3 Reasons the cloud makes sense as a replacement for conventional web applications in higher ed tech.Cloud technology has swept across the business sector over the past couple of years. Based on the use of remote servers working in conjunction with local components to process information from a local browser the potential impact on data management and storage for institutions is quite immense. Google has been offering 15 30GB of storage on their cloud based Drive service for years but today there are third party cloud infrastructure providers who help companies manage their email file storage customer relationship management data collection and more on a much larger scale. As it happens cloud based application software is the ideal solution to problems experienced by IT departments in higher education. IT in higher education has always been hard pressed to manage reams of user data on a conventional web application which requires plenty of hardware to be stored on site. With shrinking budgets and increased scalability issues cloud computing offers a lot of benefits. Here are three key reasons why the cloud makes sense as a replacement for conventional web applications in the higher education technology market. Integration is Key According to Gordon Freedman the key value of the cloud platform is its integrational application. While Freedman applauds campuses for making use of cloud storage capabilities he stresses there is so much cross functional data processing potential in user end services that make sense for schools. What exactly is Freedman referring to The fact that a higher education institution could integrate all manner of student and faculty behavior as well as resource allocation performance as part of a cloud service integration strategy. Given the fact that institutions currently spend a lot of money and time on separate software solutions to provide services and monitor performance issues in isolation from each other integrating the entire IT ecosystem into one centrally integrated hub makes a lot of sense. For students integration means they will have easier access to a whole host of resources from discussions with a teacher to researching course material finding out about construction work on campus and so much more all from one source. Integration makes a user friendly experience for both faculty and students. Mobility Is Easy with the Cloud Research from Vion into the use of cloud computing in higher education produced some interesting results. For example one of the most popular benefits to using cloud technology was its mobility as many as 62 of respondents listed it as a benefit. As mobile use continues to replace desktop use an ability for schools to offer a cloud based mobile application to students and faculty is incredibly desirable. It can mean several different things depending on the budget of the school and the needs of their student body including Cloud Based Classroom Applications. This will allow students to literally take their homework with them wherever they go. It Keeps Up with the Times. Students born after 1990 will have a familiarity with tablets and mobile devices by a very early age. Schools that can appeal to this form and delivery of learning in as many ways as possible will be more appealing to students because it will offer them a chance to solve problems the way they know how by searching for it on the web. The University Experience is Broader. Distance learning is a market that has grown and strengthened in the last decade. It is now possible to live in Australia and get a Certificate in Higher Education from Oxford University. Those who still neglect the opportunity of mobile learning and the changing nature of education have likely missed the boat because the distance learning market has huge enrollment potential for schools. What does it take A robust IT infrastructure that is scalable and able to meet the educational demands of 21st century learners. As you can imagine cloud technology is the best technology available to underpin the global reach of education today. All a student needs is access to quality internet and they can enjoy the same educational access and opportunities as someone sitting in the classroom. The Cloud Offers a Number of Service Models As this informative research paper indicates the cloud offers a number of effective service models for IT departments to consider. Rather than managing every level of the IT infrastructure as is the case with traditional IT a school could decide to purchase Infrastructure as a Service IaaS . The school purchases everything but the operating system and hardware. Platform as a Service PaaS . The school purchases just the platform application. Software as a Service SaaS . The school purchases only the service end the application. This is the most affordable because there is no hardware onsite. Conclusion As you can see the benefits to a cloud system are far reaching and impactful. Any IT department struggling with service delivery of even a marginally dysfunctional web application would benefit from upgrading to the cloud. The unique value of cloud technology is that it improves the end user experience the students while cutting down immensely on maintenance issues of scale and monitoring work for the IT department.
Learn how building an innovative web strategy at the University of Michigan provided solutions to general problems in the realms of universal design content management editorial and branding standards.Institutions large and small can struggle with the challenge of managing and maintaining web content. Learn how building an innovative web strategy at the University of Michigan provided solutions to general problems in the realms of universal design content management editorial and branding standards. This foundation has been an imperative guide in their adoption of new applications and systems. Join Will Burns and Lindsay Miller from the University of Michigan Web and Mobile Team on Thursday March 29 at 1 30 p.m. EST to learn more Participants will leave the webinar with a greater understanding of How to build out a web strategy How to maintain it over time How to promote and enforce the strategy Benefits to your institution 8217 s digital presence RSVP Today
Check out these 3 particularly exciting ways in which newer forms of learning technology are changing higher education for the betterLearning technology plays an important role in helping students navigate through their university or college experience successfully. Whether in the form of an e book with practical modules an engaging video lecture from an expert living across the country or a portal with information to help students find what they need on campus the opportunities for technological innovation in the educational sphere appear to be endless. However when it comes to student portals it appears that many colleges and universities have yet to replace outdated platforms with more current solutions. It goes without saying that choosing the right kind of portal infrastructure takes plenty of research. In the interest of giving you an idea where the educational learning industry is at in 2018 here are three particularly exciting ways in which newer forms of learning technology are changing higher education for the better Harnessing Big Data to Make Even Bigger Changes Learning technology has an incredible emancipatory effect. Consider the Times Higher Education story about Georgia State University as an example. It began with Mark Becker the incoming President in 2009 who decided to re brand the university to become a national model for undergraduate education by demonstrating that students from all backgrounds can achieve academic and career success at high rates. And what was his tool in this emancipatory project Big data and predictive analytics. Becker and his team went about collecting data about all the students at the university not just the high performing ones who succeed without much impediment. The IT department found that lower income students were often taking non credit classes by mistake thus lengthening their university stay and forcing them to drop. Having made this discovery the university went on to install software throughout the school that now tracks the decisions of all 30 000 undergraduates. The intuitive software tracks risk factors that may lead to dropping out and warns the student of this potential before it becomes acute. The software has proven to be a great success and points to the remarkable impact technology can have upon a student s educational trajectory. Digital Courses Virtual Assignments YouTube has become such a popular hub for educational videos during the past couple of years. Is this really surprising No because people have always wanted first hand access to educational resources on a variety of topics. Universities are taking a cue from the popularity of YouTube and offering more and better digital courses to their students. While some of the bigger schools like Harvard offer incredible free resources for educational videos and courses other schools have sprung up that are purely digital. This is another emancipatory effect of technology on education. Everyone is now able to share in the wealth of knowledge previously held hostage in the cloistered halls of academia. What it means for existing college and university campuses is quite simple innovate in the digital space or be left behind. Mobile Application is Already Here All the data from Google and other search analytics companies indicate that mobile phone usage has outstripped desktop usage. What does that mean for students on campus It means students want the ability to look up where their next course is from their phone as they walk over to get a coffee in the cafeteria. It means they want the convenience of doing homework on their phone as they walk to work. Mobile application has already happened in some schools but many schools have yet to invest in the software. In offering a mobile optimized user experience the main challenges for an IT department are as follows Scale. One of the big problems with scalability is ensuring that faculty students and administration have the same level of user experience. This includes financial integration scheduling integration enterprise planning integration and so much more. However with cloud technology backing all of the leading technology software products today the means of scalability have finally met the demands of the job. Layout. An interactive layout that models popular sites that students use regularly is going to win the day in the long run. Students need to be able to interact with a software that understands their unique demands and can offer equally unique solutions. In order to captivate students in 2018 the layout of the portal should mirror a web page as much as possible. A common problem area listed on the home page is a good start while a search bar listed on the homepage is another important feature to improve usability. Conclusion Higher education is no longer isolated from the rest of the world. Technology has helped to democratize the university experience for everyone regardless of actual physical location. Universities know they need to adapt with the times or be left with a dwindling student body. Education was one of the first sectors to adopt predictive analytics and the emancipatory impact has been immense
Learn how Bob Hughes from Citrus College revolutionized campus communicationIn less than one year at Citrus College Bob Hughes reimagined the digital communication landscape. From website redesign to the launch of My.CitrusCollege.edu Bob and his team led focus groups to get to the root of what catches and keeps student s attention. Last week we had the pleasure to sit in on Bob 8217 s webinar where he shared his secrets to success when communicating to students across campus. However these truly are no secrets but accessible resources every college has that can help to increase awareness. So what did Bob do differently He merely engaged students and familiarized himself with trends that they would respond to. P.S. never underestimate the value of free pizza when asking favors of students. Bob also addressed the issue of making predictions on campus and why you should never assume. Sharing information about new technology coming to your campus may seem like you 8217 re talking a different language than your students but it doesn 8217 t have to feel like that. The iPhone was released more than ten years ago and it is still a millennials best friend. After a decade of constant connectivity college students have competing interests for their attention making it nearly impossible to break through the communication chaos to reach them. While Bob faced some obstacles in the beginning he was able to overcome them after receiving feedback from the students. We like to think of Bob as a thriving millennial since he is so trendy amongst his students now. Watch out world Bob is here and bringing IT communication back. Watch a recording of the webinar How CIO 8217 s Can Break Through the Communication Chaos to Reach Students in 2018 or just ask Bob.
