“We strive for a user-centered education within Antioch University. We focus on the student, and make it easy for them to accomplish their goals. Being able to provide them with remote access to the necessary software, while eliminating technology roadblocks gets us closer to this mission.” Chancelor C. Chao, Technical Director, Antioch University
Antioch University is comprised of five-campuses in four states. Each campus has distinct academic programs, community life, and curriculum, and they all integrate online learning environments. The university offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs.
Through its Institutional Repositories or IRs, Antioch maintains a central repository for all the university’s research, published articles, working papers, presentations and other content. IRs are accessible through AURemoteApps (Antioch University Repository and Archive), and provides students with the capability to tap into a broad array of resources when they are on campus or online.
IRs and AURemoteApps are part of Antioch’s philosophy to promote student-centered education, providing the tools and environment to make learning more accessible from anywhere. Antioch’s doctoral program is one example of this.
Comprised of small groups of students representing diverse backgrounds, Antioch’s doctoral program required the use of IBM’s SPSS predictive analytics software to perform various research. The university purchased and licensed SPSS but it was only available to students when they were on campus and in the lab, making it inconvenient to perform tasks and conduct independent research remotely. The only other option at the time was for students to purchase their own license of the software, which was an unacceptable alternative.
“We already invested in the software and did not want to place any further burden on students,” explained Chancelor C. Chao, Antioch’s technical director. “A lot of students use SPSS and we did not want to force them to come into the campuses. We wanted to enable students wherever they are, to go into the application via our AURemoteApps, and access the program through that.“
After researching several options, including Citrix and Windows Terminal Server, Chao and his team selected Ericom AccessNow and PowerTerm WebConnect to deliver browser-based access to the SPSS predictive analytics software.
Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect is an advanced connection broker that provides unified access to desktops, applications, files and content on a wide range of platforms. Integrating AccessNow, students have the capability to access SPSS utilizing all types of endpoint devices. This is achieved by leveraging HTML5 technology which is supported across the many leading Web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer.
“From a BYOD perspective, AccessNow enables students to log in from Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Android devices, as well as Macs and Windows laptops and desktops,“added Chao. “As a zero client solution, AccessNow not only offers the flexibility for students to conduct research at their own convenience using the devices they are comfortable with, but also eliminates the support and maintenance associated with endpoint installations.“