Gartner Eye on Innovation Award Submissions 2024

Gartner, one of the leading technical research and consulting firms worldwide, has recently held its submission intake for their annual Eye on Innovation awards. These awards recognize innovative uses of technology that drive best in-class initiatives. This year, UBC has submitted 4 projects for consideration in the Education category.

As a leading institution in adoption of technological innovation, UBC has recently been employing the use of emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), large-language models (LLMs), and automation into much of its work. The use of these technologies has resulted in improvements in areas such as student success, operational efficiency, analytical capabilities, and beyond. With an ever-changing climate of technological advancements, there is a growing opportunity to leverage a cross-section of these technologies to tackle increasingly complex educational and administrative challenges. This is highlighted in the array of technologies used in UBC’s submissions from the Emerging Media Lab (EML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) team, the Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC), and UBC Okanagan’s Constellation team.

The Candidates

UBC’s Emerging Media Lab (EML)

UBC’s Emerging Media Lab (EML) has created the Judicial Interrogatory Simulator (JIS), a courtroom simulation designed to equip first-year law students for the moot court experience with the help of artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and virtual reality. By providing students with access to digital courtroom proceedings first-hand, they can familiarize themselves with the subtleties that make preparing for the courtroom so complex. Pacing, immersion, responsiveness, and accurate feedback are all key elements of moot preparation that have historically been difficult to replicate in student practice. The JIS addresses these challenges by leveraging emerging technologies in its custom solution.

Learn more about UBC EML’s Judicial Interrogatory Simulator

UBC’s Emerging Media Lab

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at UBC

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) at UBC launched the Misc Payee Automation, automating the cumbersome process of making small dollar payments (<$249) in Workday for the Financial Operations team. This frequent process drained employee capacity, and in many cases, the cost for UBC to process the transactions is more than the amount being reimbursed. The repetitive nature of this task coupled with its large volumes made it a task well suited for an automated solution. This automation now handles these large volumes and is expected to save approximately $100,000 over the next 3 years. Beyond the costs saved, it will also improve institutional efficiency and the customer experience by ensuring accuracy in payments and reducing the lead time required to pay external partners.

Learn more about Robotic Process Automation at UBC

UBC RPA demonstration of tool

UBC Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC)

The UBC Cloud Innovation Centre (CIC) has built a custom solution that uses AI, machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and LLMs to create a streamlined web tool that allows users to analyze the pedagogical flexibility of courses from their syllabi. Courses can be filtered by campus or faculty; for field of study or academic level; and across different dimensions of flexibility, such as make-up midterm exams, lecture recordings, and other flexibility options. This project has allowed its users to perform analyses on curricula that were previously unfeasible due to scale. In the past, the process of ingesting, storing, extracting, and analyzing text from syllabi could take up to hundreds of hours, depending on the volume. With the newly developed application, this has been reduced to minutes.

Learn more about the UBC CIC’s Determining Course Flexibility from Syllabi

UBC Cloud Innovation Centre

UBC Okanagan’s Constellation

UBC Okanagan’s Constellation is a spatial ecosystem powered by people and technology that creates new pathways for interaction, exploration, learning, and discovery. Constellation leverages resources from Information Technology, the Library, and Ed Tech. It was launched to reimagine existing immersive media and technology learning spaces at UBC Okanagan and to provide opportunities for the entire campus to explore the potential of emerging technologies for teaching, learning, and research. Spaces include:

  • Canada’s highest-resolution, 3D, VR-ready, 40 screen video wall
  • Immense digital presentation space with 16 screen video wall and curated programming
  • Makerspace workshop with 3D printing, 3D scanning, glass etching, soldering, textiles
  • Digital Design Lab - high-powered graphic workstations for VR/AR design
  • Professional recording studios - for audio and video production, with green screen & light board

Learn more about UBC Okanagan’s Constellation

UBC Okanagan’s Constellation

Visit the Gartner Eye of Innovation awards website for further information on these awards, past winners, and participating industries.

Article written by Aaren Lin