Back to the FutureSt. Edward s University was living in the past. They had an outdated campus portal that was neither searchable nor mobile friendly. You can guess what effect that had on student usage. Add in the technical complexity of the ancient portal and it all but ensured IT staff would be required to maintain all of the content. Powered by results from usability studies across all users it was time for a change. Users demanded a better experience. Some redesigns and overhauls of the existing portal wouldn t cut it. It was clear that a new solution was required. In researching the best solution OneCampus by rSmart rose to the top. During a four month pilot of OneCampus students faculty and staff were all exposed to the improved MyHilltop experience. We learned a number of things during our pilot said Nicole Hill Product Owner. Students loved the interface. They just understood it without much instruction or guidance. Build a search bar and they will come. Different lexicons across campus were also discovered during the pilot. What one individual would call a 8220 maintenance request 8221 another would call a 8220 work order. 8221 These types of discoveries were key to refining task titles descriptions and tags to ensure the site was truly searchable. St. Edward s was looking primarily for three features in a new portal searchability responsive design and a customizable user experience. OneCampus had all three in spades said Hill. The interface is intuitive particularly for students and features like 8216 favorites 8217 worked well for allowing users particularly staff and faculty to build more or less their own dashboard. Similar to launching any new technology there was some wariness among faculty and staff at St. Edward s University. Now with more than a year with OneCampus it s clear we made the right choice and the feedback we ve received is almost uniformly appreciative said Hill. Because the back end admin experience is user friendly and versatile St. Edward s University quickly moved to a distributed publishing model. This model allows functional areas largely to control their own content with minimal administrative oversight from IT. We were able to give departments more autonomy over their business processes with minimal involvement from OIT. For our part we re thrilled to be out of the role of middleman and in many cases these departments have turned into the biggest champions of myHilltop. 8221
College students have competing interests for their attention making it nearly impossible to break through the communication chaos to reach them. We have two quick questions for you before you can access this super awesome webinar.
Upcoming OneCampus release Bug fixes accessibility improvements and key enhancementsSix different schools requested feature enhancements in this February release will your school be next The next OneCampus release is scheduled for the late evening overnight on Tuesday February 27. No downtime is anticipated. This release will contain bug fixes accessibility improvements and the following key enhancements Simple Main Page Maintenance module for clearing report data Ability to filter mobile friendly tasks Target task level announcements to individual roles Ability to add bookmarks to favorite collections Ability to sort announcements by date filter Ability to link Canvas tasks to different areas within Canvas Ability to link Blackboard tasks to different areas within BlackBoard
2018 rSmart Users Conference Highlights Award WinnersEach year OneCampus administrators from across the country are invited to Scottsdale Arizona for the annual rSmart Users Conference. Last week 25 representatives from 15 colleges attended the 2018 rSmart Users Conference to learn how each school uses OneCampus the next generation portal or service discovery tool as we learned some schools prefer to call it . And The Award Goes To At the conclusion of each Users Conference rSmart celebrates partner schools that have demonstrated leadership using OneCampus in the prior 12 month period. The 2018 Modernizing Campus Technology Award was presented to Nicole Hill of St. Edward s University. In 2017 Nicole demonstrated an ongoing commitment to sharing product feature ideas with therSmart team that directly benefited the OneCampus community at large. For more than two years Nicole has been an ambassador for their OneCampus instance MyHilltop across the St. Edward s University campus leading to increased adoption across all users. The 2018 Simplifying Campus Life Award was presented to Bob Hughes of Citrus College. Last year Bob led the charge to purchase and launch OneCampus in only five months. During development Bob and his team led focus groups to gain intel direct from students in order to develop My.CitrusCollege to meet their needs. Bob also took a proactive approach in promoting My.CitrusCollege across campus owned social media channels building enthusiasm and creating momentum prior to launch. Who Said What In one and a half days together users conference attendees learned a variety of best practices including but not limited to how schools leverage cross campus stakeholders the benefits of distributed publishing and the most effective ways to recommend product feature enhancements to rSmart Customer Support. They also expanded their professional network and offered suggestions to keep the dialogue going beyond the annual conference hint Slack channel . the conference is a great networking opportunity to share experiences with schools with similar needs overheard in a group conversation during the lunch break. As a conference designed for users presented by users the annual rSmart Users Conference agenda is driven by member requests specifically product features and functionality they are looking to master. Special thanks to Citrus College Fairfield University Indiana University Northeast Iowa Community College St. Edward s University University of Delaware University of Michigan Villanova University and Washington University in St. Louis for their presentations that each offered insight into their experiences with OneCampus. I appreciated being able to hear how the product was being used at other institutions and I will be taking an active role this year to refresh our initiatives overheard by one user as the conference was coming to a close. Are you a OneCampus user that has not yet joined the community on Slack Email us at info rsmart.com and let us know we ll happily send you directions to join.
Delivering an Improved Student Service Experience with OneCampusLed by Craig Meirick Director of Computer Information Systems Department the portal review and replace process also included representatives from Marketing Student Services and Online and Blended Learning. This expanded group shared unique perspectives for visual appeal and requirements for student and faculty. NICC began their OneCampus implementation in late January 2017 and went live May 15 2017. A bit nervous with their own accelerated timeline rSmart Customer Support aided in the implementation. rSmart was with us every step of the way and the implementation of OneCampus itself was very simple and intuitive said Meirick. nbsp To engage users NICC promoted their OneCampus instance Mycampus.nicc.edu through various college communication channels including the digital signage across campus biweekly newsletter and email. Through OneCampus NICC has been able to provide end users including alumni faculty parents staff and students with more resources and better service through OneCampus. OneCampus provides us with the ability to allow users to use certain open resources that were otherwise locked within our previous product said Meirick. He also praises the rSmart Customer Support Team as excellent. The quick responses personability and status updates on issues and new feature releases have been much appreciated. 8221 Thanks to OneCampus the College is enjoying improved ease of use for both the end users students and staff as well as the administrator side of the equation. The solution 8217 s inherent adaptability to trends and forward thinking provide NICC 8217 s user segments with tools to assist them in virtually anything they want to do. OneCampus also met the following needs for NICC Easy to use both for end users and admins Best in class in customer service Budget friendly Adaptable to trends Forward thinking
Your campus IT office can now be cupid all year long when students faculty admin and staff fall in love with the simplicity of OneCampus.As Valentine s Day approaches you may be inclined to think of flowers candles chocolates or romance. But don t be fooled 8211 campus technology can be just as sexy Creating easier access to information. Simplifying the user experience. Modernizing portal technology. Ooh la la Your campus IT office can now be cupid all year long when students faculty admin and staff fall in love with the simplicity of OneCampus the next gen portal solution by rSmart. Part of rSmart s modern campus platform OneCampus has revolutionized the portal experiences on campuses from Ohio State University to Citrus College and from Notre Dame to Northeast Iowa Community College. Today s students have never lived without Google and OneCampus is designed around a Google like search discovery bringing all campus resources to their fingertips. Search. Click. Done. Nothing is easier. Simple is Sexy When it Comes to Search Developed with search as the starting point OneCampus exists as a service discovery tool delivering all campus services in one location. Because of the increased use of smartphones and tablets by our students faculty and employees UD was in search of an affordable way to aggregate applications so they could be found anytime anywhere from any device said Joy Lynam retired Director of IT Web Development at the University of Delaware. OneCampus is the right fit for UD because it s Search. Click. Done. design matches how people find information today. In January 2018 CampusTechnology.com published 7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2018 and highlighted Mobile Tech and the Internet of Things as the 5 trend to watch this year. Brian Fodrey Assistant Dean for Facilities amp Information Technology and Chief Information Officer School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offered We must capitalize on the strengths of portability and the BYOD nature of mobile tech and accept that as a result our faculty staff and students are going to command new and different support from our IT divisions. 18 Years of Portal Dating It s Time to Commit. Educause the nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology began talking about the importance of campus portals 18 years ago. The oldest portal story in the Educause library It s a Bird It s a Plane. It s a . . . Portal is dated January 1 2000. Defined nearly two decades ago by the author Richard N. Katz The portal is perhaps a unifying principle that may enable organizations including colleges and universities to leverage their investments in enterprise systems in data warehouses in reengineered institutional processes and in staff talent. Katz went on to define the challenges of a developing a portal strategy and what the expected results would look like. The challenge of a portal strategy is no less than the challenge of bringing higher education fully into the new wave of technology. This challenge like so many we have encountered and overcome seems to depend less on technology per se as on our ability to create a compelling vision for our institution and to galvanize the institutional will to think about how to personalize the institution for everyone in the community said Katz. It is clear in this instance that IT professionals acting alone will likely achieve only imperfect results. You ve got a smart team. You could build your own portal technology and achieve Katz s imperfect results. Or you could take the Bob Hughes approach. Bob Hughes Chief Information Services Officer at Citrus College in Glendora CA made the decision to implement OneCampus by rSmart in 2017. Since it is a hosted system we can take advantage of the new features if desired as soon as they are released. It s nice not having to tie up my staff with painful upgrades that would normally take months to implement locally. An Engaged Audience is a Retained Audience Retention isn t just a buzzword it s top of mind on campuses across the US. Even in the office of the CIO. But how exactly can the CIO s office directly impact student retention Otmar Zewald Global Head of Product Management at Unit4 believes that an integrated approach to technology systems along with mobile and self service experiences should be high on the list for 2018. In his piece 12 Higher Education Trends to Empower Student Success in 2018 Zewald believes There will be more focus on student portals self service and mobile app development to improve student experiences in 2018. Making all of your student facing technology available in a single location will lead to a more enjoyable student experience. Going to one site for Blackboard another site for Gmail and yet another for Financial Aid can be simplified in a single location. Whether you call it a service discovery tool a replacement portal or simply a portal doesn t matter. And don t just deliver in a single web location allow students to access in the app store. Meet them where they are. They are more likely to engage and remain engaged when you show up where they are. Falling in love with OneCampus is easy but we should probably take it slow and start with a first date. Bring some friends on our first date too. Your CIO your Director of Web Applications your VP of Marketing. Don t be nervous we won t bring candles and flowers. But we will help you see just how fun campus technology can be Request a first date now.
