Zoho Creator helps SRM University on their journey to a paperless process.

About SRM University:

Sri Ramaswami Memorial University is one of the biggest and best private universities of its kind in India. They've been imparting knowledge to thousands of students for more than three decades. The institution employs 2,600 faculty members and serves more than 38,000 students, in seven campuses spread across India. Their courses include disciplines like Engineering, Management, Medicine, Humanities, etc.

The process:

Every institute has unique processes to manage academics. But the basic process flow is somewhat similar for all of them. It's often a sequence that can be roughly described as:

Admission > Course registration > Course delivery > Evaluation > Graduation

At the SRM Institute of Technology, which is the engineering wing of the university, management was looking for a solution that could automate the course registration process.

SRM's course registration process is:

Course allocation > Course registration > Faculty allocation > Room allocation

"A lot of paper movement from one office to another, students going to different offices to hand over their requests, and then the process gets delayed."-Prof. C.Muthamizhchelvan (Director Faculty of Engineering and Tech, SRM Univ.)

The Problem

The sheer volume of students that they had to manage was the main problem. Organizing and processing tons of paper documents on students, courses, exams, and more took a toll on management and faculty. It also led to delays in the institution's process.

The Solution

They started searching for a solution that could cater to their specific needs, and that's where Zoho Creator came to the rescue. Using it, they were able to set up an initial version of the system they required in a matter of weeks. The core of the system is a course allocation and registration module.

Course allocation and registration module:

The module lists all the courses that are available to students of different departments in a specific semester. Students select the courses they want, and based on the number who have enrolled, management allots the faculty. If multiple instructors are teaching the same course, students can then select the one they prefer.

With more than 20,000 students, course allocation and registration used to take weeks. Now it happens within two days—and without a single sheet of paper changing hands.

Room allocation and personalized class schedule:

Once the faculty selection process is completed, management allocates the rooms and time slots for the courses. The Zoho Creator app organizes this data and generates a personalized class schedule for each student, with details about the selected courses, faculty, timing, and room number. That is, a unique schedule for each of the 20,000-plus students of the institute. Imagine how much manual effort this would have taken!

Once they had this system in place, they started adding more modules to further automate their process.

Attendance marking:

The faculty uses the Zoho Creator mobile app to record students who are absent from each individual session. It then generates reports for the faculty, showing the class attendance percentage, and reports on the individual attendance percentage per course for the students.

Internal credit entry:

The students are required to take a variety of internal and external tests throughout their courses. The internal performance also contributes to their final grade, and it's recorded using the internal credit entry module. Students can view their own performance, while faculty can check both individual and overall performance for the course they teach.

"We use the Zoho application to select our subjects and our teachers. We love it because it's hassle-free and we can check our marks and attendance, anywhere and anytime." -Apooru Shukla (Student)

Feedback polling:

The management at SRM University understands that feedback helps refine the course structure and course delivery. Who better to ask than the students themselves? After completion of a course, the feedback polling module is sent to students.

"The exciting moment was when we sent out this URL to all the students to choose the courses and faculty. Within about 30 minutes, I could see about 2,000 registrations." Prof. C.Muthamizhchelvan (Director Faculty of Engg and Tech, SRM Univ.)

Future plans:

In addition to the above modules, some of the latest improvements they are planning to implement are

  • a marks aggregation system for the University's practical exams
  • a goal-setting system to evaluate and support the professional growth of the faculty members

The results:

  • An entirely paperless system
  • Zero delay in registration
  • Easy access to information through the mobile app