As previously advised in the Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s (Students, Learning & Teaching) monthly staff bulletin column, the University is currently engaged in some exciting updates to the student website. These updates will greatly improve the digital experience for our students and how the whole of the University communicates with them.
We look forward to launching the new and improved digital experience for our students in early December. Please see the Q&A below for further information about the project and how this may impact you and your staff.
Q: What are the key update and improvements?
- Moving the ‘current student’ content onto Sitecore (from Squiz Matrix), a dynamic content management system (CMS) which allows us the flexibility to deliver more personalised and relevant content to our students.
- Updating the look and feel of the portal, so it’s more modern and appealing.
- Surfacing key information from external systems and platforms to improve the student experience, meaning they won’t have to access or log into separate systems as often.
- Increasing options for communicating with students. While students will still receive some important information via their ACU email accounts, they will also have a feed for less formal communications (that the student can personalise) and notifications for important information we want to highlight.
Q: What will be the main differences for students?
- The whole of the student portal/website will be accessed by logging in with ACU student credentials (student ID number and password).
- Students will have an integrated, personalised dashboard view of key information upon login, and single sign-on for systems - meaning they only need to login once to access key systems like Student Connect/Banner, LEO, Tutorial Direct and student email (O365).
Q: What will happen to the current iteration of the student website?
- The content pages that are currently available will be transitioned onto the new CMS and continue to be available. These content pages will be personalised by campus and study level (undergrad or postgrad). This means fewer pages to navigate for the student, while still allowing access to information from other campuses.
- The portal look and feel and all page urls will change.
Q: What impact will this have on the Orientation website and online Orientation planner?
- The Orientation process will be incorporated into the Student Portal, meaning students will be able to start their ACU experience with the same system they will use throughout their studies.
Q: What does this mean for organisational units that are student website content providers or who want to communicate with students?
- There will be improved channels to communicate with students.
- There will be new communication governance structure to incorporate the new channels and streamline what you need to provide to communicate with students without changing the current process significantly.
- Web content pages will have a new structure which will mean you can personalise information. A template is being developed to assist content providers with creating this information.
Q: How will url links/url redirects that are currently in circulation be maintained in the new portal so that broken links are avoided?
- All existing urls for webpages in the current student website will be redirected to their new equivalent webpage in the new portal to avoid broken pathways during the transition period from one CMS to another. Eventually the old urls will be phased out, so staff members are encouraged to start using the new webpage urls in communications once the portal is live.
- When a student follows a link to a student portal page (provided to them in an external resource – digital or hard-copy) the student will be deep-linked to the specific destination page after login.
Q: How will staff or external stakeholders (anyone without ACU student login credentials) access the student website information?
- ACU staff will be able to log in to the student portal using their staff login credential in order to view content pages. Staff will be able to access all the same content that is currently viewable on the student website.
- Audiences external to ACU (who are neither current ACU staff nor students) will not be able to login to the portal but will be able to access a summarised version of the student-focused content that will soon be made available on the ACU public website.
Q: Who can I contact about the new iteration of the student website if I have further questions, concerns or queries?
A: Contact the Project Manager, Matthew Jeppesen (firstname.lastname@example.org)