Why modern solutions are putting antiquated systems out of businessIt s often said that when your ears are burning it means someone is talking about you. Might it be the same with higher education technology Is tech burning Because everybody s talking. Conversations about how to improve access to campus services are happening in the dark corners of campus. In secret. What does everyone know but are afraid to say Many technologies that were built on campus or purchased more than a decade ago just aren t working anymore. The world is changing. How we consume information is changing. It s time to take a serious look at your campus portal. Does it meet the needs of your users Modern Portal Greater Access Like other technology leaders Brad Wheeler Vice President for Information Technology and CIO at Indiana University found himself in the late 1990 s and early 2000 s faced with the challenge of how students faculty staff and admins could find things with the advent of the world wide web. The hot idea back then was to create a portal so Indiana University created OneStart and it was supposed to be the way to find services. But over time it got a little junked up just like a closet because everybody moved in and by the time we got to 2010 2013 we knew we had a problem said Wheeler. I knew after a dozen years of our portal we needed a new approach. Wheeler and his team at Indiana developed One.IU an app store or service discovery tool a modern portal replacement that allowed users to simply search click and be done. After refining the software Brad and his team began working with rSmart to take the portal replacement solution to market. Upon learning how a next gen portal can unlock opportunities for users across all campuses Villanova University s interest was piqued. In looking to launch a modern portal they were faced with a handful of challenges to overcome from their legacy portal. From authentication obstacles to increasing the quantity of content available Villanova found their answer in OneCampus. They launched the latest version of MyNova in November 2017 turning off their legacy portal. The modern OneCampus interface combined with the ability to publish unlimited content to users resulted in a dramatic reduction of support calls for both IT and business areas because everything was streamlined in a single location. Your Users Demand 24 7 Access Oral Roberts University was challenged to provide information and resources to students faculty and staff 24 7. As they explored solutions to help them achieve their communication goals they were also looking for a partner who would bring innovation and thought leadership to the process. Since launching OneCampus we ve improved productivity and efficiency in our IT department by 40 percent said Chief Information Officer Michael Matthews. In just two years we re managing 20 or more applications with seven less people and much of that is because of what we ve done with OneCampus. It allows us to consolidate and streamline serviceability. A few years back Wayne Smutz dean of continuing education and Extension at UCLA was asked a series of questions related to higher education institutions being under immense pressure to improve their level of service for students but needing to meet this demand with significantly fewer resources available. Focusing on high touch high tech Smutz explained how introducing new technologies and tools that allow staff to focus on high touch tasks allows institutions to improve their overall customer service while also reducing operating costs. Instead of investing additional resources into a legacy portal look for solutions that are low maintenance and upgrades and enhancements are standard and FREE. No More University of Notre LAME Over time the University of Notre Dame recognized how their legacy portal solution wasn t able to scale and meet the needs of the tech savvy generation that doesn t know life before Google. They saw first hand how an outdated portal required significant management and updates. Read investments in human capital and financial capital. Because the Fighting Irish don t find comfort in stagnation they began their search for a replacement portal solution. The review process didn t just sit within the confines of the Office of Information and Technologies. It extended across campus to include individuals from the Registrar s Office Student Enrollment Human Resources Finance and First Year of Studies. This wasn t going to be a technology solution this was going to be a campus wide service discovery solution. Getting all areas of campus involved in the review of your technology solutions can have an immediate impact in culture across your campus es . Published in EdTech Magazine s IT Teams Can Influence Culture Across Campus David Hutchins explains Each of these areas is touched in some fashion by the tech solutions that IT delivers. Such influence goes beyond specific software or mobile apps to encompass the way that people engage with technology the capabilities it makes possible or not the way tech initiatives are communicated and the way decisions around tech are made. All of this means that IT departments have a direct bearing on campus culture through the day to day experiences of staff faculty and students. At Notre Dame Scott Kirner Manager of Application Services was also focused on ease of use with OneCampus. In our initial proof of concept with OneCampus we learned how easy it is to publish tasks configure the look and feel and how we might set up categories metadata screenshots and task icon creation process he said. The ability to apply custom branding manage via a distributed publishing model and the simplicity of the user interface were each factors leading to Notre Dame s selection of OneCampus the next gen campus portal offered by rSmart. OneCampus has been easy for us to manage and maintain said Kirner. Students faculty and staff are always able to access what they need. No more whispering about your technology shortcomings. It s time to listen to your trusted peers about how they left their legacy portals in the past. Request a demo with OneCampus and see what the next generation has in store for your campus.
Ryan Vallow Business Analyst Enterprise Systems Integration at Indiana University interviews IU student about her experience with the campus modern service discovery portal One. We have two quick questions for you before you can access this super awesome webinar. nbsp
rSmart response to vulnerabilities referred to as Meltdown and Spectre In response to the recently disclosed Processor Speculative Execution vulnerabilities in CVE 2017 5715 CVE 2017 5753 CVE 2017 5754 8211 collectively referred to as 8220 Meltdown 8221 and 8220 Spectre 8221 as of 01 04 2018 all rSmart cloud platforms have been patched and are protected from these threat vectors. rSmart will continue to stay involved in the discussion and will provide updates as needed on future developments regarding these CVEs. rSmart SecOps policy has always been and will continue to be to deploy critical security updates immediately upon release regardless of maintenance cycle schedules. Here are the Amazon Web Services AWS details https aws.amazon.com security security bulletins AWS 2018 013. If you would like additional information on these exploits and how they might effect your users please don 8217 t hesitate to ask but know that the OneCampus servers have been secured. For information on how to help protect your users with general use check out this piece from Fortune magazine.
Check out the secret sauce to staying successful within OneCampus.The ingredients to functionality within OneCampus the next gen portal are no secret. rSmart gives access to quick guides in our Customer Care Center for those who need help with specific functionality within their schools instance. With everything OneCampus has to offer it 8217 s easy to forget what rSmart 8217 s provides outside of the portal experience. From articles about Getting Started Best Practices and FAQ 8217 s we share all things OneCampus to make navigating the portal that much easier. We give you all the tools and steps to create your own customizable campus portal software so you 8217 re not playing a guessing game. 8220 At rSmart we are committed to open communication and transparency. Our Customer Care Center is updated in advance of every product release with the most current OneCampus quick guides. We are focused on helping you achieve success 8221 said Jennifer Martinez Customer Support Coordinator We love simplifying campus life and also yours Check out some of our secret ingredients to creating the perfect OneCampus portal and become an expert yourself. 8221 Prefer to talk to a Customer Success Expert You can also submit questions and ideas to support rsmart.com and we will listen to your feedback.
What to expect in 2018 at rSmart....From new products to new customers 2018 will be the year of rSmart. While there are hundreds of reasons to be pumped for 2018 here is our list of the 18 things we are most excited for you to know in the coming year. CampusConfirm 8211 The second product to join the rSmart family CampusConfirm helps to streamline schools 8217 verification process for essential student and staff information. Think digital. We 8217 re making simplifycampuslife a thing. CampusClassifieds 8211 Rolling out mid 2018 CampusClassifieds will be an online community marketplace for students staff and faculty to buy and sell items to one another. OneCampus App 8211 Your favorite campus portal software is now available in the IOS app store and the Android Market. Let 8217 s get h appy of Campuses 8211 OneCampus is now available on more than 80 campuses. Is your campus next of Users 8211 rSmart reaches more than one million end users and continues growing. You might think you can wait but can your students Customer Feedback 8211 Customer service isn t just something we say. It s who we are. Since 2014 more than 75 percent of OneCampus feature enhancements have been direct customer recommendations. Keep the feedback coming 2nd Annual rSmart Users Conference 8211 You 8217 re Invited Not only will the rSmart team be attending conferences across the US we will also be hosting our second Users Conference in our hometown Scottsdale AZ. Come soak up the sun and learn about OneCampus best practices from our super r smart customers. Affordability 8211 With so many updates and enhancements coming to rSmart in 2018 we remain committed to helping you modernize campus technology in a way that doesn 8217 t break your budget. New UI Design 8211 Watch out world OneCampus is getting a facelift. Stay tuned in early 2018 for a new user interface for OneCampus instances. International Status 8211 Grab your passports OneCampus is now available internationally thanks to our first Canadian customer Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Pinned Sections 8211 According to rSmart Senior Software Engineer Allan Sonkin the best new functionality within OneCampus released in 2017 is the ability to pin sections on your front page and we couldn 8217 t agree more Shoutout to The Ohio State University for requesting this new functionality. Permission Groups 8211 You now have 8220 permission 8221 to group different departments within OneCampus based on the access you wish to grant them. Handing you more control one release at a time New Connectors 8211 The next gen campus portal software OneCampus offers Banner and Canvas connectors to make connecting and linking campus services even easier. Be on the lookout for EVEN MORE connectors in 2018. New Conferences 8211 In 2018 rSmart is exploring some new ed tech conferences like the Chief Information Systems Officers Association of the California Community Colleges and the C.I.T.O Vendor Show in Iowa. You can also catch us at some of our favorites Educause and UBTech 2018. rSmart.com 8211 With new products and some slight re branding think new colors we are making the new rSmart.com our priority to showcase our awesomeness a little more. Stay tuned for new look in Q2. Sweet 16 8211 It 8217 s our birthday and we can cry if we want to. rSmart turns 16 in 2018. Ask the Experts 8211 We won 8217 t stop rolling out new functionality but it can be hard to know what 8217 s in every product release. rSmart experts now provide an open platform called 8220 Ask the Experts 8221 webinar for your team to ask questions about the current and past releases. Shared Experiences 8211 Want to hear from current OneCampus users about how the next gen campus portal software solved their challenges Let us know and we will put you in touch to get the story direct.
