Best Practices: Driving Adoption with Student Involvement

February 27, 2016  |  by: Delphina Saragosa
Campus Portal
Cloud Technologies
College Portal

In 2013, Indiana University developed One.IU ( as a way for students, staff, and faculty to quickly find and access university services such as grades, class schedules, and email in a marketplace format.

It was designed with a modern user experience, core search functionality similar to Google and other popular search engines, and user-rating features similar to an app store. Since its deployment at IU, access to more than 200 apps has been dramatically streamlined for 130,000 users across eight campuses.

In July 2014, rSmart partnered with Indiana University to make this innovative, cloud-based solution available to all higher education institutions as OneCampus. As our new customers prepare to deploy OneCampus, many have asked for tips and best practices on how to drive a successful adoption and involve students in the process.

We sat down with Katelin Corbin, a junior at Indiana University, to learn how students are driving adoption and educating their peers on the benefits of OneCampus.

Q: How did you get involved with OneCampus? What role do students play in the promotion of IT resources and technology on campus?

I first got involved with University Information Technology Services (UITS), IU’s central IT organization, as a Student IT Ambassador. We were a volunteer student leadership club that helped promote campus IT resources, technology, and tools and provides feedback to UITS on outreach efforts.

In August 2013, I joined a team focused specifically on One.IU that was made up of three students from the university’s two major campuses and one student from each of its six regional campuses. Our role is to test the application, share feedback (i.e., what we like or what we miss from the old portal), and help get the word out at campus events. Our committee meets regularly (by video or conference call) and we use a listserv to bounce ideas off each other.

Q: How do you help get the word out about OneCampus to students?

We attend events on each campus and conduct tabling inside academic buildings and in high traffic areas such as the library and business school. We use a branded tablecloth, computers, mobile devices, and free ‘swag’ such as t-shirts, mini staplers, candy, or smartphone wallets to draw students to the table. We then talk with them about its ease of use, search functionality, demonstrate how it is mobile-friendly. We also show how they can find what they need within just one click verses as many as ten clicks with our old portal.

We also use social media (Facebook and Twitter), online bulletin boards, and visual advertising such as campus buses wrapped with logo and website, bus stop signs, and digital billboards inside the libraries.

Q: How do students provide feedback?

At tabling events, we are able to gather a lot of informal feedback that we can share with our committee and the development team. We also encourage students to send feedback through the application or use the comment and rating functions. Many of the tasks that have been added since it was first released at IU, including the career center and direct deposit tasks, were added based on student or user feedback.

Q: What do students like most about OneCampus?

Students like it because it is mobile friendly, easy to use, and the search works similar to Google so it makes finding information much easier and faster than our old legacy portal. The ‘My Favorites’ section is also very popular and students like being able to submit feedback and suggestions.

Q: Are there any blockers preventing adoption?

Some of the students that have been using OneStart (IU’s legacy student portal) for a number of years are a bit resistant to change. Other times, they are just not aware that there is a better way to find campus services. When our old portal is turned off, students will be forced to recognize the benefits and it will be an easy transition. Also, as new students come to campus, they will be introduced to OneCampus as part of their orientation process and they won’t be forced to break old habits.

Q: What would you share with administrators at another college or university preparing the deploy OneCampus?

It is essential to get students on board and involved in the promotion from the start. Students don’t want to listen to faculty/staff and would rather hear from students. It is also important to find a way to pitch OneCampus as the ‘better way’ and include testimonials about the benefits. Students also love free stuff — promotional items that are branded with the website have been very effective at IU.

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