What Google and Your Student Portal Should Have in Common

May 29, 2018  |  by: Tami Nealy
Campus Portal
College Portal
Higher Ed Tech

Today, our lives are increasingly transacted online. That’s why our expectations about college-offered services continue to grow. A student portal is necessary whether you’re supporting your current students or enrolling new ones. Technology is extensively used to enhance the student experience, with student portals representing the cornerstone technology for delivering services, applications, and content successfully.

Student portals have become one-stop resources for a wide variety of student issues. There, students can download different forms that they would otherwise have to sit and fill out in a certain campus department. They can download bus schedules, student handbooks, or get informed about the latest news regarding their campus life. To put it simply – students can get different resources via their student portal and avoid waiting for appointments or visiting a department to tackle their problems.

Integration of Student Portals with Google

There is also a way for students to use their Google account to authenticate with your institution’s OneCampus student portal. Students can use their Google accounts to automatically log in to the portal once they are already signed into Google. Let’s take a look at the overall steps for making it happen.

  • Enable OneCampus GoogleAuth
  • Enable Google SSO configuration for student portal
  • Activate domain(s) you wish to be able to authenticate.

In an increasingly digitized world, there’s no room for outdated student portals that are difficult to use. Students want to access reliable and accurate information as fast as possible. Therefore, a student portal has to be designed to connect your administrators, students, teachers, and parents from any device and location. Universities or colleges must realize that their student portal is an extension of their institution’s brand and that it helps to enhance a positive reputation.

Searchability and Intuitive Design

If navigating a student portal stands as a challenge, then it’s definitely not designed properly. When designing a portal, developers need to start with a consideration of what their users need to accomplish. They need to be able to navigate to the information they need and to do it quickly. Student portals should undergo usability testing and follow up with the current web standards. Of course, it’s not always easy to know which users will or will not find it intuitive, but again, watching users is the only way to make sure that your student portal works the way it should.

A student portal needs to be searchable and allow students to find what they’re looking for at any moment. Your student portal should have a separate search bar and search for content within the student portal.

The mistake many student portals usually make is including too much content on one page. It can really be confusing even though it may seem convenient. There must be a hierarchy of information, and all of it must be appropriately linked to make things far easier for your students.

Make Your Student Portal Mobile-Friendly

Should you design for mobile or leave it for later? This is no longer an option but an obligatory feature. According to Wearesocial.com, more than half of the entire world’s web traffic comes from mobile phones, while certain statistics point out that people tend to spend up to 5 hours each day on mobile devices. The increase in usage and reliance on mobile phones requires universities to enable their students to access their student portal via smart mobile devices. Every functionality they can find on the portal’s desktop version needs to be adapted for smaller screens as well.

The decision whether to design a separate mobile app or just make your website mobile responsive depends on your needs. Having a mobile app comes with various benefits, such as:

Faster loading. When using an app, users have the majority of the content already pre-downloaded on their devices. This makes it easier and faster to navigate from one page to another.

Push notification alerts. These are important for presenting important information, such as notices, alerts, and other news in a timely manner. As they are sent directly to mobile devices, you ensure that students with an installed app will see them.

Seamless access. With a single login, you allow users to remain logged in for future visits.

Mobile-first design. Because mobile apps are designed to be viewed exclusively on mobile, they often appear more professional and polished. They also follow requirements of a particular mobile phone operating system.

With Google, being the most used search engine in the world with a popular email client, you can enable your students to sign in to your student portal through their Google accounts. When thought out properly, made mobile-friendly and searchable, your student portal will lead to a broader and connected community of students, administrators, teachers, and parents. Why? Well, to enable the easiest access to relevant information and make college life easier, of course!

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