Ending 2018 with a bang.The next OneCampus release is scheduled for the late evening overnight on Tuesday December 19. Following multiple weeks of internal testing combined with beta testing by specific schools in their test instances no downtime is anticipated with this release. The December 19 2017 release contains bug fixes stability improvements and the following enhancements Ability for Administrators to rearrange sections on the main OneCampus page Bulk Editor enhancements Task Center permissions added to Permission Groups module Ability to change the task store count on mobile Ability to rearrange category order Ability to change icon colors for categories Ability to suggest a campus based on location data Task search based on location data What s near me HTML markup on the logout page Option for double height tiles on tasks that contain active content Favicon images pulled through onto bookmark tiles Bookmarks report
OneCampus rises to the head of the classWhen shopping for an improved portal solution University of Notre Dame reviewed three options before selecting OneCampus. The portal review process extended beyond the Office of Information Technologies and included individuals from the Registrar s Office Student Enrollment Human Resources Finance and First Year of Studies. nbsp In our initial proof of concept we learned how easy it is to publish tasks configure the look and feel and how we might set up categories metadata screenshots and the task icon creation process said Scott Kirner Manager of Application Services. University of Notre Dame purchased OneCampus by rSmart directly through their membership with Internet2. The process to purchase OneCampus was easy and straightforward said Kirner. University of Notre Dame implemented OneCampus in six months as expected based on competing technology priorities. One Campus has been easy for us to manage and maintain. Students faculty and staff are always able to access what they need said Kirner. Simple Mobile friendly SaaS Configurable Distributed publishing Low maintenance
Enhancing ORU s whole person education programBefore OneCampus Oral Roberts University was challenged to make their education programs easily accessible to students on campus and around the world. Additionally they weren t equipped to provide information and resources to students faculty and staff 24 hours per day 7 days per week. We live in a digital world where people learn work and play in the cloud said Chief Information Officer Michael Mathews. At ORU one of our goals is to create a global digital society through one connected campus. We set out to find an educational partner who could align with our vision to use new technologies and new paradigms to make our whole person education program accessible to students around the world. In addition to the right technology we wanted a partner who would bring innovation and thought leadership to the process continued Mathews. That s what we found with rSmart. Since launching OneCampus we ve improved productivity and efficiency in our IT department by 40 percent said Mathews. In just two years we re managing 20 more applications with seven less people and much of that is because of OneCampus. OneCampus allows us to consolidate and streamline serviceability. Because everything is centralized we re not running all over the place and we re spending less because we re spending wisely. Quick setup amp deployment Single sign on Digital concierge service Significant ROI
Just how much can you save when you buy vs. build campus technology Assumptions You are in Higher Education looking to replace your outdated campus portal software OR You are in Higher Education looking to create a one stop solution for your students admin and faculty to locate and discover campus services AND OR You are interested in the Build vs. Buy discussion and want to know more about it. What is the Build vs. Buy consideration All Universities face this question when evaluating new technologies. When a University has established the need for a campus wide solution to connect all user services in one location and believes they have the team and the dollars to build it. When a University has established the need for a campus wide solution to connect all user services in one location and understands that the scope of work and the financial investment exceeds their available resources. To Build Campus Portal Software To go with a Build solution and develop your own homegrown school portal software you would need a reeeeaaaally long runway. Oftentimes a software as a service Saas model sells software and charges a fee for an annual license. In reality the cost of operating your own built platform significantly exceeds the cost of an annual SaaS license. For example Indiana University the initial developers of OneCampus estimate that it took nearly 500 000 just for initial development With continued investments and refinements in the solution over a ten year period the total cost of ownership would total 5 000 000 To Buy Campus Portal Software To go with a Buy solution is to identify that there is value in economies of scale. Today more than 80 colleges and university campuses in the United States and Canada use OneCampus by rSmart to bring services to their students. From Ohio State University to the University of Hawaii and from the University of Delaware to Northeast Iowa Community College the scale of institutions relying on OneCampus today affirms the value of the solution. Beyond the 5 million ten year investment in the Build scenario buying allows access to a total solution vs. building piece by piece. Creating a multi tenancy solution is not an easy task for a campus IT department to wrestle. The OneCampus standard is a multi tenant solution. Who uses the rSmart campus portal software and what are they saying University of Hawaii Systems We recognized the need to retire our legacy portal and looked for alternative solutions that would meet the dynamic and changing needs of our community colleges and universities. OneCampus will provide our users a simple intuitive and mobile friendly way to navigate the services and applications they need to be successful on any UH campus. University of Pittsburgh After completing the Internet2 NET service validation process we recognized that OneCampus provided Pitt with a powerful alternative to our traditional legacy portal that will better serve our user needs going forward. I m ready to learn more about OneCampus. What should I do Let us know If you re ready to learn more about rSmart s campus portal software that doesn t break the bank we recommend the OneCampus Experience a demo of our next gen portal solution. Click here and register today.
It s time to try something different.Today s students have grown up with Google hashtags and selfies. iPhone and Androids are part of everyday life. Student s don t go anywhere except maybe swimming without their smartphones. When they need to find something they Google it. It 8217 s simple right At rSmart our focus is to deliver modern campus technology that helps you simplify campus life. OneCampus rSmart s campus portal software provides your students administrators faculty parents and other groups with the ability to search and discover campus services within a simple search experience. With the next gen portal solution OneCampus rSmart helps to bring all of your campus services to one location for quicker and more efficient discovery. From class schedules to laundry services and from financial aid to parking tickets users can discover and access all of the campus services they need. Searching for new campus portal software Recently rSmart has heard from many schools that are considering OneCampus as a replacement portal solution to their current school portal software Luminis by Ellucian. At rSmart we understand that you have choices when selecting and implementing a campus portal. We applaud Luminis and other campus portal software providers in their ability to deliver competitive school portal software that challenges the entire online school portal industry to stretch to exceed your needs. Today OneCampus is used on more than 80 campuses across the US and Canada including Notre Dame Ohio State Maryland Purdue and Virginia Tech to name a few. While many schools have selected OneCampus we understand that there are schools that are currently struggling with Luminis and are in search of a replacement solution. From a competitive perspective the Luminis portal offers solid features however we think you re here today to learn more about how OneCampus is in fact the premier solution. Let s take a quick look. Advantages of OneCampus In addition to providing quick and simple access to campus services through a Google esque search OneCampus also Issues notifications. You can set alerts global announcements or even tailor your message for targeted announcements. Offers single sign on. Multiple user names and passwords can be roadblocks to accessing what you need when you need it. Accessing campus services on OneCampus can be done without a login however getting access to specific alerts and announcements will require a user to provide credentials which can be done through single sign on. Can launch via an app. Your students administrators faculty parents and other user groups can launch your version of OneCampus just like any other app on their smartphone. They can also receive push notifications through this channel too. Provides detailed reporting. See what your users are searching for what tasks they visit most often and much more Also get insights into what terms they are searching for that aren t showing up at all. This can spark ideas into new tasks to create. Offers connectors. If you use Banner or Canvas you can directly import data and automate task creation enhancing your speed to launch. What connectors are we planning to release next Blackboard and Peoplesoft are on our roadmap. Extends robust APIs. Powerful APIs are available to help you quickly and easily connect with third party applications. Allows for Ratings and Reviews. You can elect to allow your users to give you feedback on the services you offer through both a ratings and or a review system. Users can rate the service or task on a scale of five stars allowing other users to see how helpful that item is. With reviews users can offer feedback similar to Yelp. Each of these provide valuable insights into how users are engaging and what services they like over others. A digital concierge service To support students as well as faculty and staff Oral Roberts University s IT department transformed its help desk into a concierge style of service to make its services more visible and accessible. Before OneCampus Oral Roberts University was challenged to make their education programs easily accessible to students on campus and around the world. Additionally they weren t equipped to provide information and resources to students faculty and staff 24 hours per day 7 days per week. In June 2015 Oral Roberts University rolled out OneCampus as its digital concierge platform fulfilling their need for an online school portal solution. OneCampus is the perfect complement to our in person IT Concierge Service. Because the OneCampus is accessible all the time we re able to make sure students needs are met 24 7 365 even when the IT Concierge Service desk is closed said Michael Mathews Chief Information Officer at Oral Roberts University. One stop shop Where can a student staff member faculty member or parent go to do business At the University of Delaware the answer was found by implementing a single solution in which all business applications and forms are indexed and searchable in one location My UD 8211 the University of Delaware branded instance of OneCampus by rSmart. The OneCampus school software portal was implemented at the University of Delaware in August 2015 and has since allowed users to quickly find and discover campus services applications and resources in a simple intuitive way. When students need to book a room for an activity or professors need to renew a book at the library they can visit My UD and call up what they need instantly without needing to know the name of the form or which department manages it. People can search using their role a specific category or even a keyword says Joy Lynam Director of IT Web Development with the University of Delaware. OneCampus works the way people work and it works on any device anytime anywhere. OneCampus in our instance My UD takes away the burden of going to different websites and simply makes locating forms and web applications easy. One month after going live My UD had over 51 000 unique visitors. In two years since the launch more than 535 300 unique individuals have visited My UD. The OneCampus experience The rSmart promise is to modernize campus technology and simplify campus life. We do this by helping students administrators faculty and parents find what they need when they need it. 24 hours a day. 7 days a week. At rSmart customer service isn t just something we say. It is who we are. We are a customer service company that just so happens to offer best in class next gen campus solutions. OneCampus users are encouraged to regularly provide feedback on performance suggested enhancements and whatever else may be on their mind. Since launching OneCampus in 2014 more than 50 percent of OneCampus feature enhancements have been direct recommendations from our current customers. We also understand technology platforms can stretch even the largest university budget. You won t find that with rSmart. We build smart solutions at affordable prices. Simplifying campus life shouldn t break the bank. If you re ready for a deeper dive into rSmart s campus portal software we recommend the OneCampus Experience a demo of our next gen portal solution. Click here and register today to help your campus get r Smarter.
One Stop Shop Where can a student staff member faculty member or parent go to do business The answer was found by implementing a single solution in which all business applications and forms are indexed and searchable in one location My UD 8211 the University of Delaware branded instance of OneCampus by rSmart. Implemented at UD in August 2015 OneCampus is a cloud based platform that allows users to quickly find and discover campus services applications and resources in a simple intuitive way. When students need to book a room for an activity or professors need to renew a book at the library they can visit My UD and call up what they need instantly without needing to know the name of the form or which department manages it. nbsp The implementation process was quick and simple and required few support requests. The team at rSmart offered initial setup and training as well as quick guides FAQs and quarterly webinars. People can search using their role a specific category or even a keyword says Joy Lynam Director of IT Web Development retired with the University of Delaware. OneCampus works the way people work and it works on any device anytime anywhere. OneCampus in our instance My UD takes away the burden of going to different websites and simply makes locating forms and web applications easy. One month after going live My UD had over 51 000 unique visitors. In two years since the launch more than 535 30 unique individuals have visited My UD.
