If you have been on myUMBC at all these past few weeks, you may have noticed a notification about changes being made to the site. The new version, which just launched August 14, offers a more community-based online environment, and makes navigating easier and more efficient for students, faculty and staff.
“We’re making it feel how you would expect a real website to feel,” said B. Collier Jones, UMBC’s campus portal architect, who, along with several students, spent the last two years developing the new site. “It will be easier to communicate and connect with each other.”
One of the new additions to myUMBC will be a “groups” option that will allow different groups on campus maintain a personalized site, communicate with other groups, connect to pages within UMBC and even outside sites they might maintain such as Youtube and Flickr.
Groups can manage news feeds, calendars, blogs, message boards, media and polls. It also allows users to easily post important events and stories that pertain to “spotlights,” a highly successful feed on myUMBC, which has grown significantly since it was introduced. Events and stories can be easily viewed and added to the news feed, and also can be “pawed” by users. The more “pawpular” an event or news item is, the higher on the feed it goes.
“It’s great because we don’t determine what becomes popular, the community does,” said Jones. “Departments, student groups and organizations are so spread out right now, using different sources. We want to have a site where they can all be on one site and connect with one another so everyone is aware of everyone else.”
The “topics” menu is also changing to make it easier to find information, locations and phone numbers for services on campus.
Jones encourages feedback on the new site.
“Everything that we have done, we’ve done for people who requested a change. “We need feedback and communication with the campus.”
The new myUMBC site launched on August 14.
-Conor Aylsworth ‘09