Most higher education institutions have a “portal” or centralized location where students, faculty, and staff can access school services, resources, and up-to-date campus news. However, many of these technologies are clunky, cluttered, and simply outdated—not to mention far from mobile-friendly.
When an emergent event such as the COVID-19 pandemic changes the nature of our work, it heightens the need for campus mass notifications and a portal that functions as a single campus connector. This rings especially true as higher education leaders consider operating exclusively online through 2021.
With this in mind, plus the possibility of other potential threats that require emergency notifications such as severe weather or violence on-campus, higher education institutions have a clear need for technology that allows them to quickly share vital information. Now more than ever, stakeholders recognize the value of online solutions designed to modernize the portal experience and improve upon current limitations in an environment that can change quickly.
This article explores that value, highlighting the many benefits to students and faculty, and showcasing an effective, modern solution.
Providing Transparency with Campus Mass Notifications
A centralized online location for important, time-sensitive alerts and announcements provides campus-wide transparency when it matters most. For example, during this pandemic students and faculty frequently need status updates regarding online courses, commencement ceremonies, upcoming semesters, refunds for unused housing, and more.
The University of Delaware (UD) ensures both current and prospective students have access to the latest campus information and services they need, even from a distance. Along with virtual visits and academic sessions, UD utilizes its student portal, powered by OneCampus, to provide more resources and better customer service.
“Communications staff across the university came out in force to consider how to get valuable information to families who could not be here in person,” said Doug Zander, Executive Director of Admissions. Just one month after launching “My UD,” the university saw over 51,000 unique visitors to its site.
Enhancing the Digital Experience with OneCampus
OneCampus has a regular active user base between 1 and 1.5 million users. Despite seeing a week over week increase of 700 percent utilization as a result of COVID-19 announcements and a shift to online work, OneCampus saw no noticeable service impact due to the on-demand architecture already in place. The sharp increase in usage was seamless for customers. That said, the benefits of having a single campus connector for information extend well beyond simply sharing mass notifications during times of crisis.
A modern, cloud-based solution such as OneCampus additionally enables students, alumni, and staff to search for and find anything or anyone they need—from class schedules and grades to transportation and financial aid.
OneCampus also benefits higher education institutions by:
- Capturing powerful user data to inform administrative decisions
- Providing the features needed to set up, deploy, and manage the solution without putting a burden on technology staff
- Offering keyword search capabilities that function similarly to Google’s search engine
- Pulling important campus resources and services together in one place to reduce time spent searching for information
- Inviting community feedback through user reviews, similar to Amazon or Yelp
- Connecting campus Rave or Regroup mass notification systems with OneCampus to merge their messaging with OneCampus targeted notifications or alerts
- Enabling branding customization with school logos, colors, and names
- Offering an interface customized for mobile and easy to use on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop
Whether the priority is keeping students and staff informed about medical emergencies or simply reimagining the campus portal experience, a modern solution like OneCampus can truly be transformative. The OneCampus portal allows administrators across campus to provide students with anything they need, minimizing the maintenance and infrastructure burdens placed on IT and communications teams.
Request a free demo to see first-hand how OneCampus makes it easy for students, faculty, and staff to find the campus information they need—all in one place and accessible from any mobile device.
rSmart has more than 20 years of history serving post-secondary organizations across North America, and OneCampus is trusted by 100s of institutions including The University of Texas, University of Hawaii, Notre Dame, Citrus College, and many more.