Find out why size is so important for rSmart.So does size really matter This long lasting debate may never be settled. Some people will say size doesn t matter others will disagree. However at rSmart the bigger the better. Still confused Well as the comedian Kevin Hart would say you gone learn today . Over the last eight months rSmart has seen a surge in users and customers engaging with OneCampus the next gen portal solution. With the recent feature enhancements to OneCampus including the Banner and Canvas connectors and the availability of an App OneCampus has gone from the new kid on the block to an overnight celebrity. This is huge for OneCampus. Pun intended. You may be asking why is size so important for rSmart At rSmart our promise is to modernize campus technology and simplify campus life. We do this today by helping students find success through their school specific OneCampus portal. The more universities and colleges that use OneCampus the more students we can reach. Simple math right Today OneCampus has more than 3 000 concurrent users spanning more than 80 college campuses in the U.S. and Canada. Talk about packing weight am I right Since January 2017 schools that have joined the OneCampus community include Northeast Iowa Community College Fort Lewis College Villanova University Kennesaw State University Hobart amp William Smith Colleges Citrus College Goucher College University of Sciences 8211 Philadelphia Unlike archaic campus portals OneCampus is a next gen portal solution providing a Google like search allowing students faculty and staff to quickly locate and access campus services including grades calendars email events curriculum tutoring services and so much more. Craig Meirick Director of Computer Information Systems at Northeast Iowa Community College explained Our previous portal was very limiting. It had several applications built into it and it wouldn t allow us to bring in new resources like a different email system or learning management system. With OneCampus we now have the flexibility to choose whichever resource we think will be best for our students and we can make it accessible to them anytime anywhere. We also appreciate the responsive design the mobile friendly interface and the simplicity of the system. With OneCampus we can point students to one location where they can search click and go. It s that easy. We realize size matters for you too and that technology platforms can stretch even the largest university budget. You won t find that with rSmart. We build smart solutions at affordable prices. Simplifying campus life shouldn t break the bank. Don t just take it from us experience OneCampus for yourself and see how you too can simplify campus life and make our community of OneCampus users even bigger. Learn more about OneCampus today in our quick two minute video.
Summers hottest update.Overnight on June 5 rSmart will deploy the latest OneCampus release. No downtime is anticipated. The release contains bug fixes as well as the following key enhancements Page Not Found Report Campus communications standards policy link Social media links on the Task Details Page Memo area when creating or editing a task Favorite Collections Auto suggest of Unique Key Global Announcement recurrence Ratings enabled Reviews optional Alert Access Added to Permission Groups Also please make note as of this release OneCampus will no longer be tested on Windows Mobile OS devices Windows 10 and 8.1 still supported of course .
Reason 2874 why we love our customers. I thought this was a really good way to meet and network not only with rSmart people who were all wonderful but also with my counterparts at other universities. rSmart held it 8217 s very first Users Conference a few weeks ago and more than two thirds of rSmart customers participated in two days of learning at ASU 8217 s SkySong Innovation Center in Scottsdale AZ. All attendees are users of OneCampus next generation portal and all of the sessions were hosted by OneCampus users. Session topics were varied and included managing authentication integration during implementation student outreach programs student ambassadors using real time conversations to stay relevant using APIs for batch processing and integrations engaging students globally using OneCampus to reduce IT support and maintenance. Many of the presenters summed up their OneCampus implementation results by citing the key benefits to the university including a mobile friendly solution ease of use in depth analytics and increased student engagement. The rSmart product management team also presented the OneCampus product roadmap for 2017 2018 and beyond. The roadmap preview was especially helpful with conversations in our department about our own roadmap for the year. Additionally I found value in learning how other schools have performed outreach to campus about the tool and its features. All 2017 rSmart User Conference presentations can be found on YouTube in the rSmart 2017 Users Conference Presentation playlist. Customers also provided their comments on the success of the event in the OneCampus Users Talk About the 2017 rSmart Users Conference video. rSmart is already planning the 2018 Users Conference Stay tuned.
A Conversation with Help Desk Manager Jason Victor on the occasion of Fairfield s launch and full rollout of rSmart s OneCampus as my.Fairfield.edu January 30 2017What was the initial reason your institution was looking at updating its portal services Before our move to OneCampus Fairfield had a campus portal something we had worked with but it wasn t loved . While in one sense our old legacy portal served its purpose we had several ongoing issues in terms of its functionality and its feature set. We wanted more. We had been looking for our portal replacement though there was no particular pressure and we could take the time we needed to make sure our next step would be the right one. We finally did step up our search about two years ago. Our CIO during that time was keen to make a change and we in ITS got a lot of encouragement from our EVP as well. So making a change was an expectation that we were all looking forward to. What were some of the most important features you were looking for There were many things to consider but four main goals stood out 1 Mobile accessibility was a critical feature not available with the old portal 2 an intuitive user interface was another goal especially for our help desk people 3 cost efficiency was necessarily a real consideration understood by everyone but felt more strongly at the executive levels and 4 search for the first time This would offer the level of convenience students expect. After running a legacy portal that wasn t really loved was there a sense that it was time for an update Oh yes We were careful about making our choices but there was a real sense that it was time to move on . When did Fairfield select rSmart s OneCampus In March 2016. It met those four big goals I mentioned and the story goes on from there. There s a lot of functionality built into that product and you truly get the idea that you are giving your campus a real update OneCampus is more than a replacement portal it s like taking a step into the future. While in one sense our old legacy portal served its purpose we had several ongoing issues in terms of its functionality and its feature set. We wanted more. OneCampus is more than a replacement portal it s like taking a step into the future. Jason Victor Did you shut down and replace the old portal with OneCampus right away No we chose to run the old portal in parallel with our implementation work on OneCampus as we wanted to make a thoughtful transition. We purposely took some time building out the implementation because we wanted to take full advantage of the features of OneCampus. Yes it s true that you can get the system going in a compressed timeframe if you want to. Technically it s not a difficult implementation. But we wanted to be as careful with the implementation as we were with the product selection. This also gave us the opportunity to test out the new system thoroughly during the transition phase. What s an example of taking full advantage of OneCampus OneCampus allows content creators to manage their own content. Previously with our old portal if a department wanted to post content they had to come to us and have a discussion about what they wanted and so forth. Now with OneCampus we have the ability to shift all the content maintenance over to the departments. Long term both the departments and ITS will save time and energy with this distributed strategy. And the departments will have a sense of autonomy. But for our campus that did involve taking some time initially educating the departments on what to do. So it s possible for IT departments at other institutions to choose to take on more of the initial work in terms of uploading data for the departments thereby taking less time to a launch date Yes. We ve seen examples of other schools that started out by having IT upload all the data for the departments some of these institutions were live with OneCampus in only a few weeks But for us implementation wasn t just a matter of setting up the initial infrastructure and then quickly uploading all the data for the departments. We consciously made an investment in time almost a year to get everyone in the departments up to speed feeling used to the new system and very comfortable with it. This investment in giving departments the ability to take charge of their own content right from the start will be a long term value for us. Are all the departments ready now Are there any stragglers We ve reached out to everyone. There is just a small handful who haven t addressed the transition yet but the great majority of departments can be deemed all set . It is still possible for any stragglers to come on board any time after our launch date January 30 2017 of course. And the system will continue to be dynamic into the future. But helping everyone make the transition was one reason we planned to run the old portal alongside the new OneCampus implementation until the campus seemed ready to do without the old portal. From your experience are there any departments that are the most important ones to have ready when an institution goes live with OneCampus Registration is one. Certainly the IT department is another. At Fairfield we have an ERP system and since a lot of the information there is self service access to that system is critical. Payroll grades all the administrative services should be among the initial group of tasks if a campus is going to use a staged strategy for getting the departments up live with their content. An institution might also want to be sure to have the LMS e mail the library and other basic services represented in the initial launch. For this think in terms of anything most students and faculty would use on a daily basis. What s an example of something that could be added on later Well just as one example we have an institutional research department and if for some reason they needed to be added on after our launch it wouldn t be a big deal. How easily does OneCampus integrate with other campus systems Which was the most challenging I d say the most complex was the ERP system but frankly even that wasn t really difficult. On the whole it was fairly simple to integrate OneCampus with other systems on campus. As for the biggest challenge I d say it was the fact that we had to replace our authentication system. We have a single sign on for all campus services. Once that was configured for OneCampus everything else was to be fairly straight foreword from a technical point of view. But in our case and this may not be the same for many other institutions there was a special circumstance Our original authentication system was tied to our portal. The company that made the portal was also the company that made the old authentication system So when we decided to leave the portal we knew we d be needing a new authentication system. Not only were we transitioning the portal we were also going to have to transition the authentication system. You are now live with OneCampus on schedule with your January 30 2017 rollout. Does that mean the transition period is over now Has your old legacy portal been taken down Yes. we have finally made our official rollout of OneCampus and the default page for my.Fairfield.edu now goes to the OneCampus implementation rather than the old portal home page. Are you expecting an easy transition for your users Yes one of the nice things with OneCampus is that when you as a user log in through the main page my.Fairfield.edu for the first time you get an overlay with instructions that explain how to use it. In addition to that we created a task that is permanently at the top simple instructions on how to use this site . And we have a link to the video about search click and done . But of course students these days just intuitively know what to do with a search window My guess is that once the students see a search box and when they realize that they can use the service from their mobile phones they are going to think Finally Exactly For more information about my.Fairfield.edu watch this video nbsp
Help your students find what they are looking for again.Too many institutions are still too complacent with their digital campus. Students are inundated with internal spam which is a product of stale content via a lack of higher education technology higher ed tech . For colleges and universities as well as the K 12 community multiple logins buried content and redundant content stemming from too many different links are examples of blunders via many institutions campus services. Jump Start your Campus Services What should college campuses and K 12 schools do to update their lackluster digital presence The first step in any problem is to admit there is a problem. Campuses and K 12 schools need to realize the days of simply having a web presence is far from enough as we near the end of the second decade of the new millennium. Students are demanding more from their technology than ever. It s time to begin giving the students what they want. So now that we can establish there s a problem what s next Most campuses and K 12 schools haven t had difficulty establishing there s a problem but they ve been paralyzed with the overwhelming idea of what to do about it. The idea of needing an overhaul on these large websites driving their web presence is daunting. However after exposure to solutions like OneCampus by rSmart a cloud based solution relief will set in. Campus Services are only as good as the campus portal university portal K 12 school portal. By adopting OneCampus by rSmart campuses and K 12 schools will not only avert the ground up overhaul they ve been avoiding but they ll jump start their campus services as well. OneCampus by rSmart is implemented seamlessly with existing systems allowing for it to essentially lay on top of the existing portal system. Cloud Based Campus Portal According to a Campus Technology article by David Rash titled Rethinking the Campus Web Portal one of the main complaints of students was how poorly their campus services support mobile devices. An application that performs well on a laptop or desktop computer doesn t necessarily perform well on a mobile device. More often than not applications perform much differently on a mobile device than traditional devices. It s imperative an institution s campus portal university portal K 12 portal is mobile friendly. Further if an application could only be one of the two alluding to either mobile friendly or desktop friendly the wiser choice would be to choose mobile friendly. Few would argue we re not speeding more in the direction of mobile friendly than the alternative. However many institutions have campus services operating off a campus portal that s outdated and or not mobile friendly and this is equally true in K 12 education if not worse . OneCampus by rSmart is cloud based therefore it s not only mobile friendly but it s responsive. The ability to operate campus services from a consistent platform from desktop to a mobile device is one of many areas where OneCampus shines. The OneCampus university portal K 12 portal focuses on the tasks at hand through its cloud based technology. In a Campus Technology article titled Moving Campus Services from the Portal to the Cloud by Mary Grush co founder of rSmart John Robinson speaks to how OneCampus allow s users looking for campus information to access it from whatever device they have available to them whether it s a desktop laptop cell phone or whatever it might be. This applies to K 12 education as well. OneCampus by rSmart Campus Portal The ability to go from an outdated campus portal K 12 portal to a mobile friendly robust and modern platform is easier than ever. No stress is needed because rSmart s cloud based portal is ready to lay on top of the existing system providing a seamless transition for your campus services whether at a major university or a K 12 school. To quote co founder John Robinson again rSmart want s to replicate the common communication capabilities users are accustomed to with Google Amazon the Apple store and similar services. OneCampus does all of the above and is only a click away.
