Welcome to the New Intranet, Campus Calendar, and Daily Digest

Last week on June 1 we launched the new Intranet. The Intranet is a portal-like website that contains information meant for the Hampshire community, which is why it requires a Hampshire username and password to access most Intranet content. The homepage contains a collection of links relevant to the person logged in, and it’s the place to post announcements and events that appear in the Daily Digest and on the campus calendar. If you’re a Hampshire student, faculty or staff member, hopefully you have at least noticed the redesigned version of the Daily Digest in your email inbox this week.

Our main goal with the new Intranet was to provide similar, but better, communication tools in a user-friendly way. We did a lot of user testing and interviews with students, faculty, and staff, which made the direction of our work very clear. Hopefully the new Intranet addresses most of the downfalls of the old Intranet. If you feel like it doesn’t or you have suggestions, we would appreciate it if you would send us your feedback.

New Features and Changes

Redesigned Intranet Homepage

  • The links you see on the Intranet homepage are relevant to your affiliation with the College. If you’re a student you’re going to see slightly different links than faculty or staff because certain items are more relevant to you, such as student employment, for example.
  • A lot of the links on the homepage point to pages on the external Hampshire website. We cross-linked a lot of items with the hope that it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for as a Hampshire community member, no matter which website it lives on.

Redesigned Daily Digest Email and New Submission Features

  • Teaser text for each post was removed from digest emails and only titles are displayed, so the Daily Digest should be quicker to skim through each day.
  • “Today’s Events” were moved to the top, and upcoming events now appear mixed in with announcements in their respective categories, preceded by their start date.
  • The categories were slightly changed and reordered a bit.
  • Daily Digest emails now go out every day (as long as there are posts for that day) instead of just Monday through Friday.
  • Links to the Intranet, the calendar, and to submit your own announcement or event are now easily accessed straight from the digest emails.
  • When submitting an announcement or event you can now specify which date(s), up to three, you want your post to be included in digest emails. You can also edit old announcements and events and change the digest date(s) to have it sent out in future digest emails.
  • You also have the ability to upload a related document or image to an announcement or event, which can be viewed in the post’s details on the Intranet.
  • You can preview your posts by saving them as “Unpublished” before saving them as “Published” (or “Needs Review” for students).
  • It’s responsive! Whether you’re reading a digest email, browsing the calendar, viewing an Intranet page, or posting your own announcement, the site should look good and function properly no matter what screen size or device you’re using.

Read instructions for posting announcements and events

Announcements, Important Announcements, and Featured Announcements

  • The ten most recently posted announcements appear at the top of the Intranet homepage. More announcements can be viewed by clicking on the ellipses icon.
  • Important Announcements function pretty much the same as always. They are sent out in an email as soon as they are posted. They are also displayed at the top of the Intranet homepage.
  • If you had access to submit Important Announcements in the old system then your access should have been carried over to the new system; if for some reason it hasn’t, please let us know.
  • Featured Announcements are new and available for use by the President’s Office and the Communications Office to share highlights and community messaging. These posts contain a thumbnail image and they appear at the top of the Daily Digest and Intranet homepage.

Read instructions for posting Important Announcements

Read instructions for posting Featured Announcements

Campus Calendar

  • The Academic Calendar is now integrated with the campus calendar. Academic Calendar events display with a purple background and they can be filtered by specific categories.
  • There is now an event sponsor field where you can choose one or more offices, departments, or programs as sponsors of the event. Each event sponsor in the list can view a calendar of their own by going to their respective URL: https://intranet.hampshire.edu/calendar/sponsor-name (for example, the SAC calendar is https://intranet.hampshire.edu/calendar/sac)

Take a tour of the new calendar

Student Job Listings

  • Better organized
  • Easily filtered and searchable

Browse student jobs

Intranet Pages

  • If you had access to edit Intranet pages in the old system then your access should have been carried over to the new system. If you don’t have access, let us know by submitting a bug report.

Read instructions for editing Intranet pages

The Search Works!

  • Not only can you easily search the Intranet website from the top of any page, but there’s an advanced search that allows you to choose which types of content you want to search.

Notice a Bug or Want to Send Feedback?

There’s a cute little bug icon Bug iconat the bottom right corner of the screen when you go the Intranet and log in. Click on the bug to bring up a bug report screen. When you submit information here it goes directly to the Applications and Web Services Team in IT.

Planning for the Future

Throughout this process people have already told us about new features they’d like added to the system. We hope to have further conversations about adding features such as:

  • A planning calendar
  • Role switching (so that faculty and staff can view what students see on the homepage)
  • An option to send events to the communications office for public promotion
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The Hampshire Intranet, Daily Digest, and Campus Calendar Overhaul Project

Many students, faculty, and staff are already aware that some of us in IT and the communications office have been working on a major redesign of the Hampshire Intranet, which includes the announcement and event system that runs the campus calendar and daily digest emails you receive each morning during the week. We want to provide the campus community with some details about the project along the way, so here goes…

What is the Intranet?

