Customer Story: Western Illinois University - Ricoh Scanners Skip to main content

Western Illinois University

Customer Story

Universities embrace digitization to accelerate feedback and support learning

Western Illinois University

As more universities are moving more classes to an online, distance-learning format, the need for a scanner has never been more important. Digitizing documents helps faculty provide student feedback quickly, and streamlines processes for administrators.

University Facts

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Business Needs

Western Illinois University (WIU) serves a diverse 9,000+ student body, with an equally diverse faculty of 240 staff and administrators. Named a “Best Midwestern University” for 15 consecutive years,1 the campus offers over 100 undergrad and graduate degree programs with a focus on academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth, and social responsibility.

Even before the state's shelter in place order required WIU to move to a distance learning model, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Lora Wolff, was looking for a better way to manage her dissertation correspondence. With each paper running upwards of 200 pages and feedback often involving multiple professors, she was dealing with literally thousands of pieces of paper each week. Professor Wolff prefers to hand-write her comments, which means printing out copies at every step and physically returning them to her students, as well as keeping a copy on file. The faculty had just one document scanner sitting in an administrative assistant's office, which made getting anything digitized a very slow process. Professor Wolff needed a faster, more robust solution to stay connected to her grad students and keep them moving forward.

1US News & World Report

If I was starting over again, there’s no way I would do this job without one of these. The ScanSnap is fast, easy to use, and produces high quality digital documents that accelerate feedback and approvals, and significantly reduce our paper records.

Lora Wolff Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Western Illinois University


As part of the move to remote learning, the university implemented a ScanSnap scanner in Professor Wolff’s home office. Each day she scans between two and 20 dissertation documents, ranging anywhere from a few pages up to 250. Now she can write her comments, scan the document, and email her edits directly to the student or professor who needs to review it next. The ScanSnap’s autofeed feature and ultra-fast scanning capabilities have drastically reduced the amount of time she was spending copying and digitizing documents, as well as streamlining student records. Plus, unlike a black and white photocopier, the color ScanSnap captures highlighting and colored annotations, with much higher image quality. This ensures that no detail is lost.

In addition to sharing her comments with her graduate students, Professor Wolff was required to get wet signatures from all parties involved—the student, herself, and administrators. Before getting a ScanSnap scanner, this had to be done manually and took weeks. Not having to print, mark up, and mail out copies lets Professor Wolff turn documents around in hours. And rather than keeping a file that’s 11-inches thick, she simply scans and saves each document to a virtual file for that student. With the ScanSnap, she can communicate easily with her students and other faculty members, even when they can’t meet face to face.

Looking ahead, Professor Wolff plans to use digitized documents for degree plans, program projects, dissertation forms, and anything else she needs to turn around quickly. Scanning documents and records saves the university valuable time, streamlines processes, and empowers both its students and its staff.

Recommended Product

Product Features

  • Get started instantly with Fast Setup mode—just lift the lid and start scanning
  • Big, smart touch screen with shortcut buttons for speedy scanning and easy organizing
  • Wi-Fi convenience—use with any device, or scan directly to popular cloud services
  • Scan receipts and business cards with removable Receipt Guide
  • Feed in thicker items like envelopes with one-touch Manual Feed engagement
  • ScanSnap Cloud determines document type and destination automatically
  • Change settings anytime or use Auto Scan mode to optimize quality
  • Integrate your favorite features with ScanSnap Home software

ScanSnap® iX1600


With ScanSnap scanning technology, universities can provide the following benefits for their faculty, staff, and students:

  • A simplified way to share and organize documents
  • Software license for multiple users on a single unit
  • Single and double-sided documents scanned at a speedy 30 sheets per minute
  • Versatile paper handling with professional-grade feeding technology