A look into the future...It s easy to glaze over campus services when assessing the health of an institution. Whether focusing on the attractiveness of an institution in the eyes of its future students clients or the ability to achieve successful student retention campus services is likely to take a back seat. Often the crucial elements of an operation do the heavy lifting in the background similar to a stellar defense in football and the less influential elements take the glory. Consider campus services the equivalent of a stellar defense in the higher education industry. Campus services are essentially the switchboard of all that occurs within a higher education institution. Campus services are the umbrella under which students navigate their class schedule faculty navigate their curriculum research projects access their work and prospective students check out the digital side of their future campus. Additionally the campus portal is the interface through which campus services is able to perform or under perform. In other words it s safe to say campus services rely on the robustness mobility and ease of use via the campus portal. To underestimate the importance of campus services is to leave the future success of the entire campus incredibly vulnerable if not destined for failure. Campus Services Go Further than the Students Charles Vest is president emeritus of MIT and he has expressed the continued belief that a meta university is fast approaching. EDUCASE Review published a 2009 article in which Charles Vest was quoted expressing his beliefs all the way back in 2006. Charles commented the following We are seeing the early emergence of a meta university a transcendent accessible empowering dynamic communally constructed framework of open materials and platforms on which much of higher education worldwide can be constructed or enhanced. The 2009 EDUCASE Review article emphasized the importance of campus services going in a more digital cloud based direction with a 2009 article by Brad Wheeler and Shelton Waggener titled Above Campus Services Shaping the Promise of Cloud Computing for Higher Education. According the 2009 article f or research intensive institutions the need to collaborate nationally and globally is both a research imperative and an economic necessity particularly in the sciences where large scale instrumentation is now the norm. Also from the 2009 article s cientists from multiple institutions share super computers librarians share digital humanities repositories astronomers share galactic images network engineers share strands of fiber in the same physical cable and treasurers share check disbursement services. These excerpts demonstrate the importance of campus services going in a much more modern direction from the standpoint of internal operations via campus portals university portals relative to outdated legacy portals. Campus Portals Drive Campus Services Campus portals drive campus services not the other way around. Suppose a higher education institution has stellar campus services but a terrible campus portal the ability to drive a successful student experience and or faculty experience is probably doomed. Conversely if the same institution were to have an amazing campus portal with questionable campus services the overall digital experience still has promise. The importance of a campus portal allowing campus services to truly shine or create the perception of shining is impossible to overstate. Campus Technology a trusted resource in the higher education technology space ed tech has continually followed the importance of technology via campus services. In a late 2015 article titled Changing the Way Users Discover and Access Campus Services by Meg Lloyd rSmart is continually referred to as a leader in higher ed tech. Focusing on Indiana University s experience IU partnered with rSmart to offer the technology behind One.IU as a cloud based solution that can replace or run in parallel to the legacy campus portal. The product from rSmart is called OneCampus. Referring again to the 2015 article o ver the past year rSmart has worked with more than 14 institutions to deploy OneCampus as a cost effective cloud based solution. Campus adopters range from small private institutions including Oral Roberts University and Lynn University to large multi campus institutions such as the University of Hawaii. Further emphasizing the power of the user experience through OneCampus by rSmart t he user s inquiry is met with a responsive search and discovery tool that is as easy to use on a smartphone or tablet as it is a laptop or desktop computer a quality you won t find in most legacy campus portals.
Have you joined the Cloud yet The time has come not only to surrender to technology but the time has come to welcome the transition. Why Because technology is no longer a gimmick it s a tool it makes life easier not more complicated and expensive. Many higher education institutions have delayed technology and many have delayed because the transition seemed to be more work than investment. The why for the delay is irrelevant. Cloud based campus services are the way to go the why for this is worth our time. Be a Leader Not a Follower If the movement of an industry in general is the impetus to transition existing systems it s safe to say it s reactionary rather than revolutionary. Campuses would be wise to jump to be the leaders in their students experience rather than the followers. More specifically giving the students a digital experience is a concise way to express the direction campus services must go. Campus portals need to be updated. If campus services aren t providing mobile friendly access cloud based solutions for the staff and students and a Google like search capability the need to update was long ago. The Campus Computing Project released findings that revealed the need to begin transitioning to the could in 2011. In their study titled Campus Computing 2011 Big Gains in Going Mobile they expressed how new survey data reveal that campuses have been slow to move key operational and research functions to Cloud Computing. Additionally Kenneth C. Green founding director of The Campus Computing Project commented that t he campus Learning Management Services market remains a textbook example of a mature market with immature or evolving technologies and that s a prescription for a volatile market. The aforementioned volatility alludes to the turbulent reality that could befall institutions not quick to update their campus services via campus portals. Transitioning to cloud based solutions and mobile friendly solutions is imperative in order to provide the digital experience referenced earlier which is the student experience required to remain competitive. Cloud Campus Services The first step is admitting there s a problem. Before there can be a solution there must be an acceptance of a problem. In an article called Legacy Technologies and Processes Holding Back Your Student Experience by Tracy Skochil she writes When it comes to students navigating campus services today s traditional outdated cluttered campus portals are anything but intuitive or searchable. Clearly the above excerpt illustrates an industry wide problem and problems in our information technology era are exponentially increased with time. An industry relying on the favor of a single audience aka graduating students must remain cutting edge to earn the respect of their hopeful clients. To simply hang onto existing campus portals as sufficient in our digital era would be a bold gamble. Campus services can be transitioned seamlessly by implementing cloud based solutions. Not only does the cloud facilitate the transition of an institution s existing system but the cloud also enhances the students experience a two for one benefit via the cloud. Now how to implement the solution specifically Update University Portals with OneCampus by rSmart Campus Technology featured an article by Mary Grush titled Moving Campus Services from the Portal to the Cloud. The format of the article was driven by a Q amp A with John Robinson co founder of rSmart. The Q amp A delves into the various things impacting the Higher Education Technology industry or Higher Ed Tech as it s commonly referred to. In addition John Robinson provides insight into how rSmart s OneCampus revitalizes outdated university portals and gets institutions in harmony with the digital experience students demand. In regard to the functionality of OneCampus John describes how existing systems don t have to be overhauled but simply integrated with OneCampus. John describes how t he search system goes into the existing data spaces allowing users to have a much simpler experience finding the information they need. This will replace the more complex process of using portals. Portals have done a nice job but over the years they ve gotten quite heavy with OneCampus it doesn t have to be that way. Further p art of its simplicity is that it is cloud based and we think that s where the nature of providing services is heading in general. We think that OneCampus is right in its construction and architecture a departure at last for institutions from the complex and heavy IT oriented systems of the past. As far as the departure from heavy IT oriented systems John reveals OneCampus is designed so that data owners can make these changes themselves without going back to the vendor or even involving the IT department.
