For years when students needed a web resource to coordinate their classes, register for classes, and even attend classes online they had to navigate a labyrinthine, unstable mish-mash of different web products across several, loosely networked websites. No more!
As was announced earlier this year the school will be streamlining nearly all of its web-based resources into a single, comprehensive portal. What does this mean? It means that you’ll only have to log into one system, one website, and have acess to your campus-provided e-mail, events calender, course calender, and (a relatively new feature that will be unveiled when the project is sufficiently finalized) online storage folder.
Students will be able to sign in and sign up. They can keep track of their classes, and even store their homework online and all from one centralized location on the campus network. The only thing you’ll not be able to do is take a test.
I sat down with Karen Trimble, Director of Information Technologies and she talked with me about the new portal which is currently in beta-testing with a small group of faculty and selected students. She seemed pleased with what she was showing me, and I must say that compared to the current system she had every right to be. The new portal is not only easier to use, but also a lot nicer to look at. It’s layout was pleasantly smart-utilitarian, with a graphically assisted user interface that was a lot easier to navigate. Long, bunched-up hotlinks have given way to drop-down menus, with links to major services being visually augmented with icons and tree menus.
The new web portal is planned to be live and accessible to the greater student body in the fall semester of 2009.