklet’ tool which was gratefully received by UM.
We were so impressed with the bookmark tool!
As required, KeyLinks integrated seamlessly with UM’s VLE – this included Blackboard during the trial period and then Canvas at the start of the new academic year, ready for the pilot to begin.
UM had thousands of modules and courses on its database which would have been a major task to set up manually in KeyLinks. To overcome this, we worked closely with the university’s IT team who were able to tweak some formatting and make it possible for KeyLinks to upload everything automatically per semester block, to an agreed hierarchy, saving time and enabling lecturers to get started quickly, adding the learning materials they needed for their students.
KeyLinks has provided Maastricht University Library with a flexible tool that easily integrates with their VLE (Canvas) and enhances the workflow, saving valuable time for university staff. By partnering with KeyLinks, the university now has a future-proof system that they will have a role in developing as they join the KeyLinks user community.
Working together closely, evening during the COVID-19 pandemic, KeyLinks and the team at Maastricht University Library have built a strong relationship. Ineke agreed:
A true partnership is working towards a common goal.