The Campus "Un-Portal" - Re-imagining the campus portal

Steven Forehand

The campus portal. Bulky, expensive, and questionably effective. This presentation re-imagines the campus portal as an effective tool leveraging a social centric ecosystem integrating new and existing services and apps while exploiting modern technologies such as mobile topped with a healthy dose of campus culture. Say "hello" to the "un-portal".

Campus portals are not new technology. For years, Universities have bought or developed and attempted to implement various flavors of the campus portal with varying degrees of success. The basic function of these portals is to provide a single point of access to all the information and applications needed by all members of the campus community. However, the concept of the product is often its downfall flooding users with too much information with too little focus and functionality.

Then there is the expense. Commercial portal offerings are often hugely expensive and often require an infrastructure change from hardware and staff just to support the implementation. Implementation is often time consuming and requires a major investment across the campus to keep the managed information current. The investment can swell if technical and functional staff require training in technology used for presentation and development.

How does a student find the information needed in the sea of portlets and widgets? How does the campus keep the information updated and relevant? Can a student access their information from their mobile device as a true mobile experience rather than a really "small" version of the portal? How can you leverage campus technology expectations with a product developed years prior?

Most Universities have implemented or attempted to implement a campus portal. It is our hope we can share our experience to help others with their approach and ultimately allow them to better serve their campus community with the services and information needed and hopefully save some time and money during the process. As a result of the session, attendees will be able to re-evaluate their current portal and any potential future purchase or development effort making better investment decisions. Attendees will also benefit from our "lessons learned" saving important time and money. Additionally, attendees should also be able to use the information presented to determine the expectations and needs of their own campus community helping determine which portal offering (if any) would best address their needs.


Experience level: 
Social Media and Emerging Technologies

Schedule info

Time slot: 
3 November 08:30 - 09:15
Breakout Room - C