Guest Blog is by James Davis COO and Co founder of GoEdison.There s a line many say which goes something like this the more things change the more they stay the same. There may be some truth to this statement in the right context but with respect to academic college institutions staying the same albeit not changing is not a recipe for success. Colleges used to dictate the student experience but this assumption is proving to be less and less true. Colleges and industry experts have been researching recent relationships between students success and the retention of undergraduates alluding to students completing their respective programs and graduating. The findings suggest the old way is backwards. In other words the student experience should come first assuming colleges want to retain their students. Follow the Data Trail U.S. News amp World Report is the only organization ranking schools for over thirty years according to their chief data strategist Robert Morse. Each year U.S. News amp World Report releases a comprehensive report of the nation s top schools in various categories. For the first time in 2016 the report had a category dedicated to the Most Innovative Schools which focuses on several dynamics integral to the student experience. The Most Innovative Schools list is comprised of institutions that enhance curriculum campus life faculty etc. However the driving factor is arguably improvements to technology. According to Brian Kelly editor and chief content officer at U.S. News 8220 Taking into account how well a school supports its students from freshman year through graduation is important . The key words in the above quote are supports its students because it s the difference between an institution that s going up vs. going down. The Millennial Generation Research Review by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation stated the following about its general findings Most consistent is that the millennial generation is technically savvy almost as if it has a digital sixth sense. A wired connected world is all that Millennials have ever known. Naturally the above alludes to the inevitability that students of the current day expect a college experience that s developed digitally as much as the campus has been developed physically. The students want a digital experience and it has to be modern not to mention intuitive aka fast. Attention Toward Retention Another section of the report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation states m illennials have and will continue to influence education. First as students these digital natives have forced learning institutions to communicate and educate in new ways. This statement infers institutions industry wide need to adjust to the desires of the digital generation which requires changes to existing systems. For far too long colleges have satisfied their need to improve the digital experience by building on top of old cumbersome and unforgiving systems. The extent to which colleges are still clinging to these old systems is surprising given the advancements that have been happening around them but many have been somewhat complacent with their results until now. Institutions live and die by student retention. Student retention is a buzz phrase because institutions by federal and state laws and or regulations send data to regional state and federal agencies tying student success to funding. Students lack of success and or disengagement results in negative retention and this obviously doesn t bode well for funding. In a published piece by Frank Shushok and Eileen Hulme via Campus Life they reveal that much of the theory in student retention today has evolved from psychological models developed in the 1970s that addressed life work coping problems. These theories likely need some updating and they shouldn t be theoretical updates but actionable changes in the form of enhancing the student s digital experience. Further alluding to the need of schools to improve their connection to the students experience Vincent Tinto and Brian Pusser from their published work via Moving From Theory to Action Building a Model of Institutional Action for Student Success stated this failure to achieve adequate retention rates indicates that we must rethink our focus on student attributes and examine how the whole organization can better engage in promoting student success. Rosemary Hayes director of External Relations for Starfish Retention Solutions in her article titled Digital Engagement Driving Student Success stated the following The key is to use technology in ways that make information accessible decision making and communication about students more comprehensive and interactions among the faculty staff and administration easier. If You Build It They Will Stay There are many reasons to establish a new digital experience at our campuses schools and institutions. Aside from the primary motivator which should be the students how about critical and limited resources via the human resources In Proceedings of the 7th National Symposium on Student Retention Virginia McAleese and Loralyn Taylor wrote Successful Implementation of a Campus wide Comprehensive Student Support System. In their report they state a fragmented approach to student success initiatives results in duplicated effort more levels of complexity and more time spent on information management. What if these wasted funds were dedicated instead to the start of a new system one that was fast and one that felt up to date with our mobile high school graduates and up coming freshman What if this system didn t have to supplant an existing system but could be built on top of it Would there be a reason to not start OneCampus by rSmart IT management nightmares as the result of outdated portals ineffective searches and buried content don t have to continue. There is a way to improve the digital experience with a portal that can give a digital make over to an institution s zeroes and ones without reinventing the wheel. Additionally aside from removing problems bogging down essential personnel the engagement of the staff itself improves and does so in harmony with the student experience. So the tangible benefits compound the intangible benefits internally and externally thus providing a cohesive digital experience. The time to begin such changes was yesterday and the extent to which technology is changing makes the metaphor of one being caught on their heels a giant understatement. A more accurate metaphor would be one caught on their heels wearing concrete pants. It s quite possible the quagmire of IT congestion via old legacy portals removed through a mobile cloud based solution like OneCampus pays for itself. The real question is how much is it costing institutions each day they don t enhance their students digital experience Anxious to see a preview about OneCampus Schedule a demo today Guest Blogger James Davis is COO and Co founder of GoEdison with experience as a Financial Analyst with S amp P Global. James has 15 years experience analyzing public companies via domestic and international stock exchanges ADRs specializing in the Banking sector for almost 10 years.
Todd Yates from rSmart relates OneCampus to an everyday system.While my full time job is vice president of operations for rSmart I volunteer in my off time as a firefighter and EMT. I live in a remote part of Central Texas in a geographic area called The Hill Country which as you might imagine has a somewhat vertical terrain. Unlike many parts of the country all fire and emergency medical services in Texas are provided by volunteers outside the large metro areas. This means that volunteer firefighters and first responders are called upon to assist when there is a fire motor vehicle accident emergency medical call or some other incident. Recently our fire department was dispatched to one of the most remote areas of the county to locate and treat a woman that had fallen and severely broken her leg while hiking alone. We arrived at the staging area with rescue gear in hand and everything ready to go from large off road fire trucks to rescue ATVs loaded with chainsaws. An air ambulance was also on standby ready to transport her to the hospital but we were immediately confounded by a problem while knew the general vicinity we were unable to locate her exact position as it was a large area surrounded by thick brush and heavy cedar forest. We headed out and started by calling her name but the mountainous terrain blocked or reflected most sounds. We then started a tentative search spreading out in a classic search and rescue pattern but given the size and nature of the area we knew this would be a lengthy process. We also recognized the longer our patient was exposed to the elements and incapacitated with a major fracture the chances she would develop life threatening issues increased so we were aggressively looking for ways to focus our search. Myself and another firefighter were struck by an idea. We knew our 911 dispatcher had been in brief but unreliable phone contact with the patient several times. We asked the dispatcher if she could send a text to the woman that contained concise instructions on how to text her GPS coordinates from her phone. We then waited anxiously. Minutes later the dispatcher called us 8211 success The woman was able to text her exact GPS location and our all hands on deck exhaustive search turned into a targeted rescue. With a single ATV cutting its way directly to the patient she was treated and flown out to the hospital in a very timely fashion. I was struck today how closely this is analogous to our OneCampus service. Every day students are challenged with finding resources or completing tasks with campus enterprise systems. They are tasked with navigating their own heavy forest of links pages help centers knowledge bases etc. While the information and services are valuable they are often not able to find it in a timely fashion despite knowing what they need or want to do. OneCampus can be that GPS allowing students to quickly narrow down and find exactly what they 8217 re looking for with minimal frustration and more positive outcomes.
A Q A with Katelin Corbin UITS Student Outreach Indiana UniversityIn 2013 Indiana University developed One.IU one.iu.edu 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 8212 promotional items that are branded with the website have been very effective at IU.
In today s ultra competitive educational landscape attracting and retaining top talent is critical to the success of any institution.Each year colleges and universities across the country compete to attract and retain students through tuition rates academic programs technology housing extracurricular activities campus amenities and much much more. According to US News amp World Report Admissions officials in the nation s top colleges are beginning to court not just high school seniors to fill their next class but also juniors sophomores and freshmen 8212 even reaching out to some middle school students. A tremendous amount of time energy and money is spent on the recruitment process but getting those students to enroll is only the beginning of the battle. How will you keep them engaged What can be done to ensure they are successful Are there factors or variables that will positively or negatively impact their experience on campus The expectations of today s students are higher than ever 8212 especially when it comes to technology. They want to access campus information services and applications quickly and easily in one location from any device. Unfortunately this isn 8217 t always easy as universities typically have a variety of different systems for even the easiest of tasks. Whether it s signing up for classes pulling up an academic calendar finding a tutor seeing what jobs are available or finding the closest laundry facility students are forced to hunt and navigate throughout various websites and often don t even know where to begin. This not only wastes time and energy but can give them a negative overall experience. Accessing campus services should be easy. It should be clear where to find things and students should be able to pull items up quickly on their phone. It should be at their fingertips and not a drawn out process or a struggle. One way that this can be accomplished is with OneCampus from rSmart. Students can not only find what they are looking for with just one click they can access campus services from any location or device. By simply giving your students access to the tools they need to be successful can generate a substantial ROI 8212 from increased engagement to higher student retention. More importantly it will help you continue to compete for new students by meeting their expectations and showcasing all that your university has to offer which in the end is ultimately the goal.
