In March 2011, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs and Information Technology Services convened an ad-hoc workgroup to examine current modes of communication with the W&L community, specifically Campus Notices, the online calendar and dashboard pages for Current Students and Faculty/Staff, and determine how W&L can improve or augment these tools.
The workgroup began by considering the following questions:
- How do members of the W&L community get most of their information about what’s happening on campus?
- What are the major frustrations with our current modes of communication, and what’s working well?
- Are there ways in which we’re not communicating that we should be? (i.e. social media, online communities, portal/intranet)
One of the workgroup’s first actions was to design and distribute a campus communications survey, which was taken by over 275 members of the campus community.
Upon completion of the survey, members of the workgroup conducted focus groups with faculty/staff and current students, and presented the survey results to two Town Hall information sessions as well as the ITS’s Technology Liaison’s group, gathering additional, anecdotal feedback to augment the survey results.
After meeting to discuss the results of the survey, focus groups and information sessions, the workgroup made the following recommendations:
- Better integration with online calendar
- Further segmentation of categories
- Allow opt in/out of some categories
- Standardize display text
- Better mobile display
- Better promotion
- Redesign top tab section
- Expand/minimize sections
- List more events
- Add Custom Quicklinks
- Create mobile app/display
- Less “official” look and feel for student dashboard
Based on these recommendations, members of Web Communications and ITS will work this summer to create a new Campus Communications Hub (CCH) which will tie together the online calendar, campus notices, hours of operation and daily menus for on-campus dining facilities. Any information entered in this space will be distributed through multiple channels (online calendar, campus notices, audience dashboards, departmental websites, University homepage), which should both eliminate redundancies and ensure that the messages reach the widest audience. We hope to roll out the new system before the end of fall term.