9 Features to Look for in Your Next (and Probably Last) Campus Portal

June 19, 2018  |  by: Tami Nealy
Campus Portal
Cloud Technologies
College Portal
Higher Ed Tech

Is your campus portal still in the dark ages in terms of functionality? Does it hinder rather than help students find the services and information they need to be successful?

It might be time for you to take advantage of the opportunities technology offers, modernizing and simplifying your campus portal for accessibility, findability and reliability, to name just a few. Here are 9 key portal capabilities to look for.

Search first

Your students want a 21st Century experience, with Google-like service discovery that enables them to go online and search first – the same way they find everything. Above all students must find the content they are looking for, quickly and efficiently. Think of your portal as your digital concierge.

Mobile friendly

It’s how your students live – socially and academically.  So, mobility is a must have for your campus portal. Bring your portal into the next generation to make it accessible anywhere, anytime and on any device (including smartphones or tablets). Only then can you meet the expectations your students have for speed and convenience.

Role and task based

It’s called ownership, and that feeling of autonomy drives buy-in and adoption across departments and individual users. Roles include groups or types of users that will access the campus portal (students, staff, administrators, faculty, parents), while tasks describe and provide direct links to available services and content related to activities like freshman orientation or accessing an LMS, for example.

Content-focused

Your students, faculty and staff shouldn’t have to hunt for specific documents or information in multiple web applications or systems to conduct their business. With outdated campus portals, users are not able to bookmark or prioritize links to their favorite resources that help them complete tasks quickly. The answer is a one-stop shop for the services and content that users go to most often.

Intuitive design

Campus portal navigation should never be a challenge, and today’s students demand a better way than what many existing older portals offer. Using an archaic portal is like looking for that proverbial needle in a haystack. An intuitive design enhances the student experience, invites user feedback, and increases student engagement (and retention).

Rapid implementation

That means no heavy lifting for your IT staff. Your campus portal should be cloud based and easy to set up and deploy within just a few weeks to a few months. Your modernized portal should also be lightweight, sitting on top of existing systems and making it easy to integrate with existing applications. Look for a solution that requires minimal administration oversight from IT, with a quick response from vendor customer support if you have questions.

Flexible and customizable

Think of your campus portal as an extension of your institution’s brand that helps to enhance your visibility and reputation. The ability to customize the design of your new portal with your logo, colors, style sheets, and even name makes it uniquely yours. And your students want to be able to personalize how they view and experience service discovery as well.

Affordable

One of the goals of a modern portal should be to eliminate heavy, expensive and locally-managed software. While technology platforms can stretch even the largest university budget, simplifying campus life shouldn’t break the bank. Developing your own portal application requires a lot of time and money. Instead, buying a solution based on an annual SaaS license saves both.

Reporting and analytics

Look for a campus portal solution that enables you to capture user data, including what services are being used (and which are not). Having access to a wide variety of user patterns and statistics can enlighten and inform IT teams and administrators, enable data-driven decision making, and drive enhanced design and functionality.

And as you might imagine, rSmart can help you get it all done. Learn more about OneCampus in this 2-minute video.

 

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