Features and Advantages of Having a Student Web Portal

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Executive Summary

A student web portal would allow UC Berkeley students to access online campus services, websites, and course information from one convenient location, using a single user ID and password. They would be able to customize the portal to their own liking, adding or deleting links to internal websites, internal news channels aimed at particular groups of students, and external information such as sports, weather, entertainment, etc.

Our project team was asked to report on why the University should develop such a student web portal; interview Berkeley students, staff, and faculty to assess their level of interest in a portal and ensure that those who develop the portal understand the features these stakeholders feel a portal should have; investigate best practices at other Universities that have already deployed student web portals; and suggest management models for the portal project. We were also charged with presenting three possible user interfaces, and recommend names for the Berkeley student web portal.

The central goal of the Chancellor’s e-Berkeley Initiative is to transform the day-to-day operations of the University by reducing paperwork; putting more information services and transactions online; and streamlining access to course information and content. A student web portal would collect these campus services and functions into a single website, making it easy for students to find and use online services, and thus increasing the likelihood that the University can attain the strategic goals laid out in the e-Berkeley Initiative.

We used a combination of surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews to gather information from Berkeley students, faculty, and staff, and from key personnel at other institutions that have operational student portals.

Berkeley students, and the staff who deliver services to them, are very excited by the possibilities a student web portal offers. Roughly 70 percent of student respondents said...
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