November 21, 2017
The Disappearing Line Between a CMS-powered Portal & Legacy Student Portal

Digital experience is critical for higher education institutions. Providing students and faculty with the best tools to communicate and collaborate, regardless of time and place, enables a consistent and seamless learning experience. One of these tools is the Student Portal. Today's student portal offers a rich and powerful user experience, especially when compared with the traditional portal - and it is making a big difference for many institutions.

From Old to New

Portals have been around for a long time. They provided a central location to store links to commonly used applications, and in some instances, offered integration with other systems to surface some content within the portal directly. And for a while, that limited set of capabilities worked.

Digital capabilities have grown a lot since the first portals. Web technology has advanced greatly to enable portal solutions that offer more capabilities within the portal directly giving students and faculty one place to go - a hub - to access everything they need and to work with others.

This evolution has come about with the help of web content management systems. A CMS-powered portal solution delivers on that need for a central hub that securely connects the portal with business systems without the need for complex integrations.

Why is a CMS-powered Portal Important?

A Student Portal can ease many of the challenges students face, including the ever-increasing challenge of staying on top of tasks and work-load. CMS-powered Student Portal offers not only links into other school systems but also provides a lot of information within the portal, making it easier for students to find what they need.

The CMS-powered portal is content-driven. With this new content-driven experience, student portals offer content directly to students and faculty in the portal itself, including information pulled from integrating business systems, such as ERPs and LMS systems. They also offer a secure integration to other systems, enabling a one-stop shop for students to access all the information and systems they need.

The portal may offer a homepage or dashboard that provides the latest news and events for the school, a set of commonly used links customized to each student, reminders of upcoming deadlines for tuition, course registration, or class deadlines.

These links could go to additional portal pages where more information is provided. This detailed information is pulled from the business systems into the portal directly, so the student doesn't have to log into a different system or go looking for the information on their own. This is just the beginning. When the student portal experience is driven by content, you are building an experience that empowers students, faculty and administration alike to work more efficiently on things they need to get done: pay fees, submit assignments, register for an event.

They have a place to collaborate with classmates on projects and assignments, with notifications and activity feeds, so they always know what's happening.

And when necessary, they have secure access to a different applications where they can do more work, or perform more expansive activities - like pay tuition or select classes for the upcoming term.

The Line is Disappearing

A CMS-powered Student Portal is a critical solution for higher education institutions. Without it, students have to work with many different systems. They have to go to many different places to get important information, to complete school work, to work with others, etc. With busy schedules, it's nearly impossible to make campus life work without a central hub of information.

The traditional portal isn't the answer, but its evolution into a portal that is driven at its foundation by content management ensures it can provide everything an institution needs to help its students and its faculty. 

Posted by David Hillis
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