The MyUT team had their first successful launch of an iteration of the new University portal during summer orientation for incoming students. In the first two weeks of its launch, the portal was used by more than 5,000 students and continues to be introduced to 1,500 new students a week.
The portal was initially sponsored by the Provost Office in support of student success with the goals of replacing UT Direct’s functionality, giving students one place to access the information to conduct their University business, and above all that it prove to be useful to students. Portal instances for Faculty, Staff, and Researchers are being developed over the next year.
The portal is mobile responsive and personalized for students with pre-loaded information like banners recognizing their graduation year and information about their college. The banner has already been used to successfully target audiences like incoming students who may need access to the graduation help desk to register for classes. The portal also serves real-time data including What I Owe, financial aid notifications, registration guidance, and secure academic notes. In addition, the portal offers single-sign on to Canvas and other systems.
Through focus groups, surveys, and web analytics, the MyUT team gathered requirements to configure the system to better meet students’ needs.
“Initially, we thought we would have no link farm on this portal, but students resoundingly asked for a one-stop shop page, so we created it with their requests in mind,” said Jody Couch, Program Director for Student Administrative Systems.
Students also revealed that they wanted more emphasis placed on academic, financial, and some human resources functionality.
“We originally focused specifically on academics and finance, but once we started showing this to students, their feedback showed interest in HR details such as completing their time cards and seeing their paycheck details, “said Jody. “Thus, our flexibility helped find solutions to include that functionality.”
Returning students will be notified of the portal in mid-August. Over the next year, the MyUT team will continue to iterate and improve the student portal while building out functionality for faculty, staff, and researchers.