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European Student Card Initiative

Part of the Erasmus+ programme

Erasmus Without Paper user groups - guide for participants

Who this guide is for

This guide is for colleagues in International Relations Offices responsible for managing Erasmus+ student mobility through Erasmus Without Paper (EWP). It explains how you can contribute to the further development of EWP by sharing your views through specific consultation channels to build a strong partnership among all Erasmus+ digitalisation stakeholders.

What are EWP User Groups?

Implementing EWP standards across a diverse landscape of higher education institutions is a big challenge and requires a lot of collaborative effort. The EWP governance structure brings together all stakeholders at the heart of digital Erasmus+ administration to allow for broad consultation involving the institutional, national and EU levels.

The largest stakeholder forum is the Business Process Owners Forum, which consists of two groups: the EWP User Groups and the Standing Expert Group of EWP users (nominated by their Erasmus+ National Agency to represent national EWP groups or appointed based on their expertise).

The EWP User Groups consist of the community of EWP end-users at large where you can contribute in shaping the initiative by participating in consultations organised in a structural manner by the EWP Relationship Managers. The EWP Relationship Managers help facilitate the consultations in the User Groups and keep track of your needs and feedback shared in the discussions. This feedback will inform the in-depth monthly discussions in the Standing Expert Group and ultimately provides input for decision-making at the European level.

The User Groups are also a place for you to exchange good practices, discuss how to overcome specific challenges and experiences with your peers using EWP. They are organised per software system used to connect to EWP facilitating discussions about software-specific issues and solutions. Over time, the User Groups may evolve to include more channels based around different groups or topics.

Can I join an EWP User Group?

Any colleague using EWP can join one of the EWP User Groups organised on the Slack platform. The User Groups (channels) are for end users of EWP, that is, colleagues in International Relations Offices implementing Erasmus+.

If you are an IT developer, you will find the technical user community on GitHub, and you can join the monthly Infrastructure Forum to discuss with other IT developers.

If you are seeking general information, you can find an introduction to the EWP on this site.

How can I join an EWP User Group?

Request your access

Go to the form to register (link opens Microsoft Forms).

This includes a privacy statement from Ghent University, the Slack space administrator. We will ask you to provide an email address for the invitation and have a chance to indicate your primary user group based on what solution you use to connect to EWP

We will give you access through the email address indicated in the registration form. After receiving the email, accept the invitation and join the community.

Create your profile

To start, you will need to create your profile. Click the profile icon in the top right corner and select “edit” to complete your profile.

When setting up your profile, please add your real name and in “title”, please put the name of your Higher Education Institution. This will help us to keep track of feedback and help other EWP users in discussing topics with you. You may also want to add the Erasmus Code of your institution and a photo to help colleagues recognise you.

If later you need to update any of the information, you can do so by editing your profile.

Find your user community

When you first log in to the user groups in Slack (or download the app), you will be automatically added to the announcement channel. In this channel, you will find general announcements, where the EWP+ consortium will post general information updates.

If you are not automatically added to your #usergroup upon logging into the slack channel, you should join by clicking “Browse channels” and then “Join” the relevant User Group(s).

If you cannot find a User Group for your provider - don't worry! Users of smaller systems providers are encouraged to join the group #usergroup-othersystems.

We also encourage you to join the #general discussion channel to launch or participate in threads that relate to the topic of digitalisation in Erasmus+ in general.

How do I use Slack to engage in User Groups?

Create your thread

You can create your own threads if you want to launch a new discussion on any EWP related topic. All users in the group will be able to reply and/or react to your message posted in the channel to participate in the discussion. Make sure that you create your thread in the appropriate User Group or in the #General channel, so the post is relevant to the other members. In order for everyone to be able to understand and participate in discussions, users must communicate in English.

Note: only the EWP+ consortium administrators can post in the formal #announcements channel.

Reply to posts of colleagues (via threads)

Running the discussion in threads helps to maintain an organised space to exchange ideas. You can use the Reply in thread function when you want to engage in a discussion on a certain topic. This will make sure the discussion does not add clutter to the channel and is easy for other users to follow.

Communicate with your colleagues

You can also write a direct message to a colleague if you want to discuss something in private.

Follow the discussion in groups

Exchanging and spreading ideas and good practices are crucial steps in the implementation process. We encourage you to follow the group discussion and share your experience with colleagues. If you don’t want to miss any posts, you can turn on your notifications (general or customised based on your selected keywords). When you choose the star option, it will set the group to the top of the channel list.

See also: How to use Slack: your quick start guide

What is the code of conduct in the EWP User Groups?

The EWP User Groups are not intended for promotional purposes and commercial activities. Their purpose is to gather general feedback on EWP's overall state of play and the needs of Higher Education Institutions in terms of digitalisation in Erasmus+ administration. They can also be used to raise system-specific issues and discuss solutions with users of the same system.

Participants in the User Groups must share their opinions and feedback in a respectful manner. Views shared in the User Groups will not be externally distributed nor directly referenced in any formal way. The User Groups are a safe space for open exchanges.

If users violate the code of conduct, the User Group administrators reserve the right to remove inappropriate posts or deactivate your profile in case of repeated violations.