At Oberlin College, students returned from spring break on March 26 to a series of new technologies on campus. It was going to be a big week for not only the students, faculty and staff at Oberlin, but also for the Oberlin College Center for Information Technology. The CIT at Oberlin launched Single Sign-On (SSO), parts of Banner 9 and launch their service discovery portal, OberView, all in the same week.
I was fortunate to receive an invite to Oberlin to help with the launch of their OneCampus instance with students, or “Obies” as they are known on campus.
Time for Change
When it’s time for changes in campus technology, the Oberlin College Center for Information Technology has the blueprint for success. Oftentimes, transformations can takes years. Not at Oberlin. In December 2017, Oberlin partnered with rSmart to deliver a branded OneCampus instance to help students find and discover campus services. And on March 26 they were live!
Not only were they live with OneCampus on March 26, they also launched SSO and limited access to Banner 9. ALL ON THE SAME DAY!
To best communicate with users, the CIT sent a communication to all students, faculty and staff with instructions for SSO and a link to OberView. They also set up tables in different areas of campus to speak with students over the course of two days.
Before and After
Accessing campus services before OberView was a headache. I heard directly from students about their frustrations with their prior “portal”, PRESTO, a list of links after links after links to reach simple campus services.
Similar to dramatic weight loss images or home renovation images, the before and after of the Oberlin portal are just as extraordinary.
Students were frustrated that PRESTO wasn’t mobile friendly, it wasn’t search-based, and they were generally tired of it. Fortunately for students, the college was listening and introduced OberView.
Students are in love
I was thrilled to be on campus and have the opportunity to see and hear student’s initial reactions to OberView myself:
“This is a gigantic improvement–much more efficient!”
“This is going to be a welcome and useful improvement to the way students access campus resources.”
“I’m in LOVE with the single sign-on for this!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!”
The students at Oberlin reminded me once more why we here at rSmart are committed to modernizing campus technology and simplifying campus life. It really does have an impact. Thank you to the staff of the Oberlin CIT team for inviting me to share in your exciting launch!