Description: The student portal is a new transformation in UWL for students based on Office 365, it provides a better platform for students to communicate share their ideas about school.
The development of the student portal was a strategic decision so that the students would get all their information and everything about the University in one place instead of going through 25 different avenues in order to learn about their course, the social events which were going on in the university.
I think the importance of the portal in the University of West London was that we wanted to do something different apart from providing academic information for students, what we wanted to do was to allow individual students to personalize their own academic journey.
I love the fact that as a student you can create a profile that looks a lot like the Facebook profile, at the same time it allows me to meet my classmates before meeting them in class. As student union president, I can look at what students are saying about their courses, and talk to them which is an easy way of connecting with them.
I’ve got my own profile of my own blog, on which I update my status regularly like on Twitter. The library’s become more interactive because you can access library accounts now and check your books out.
I think it fits well into my student life because it’s very easy to access on my phone wherever and whenever, I can check an email my teacher might send me with a single click. The students can share ideas about university. And lecturers can share documents with students and students share documents with them.
We looked at a number of portals to get an idea about what the best fit was for us, so a lot of it were working with the heads of schools and we were very fortunate that the Student Union really worked closely with us in designing the look and feel of the portal.
We are really proud of the images and the icons that the students have created for us and I think them make it a usable portal for the students, previously a student had to visit several websites to be able to do his daily activities, nowadays if a student wants to do some researches using the new summon facility off about the library at UWL, they simply log on to Myside and he can use it there.
Not a lot of universities have this kind of student portal, through which students can get accessibility from home, it is very easy to use, and it is a big improvement. When you do a video on the website, you can link it to the Facebook, Twitter or the university, so your friends in or outside the university, classmates can watch it,
The student portal is is hosted in the cloud actually so most of your data is in the Internet, we’re using some technology from Microsoft Office 365 which is the platform that the student portal is based on, UWL is the first real education user to build a portal in office 365.
Now we’re starting to roll out link which is a communication suite of tools which allows students and staff to communicate by using instant messaging, web communication. But on top of that what we want to do is to make it much easier to use by using self-service password so you can easily change your password. We want to make sure to creat a virtual learning environment for you, and when you access My Registry, the scene will come up.
But I think the biggest challenge we need to overcome is that we need to make the whole thing work better on mobile devices like your iPhones, iPads, Androids or whatever you are using.