From an administrative role to a OneCampus expert hear how Jennifer from rSmart easily built out her tenant.Some of my favorite movie characters are serious dummies. Carl from Caddyshack Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber Brick from Anchorman. I love them because they re funny but also because I can kind of relate to their struggle. I mean to be fair I m not actually THAT dumb. I don 8217 t eat candles or love lamps but let 8217 s just say that in an office full of smart people nobody is asking me to code or develop anything. Pipelines and proposals are where I spend most of my days. So recently when I was asked to build out a OneCampus site I was pretty sure I was being pranked. Either that or they asked me to do it as some sort of social experiment to see what happens when you ask an administrative person to do something technical. Nevertheless with enthusiasm in my heart I accepted this new project and considered it an opportunity to become 8230 less dumb. Recognizing that OneCampus was designed to require very little IT lift I knew there was hope for me right from the start But the big question was how was I going to get there Having seen several schools go live over the past several months I decided to look at the project as if I was a customer. First I did a bit of brainstorming and identified the key components of OneCampus including Roles The groups or types of users that will access OneCampus e.g. student staff faculty parent . Markets Campuses A way of organizing tasks that relate to specific campus sites or departments. Categories Allow you to bucket tasks for easy browsing if desired. Contacts The person or department responsible for questions concerns about a specific task. Tasks The descriptive tiles that provide info and direct links to the various services available on campus. Task Centers A collection of related tasks. For example all items related to Freshman Orientation. Tags Additional keywords or commonly used terms that will aid with search. After some careful consideration here is what I ended up doing in 3 easy steps I started by mapping out which roles markets categories and contacts made sense. Then I created those as a first step. Next I used a Google Spreadsheet to organize my tasks by category wrote a description for each and filled in the key fields such as tags and contacts. I also considered what icons I might use for each and determined which tasks could be bundled into groups task centers . Finally I used the content in the spreadsheet to build out the individual tasks in about 3 minutes each. In the end I created 68 tasks that I bundled into 9 task centers. OneCampus is very intuitive so the process was incredibly easy. When I had questions I was able to find answers in the quick guides. The project took me about three weeks to complete from start to finish. Not too shabby for a non technical person who was working on a variety of other things at the same time View the rSmart demo instance If your institution is considering an implementation of OneCampus you might be asking yourself questions like How many people will need to manage this or How long is the setup going to take Let me just say that if someone like me can do it by myself in a matter of weeks just imagine what you will be able to do To learn more about how easy it is to get started with rSmart OneCampus visit our website at www.rsmart.com or call us at 866.874.4338 to schedule a demo today About the Author When Jennifer Martinez isn 8217 t managing rSmart 8217 s sales support activities she enjoys spending time with her husband two children and rescue dog named Diesel.
It s all in the numbers.The importance of solid data driven decisions in the development expansion and deployment of an ever expanding service portfolio in higher education cannot be overstated. For many years as a technology executive on campus I struggled with how to best determine where my limited resources needed to be applied. There was always a large pool of potential projects critical business demands and a changing landscape of new software and devices. The tools we used to gather data were varied and complex. Many even came with their own embedded technology resource burden or skillsets to maintain. We distributed surveys on a frequent schedule with consistently low response rates and scattered data points. We mined large troves of information for inclusion into a data warehouse and reports. Anecdotally I would also hear from student or faculty focus groups about their dissatisfaction with a service or a desire to obtain the latest cutting edge tool and how critical it was for them. My job at the beginning of every budget planning cycle was to become Kreskin. I would take the varied sources of disparate information about the thousands of service contact points we maintained with faculty staff and students and assemble them into my very own crystal ball. I would peer into the future and try to determine the best way to spend our limited time and money. I would then submit my plan and budget with carefully assembled data points and hope we made an informed decision. Today we work and live in an environment of distributed personal devices and systems that make this decision cycle more difficult. In some cases cloud hosted solutions may not provide access to good data or I may not be able to tell what my pass through rate is for a mobile responsive page. Alternatively I may never obtain the data point or trigger at all because people are using Google to search then going directly to an external service without ever traversing through my tech stack at all. Enter OneCampus the cloud based service discovery platform that organizes these disparate campus services into tasks and provides real time visibility and insight into user behaviors and trends. For example its deep integration with Google Analytics helps administrators pinpoint the end user devices or browsers peak usage times and the most accessed services. Even when students use Siri or Google to search for campus services the OneCampus task portfolio will be returned in their search results because the platform leverages natural language metadata and SEO. This increases the likelihood that administrators will get an accurate gauge of how a service is being used. The innate yet simple design captures user feedback ratings and dynamically repositions tasks i.e. Most Popular or Highest Rated to improve communication and expose users to relevant services. Direct and indirect user data from OneCampus also lets administrators know when they made the right or wrong decision about a service change helps pinpoint with laser focus where the next project cycle effort needs to be applied and may even help them decide what services may be pruned from the portfolio. As the higher education landscape continues to expand there is an increasing need to make services simpler and more accessible for all of our users. The same can be said for data and analytics 8212 the way in which decisions are based for these front facing services. With OneCampus we strive to maintain that ideal balance in our service discovery platform simple accessible and comprehensive.
A Q A with Alex Martinez and Jamiee Janiga Graphic Designers Indiana UniversityUnlike traditional software that is often managed and maintained by a central IT department OneCampus was designed to be a collaborative campus solution. It also provides institutions the ability to make it their own with custom headers footers and icons that match a college or university s branding colors and style. At Indiana University IU students play a key role in the design of icons for various tasks or services offered across their eight campuses. We recently talked with two student graphic designers Alex Martinez and Jaimee Janiga about their experience working with the One.IU team and how it is preparing them for their future careers. How did you hear about the One.IU project Can you describe your role Our graphic design professor was approached by one of the One.IU administrators to see if they had any qualified students that would be interested in designing custom icons for various tasks. The university was getting ready to launch the One.IU platform in fall 2014 and they needed additional icons built during the summer break. During the interview process we were given a task icon to design to make sure it met their needs and matched the style of existing icons. As graphic designers for the One.IU project we are part time hourly employees that typically work from home. On average we work a few hours each day and submit our timecard electronically. The ability to work remotely from home or when traveling to see family is a huge benefit and it provides us the flexibility to have another part time job and handle a full course load. Because we are students they also understand during finals and at the end of semester that school comes first. This motivates us to work harder because they are understanding of our time and are great supervisors. How do you know what to create How long does each icon take to complete IU uses a collaboration tool called Trello to communicate what tasks icons need to be created. When a new task is assigned the first step is to think about the task and learn what it involves. Then we decide how to best represent the task from a student perspective. For some tasks we are given specific requests or instructions regarding the design or color. For others we are provided the opportunity to be more creative. The amount of time it takes to design an icon varies but on average each one takes about 2 3 hours to complete. What program do you use to design the icons How do you maintain a consistent style The icons are designed using Adobe Illustrator in a specific size 153 pixels x 153 pixels . We occasionally design rotating banners as well. The completed files are saved for the web and as an .AI file so they can make edits to the original files in the future. Although we were taught by the same professor and design in a similar way no two people have the exact same style. We work closely together to adapt and change our icons to look similar. Our supervisor also provides feedback and will occasionally suggest minor edits or color changes. The collaborative process is providing us with valuable job skills and experience working as a team. How will this experience prepare you for a future career Alex Prior to this job I didn t have a lot of illustration experience so it has been fun to see the progression of my design skills and find my style. As a graphic designer it is a huge plus to be able to illustrate and add iconography to your resume. With the experience I have gained from my classes and this position I have landed a number of freelance projects including working with a marketing firm in Chicago and doing technical illustrations for a medical device company. Jaimee Working as a graphic designer on the One.IU project has expanded my skills as a graphic designer taught me how to focus on a client s needs and helped me learn how to do things more efficiently. I have also gained valuable job skills and experience such as working with other people learning how to communicate virtually Skype email text and managing my time effectively. The experience is mutually beneficial for the university and students. What advice would you give other schools looking to involve student graphic designers Alex It is important to find honest students that have a track record of being on time and efficient. Since this job is done independently you also need students who can prioritize and manage their own time. From a design perspective it is important to maintain a consistent look and feel so student graphic designers should have a similar style or be able to adapt to pre defined style guides i.e. not too vibrant of colors simple but engaging limited text . Jaimee To find the best candidates talk with graphic design professors and ask them to identify students that are mature stay on track and get stuff done on time. They should have a good amount of design experience and ideally have worked on an outside class project that required them to collaborate with other people. Student graphic designers also need to be willing to listen to feedback critique and respond in a timely manner. Alex Martinez and Jamiee Janiga are seniors at Indiana University Northwest in Gary Indiana. Alex will graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Jamiee will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design and Computer Systems.
College students own an average of seven tech devices. Does your tech meet their needs According to a recent study college students today own an average of seven tech devices. Laptops held the top position with smartphones a close second and rising. At Indiana University nearly two thirds of the hits on their OneCampus online portal are from mobile devices. With mobile use continuing to increase each year institutions need a way to meet these modern technology needs. Yet despite the data showing just how important mobile is to students and increasingly to all users many traditional software vendors and university IT shops are falling further and further behind the curve. Users especially students can find this frustrating and schools who aren t aggressive with their mobile strategy are at risk for being seen as outdated or out of touch with today s students. A Top Priority with a Long Way to Go According to Campus Computing 70 percent of institutions identify implementing supporting mobile computing as a top institutional IT priority over the next three years but less than a fifth 17 percent rate mobile services at their institution as excellent. It is almost criminal that our higher education institutions are so behind with mobile friendly applications. What are the roadblocks to making this happen One of the roadblocks commonly encountered by colleges and universities involves large software vendors in key spaces like ERP and Learning Management. With little competition and a larger focus on industries outside of higher ed many vendors have been slow to make their software and or platforms responsive or mobile friendly. With a hefty price tag and lengthy implementation timeline it is often difficult for schools to to motivate the vendor to change after adoption or switch products . Sure there are some vendors doing amazing things with the cloud and multi tenant but these are not as plentiful as they should be and often quite expensive. And are these savings being passed on to schools A second roadblock involves institutionally developed legacy systems or software such as campus portals. While they were built specifically to meet the needs of that particular campus from a desktop computer IT departments are finding it difficult to drive a change toward mobile from within because of budget cuts staffing reductions and rising maintenance software costs. An Innovative Path toward Mobile Computing As stated in the article by Green Colleges and universities are clearly playing catch up with the consumer experience. Students come to campus with their smartphones and tablets expecting to use mobile apps to navigate campus resources and use campus services. This is one of the primary factors that has driven rSmart to focus exclusively on bringing OneCampus to colleges and universities of all types and sizes. We want to help schools not just play catch up but to be true leaders by taking strides toward becoming mobile friendly in their portal and service discovery tools at a very affordable price. And that overburdened IT department doesn t need to worry about the amount of time it will take to maintain because OneCampus is cloud based and designed to be maintained by functional staff across campus or within a centralized area such as student services or campus administration.