The Intranet is a portal-like website that contains some password-protected content meant for the Hampshire community. The main page has a bunch of links, and it’s the place to post announcements and events that appear in the daily digest emails and on the campus calendar.

Why are we overhauling it?

The Intranet has existed in a similar state for well over 10 years. As a community we still have a need for communication tools like announcements, a central campus calendar, and a place to put information that requires a Hampshire login. We’ve received a LOT of feedback over the years about different aspects of this system. We’ve done user testing and interviews with some students, faculty, and staff, which made the direction of our work very clear. The same feature requests and bugs came up over and over again. We want to provide similar and better functionality in a user-friendly way.

What kinds of changes are we talking about?

There will be a lot of changes, but here are highlights of the big ticket items we’re addressing:

  • Redesigned daily digest email, including new features when submitting announcements and events.
  • Redesigned Intranet homepage with helpful links targeted specifically for students, faculty, and staff respectively based on who is logged in.
  • Centralized campus calendar and academic calendar.
  • Student job postings (both work study and non-work study) that can be easily searched and filtered.
  • Search functionality that indexes all Intranet content, including announcements and events.

Timeline

We plan to launch the new Intranet/Digest/Calendar in January 2017.

We’ll be posting more details about the project as we progress and we’ll be looking for feedback. In the meantime, questions, comments, or concerns can be sent to webmaster@hampshire.edu.

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Hampshire’s Successful Migration to Drupal

drupliconHampshire’s website, www.hampshire.edu, was moved over to the Drupal platform last Tuesday, July 8. Prior to this move, content authors had been using RedDot content management system to edit content on the website. We made the decision to switch last year and we chose Drupal for a number of reasons.

Read more about the decision to move to Drupal »

In addition to working on other projects, Hampshire IT and communications staff have worked hard over the last year to learn Drupal, build a Drupal installation to fit our needs, and prepare the website content to be moved automatically into this new system. We worked with Drupal experts from Palantir.net to help guide us in this process, and we also received some great advice from our colleagues at Mt Holyoke who went through a similar migration process in the past.

What does success look like?

The website looks almost exactly the same! The plan was to implement our existing design in Drupal, and that’s what we did.

Did anything change?

The biggest change is that we were able to retrofit our existing design to be somewhat responsive. This means that the website should be easier to use on devices like mobile phones, which is a big deal because mobile web traffic just keeps increasing over time.

The other big change is for our content authors. Everyone updating content on the website needed to be trained on Drupal. We are still in the process of training content authors, but many staff who have already been trained have indicated that they like the new editing interface that Drupal has to offer.

What does the future look like?

Over the next couple months we will be working on changing the design of the website a bit to reflect more modern web standards. This will not be a big redesign by any means, but we will be implementing some changes like wider page content and being able to display more content on the homepage.

Drupal has an abundance of features, some of which allow for content to be displayed on multiple pages, and in different ways, in an efficient manner. We will also be working on setting up these mechanisms to make it easier for our content authors to display information on the website in more visually appealing ways.

There will likely be a large redesign of the website in the future, which will include a cohesive process of discussion and organization around Hampshire’s identity and communication strategy. Conversations are beginning to happen around what this process might entail, but a project has not yet been put into action on this front.

Have any questions, comments, or concerns?

Send them to drupal@hampshire.edu.

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CMS Migration: RedDot to Drupal

Hampshire College has been using the RedDot content management system since 2007 to maintain the college website. Technological advances make it both necessary and desirable for Hampshire to migrate to a new content management system.

DrupalHampshire IT has looked into a number of different content management systems, including an upgraded version of RedDot, as a possible replacement and has determined Drupal to be the best option for the following reasons:

  • Drupal is open source, free software
  • Drupal technology is such that our existing staff can easily learn, use, and customize the software
  • Drupal is being used at the other four colleges in the Five College consortium
  • Drupal can be customized to fit Hampshire’s website needs

What this means for our content authors:

  • We will automatically move content from the existing Hampshire website into Drupal, so they will not have to do that themselves. This means that everyone should keep updating content as usual and NOT wait until Drupal is in place.
  • We will provide training sessions in 2014 for them to learn how to use Drupal.
  • Drupal’s interface will be different from RedDot, but we think that our content authors will find it to be a significant improvement.

What this means for everyone else:

  • The design of the website is not changing at this point in time, so many folks may not even notice the slight differences
  • The URL structure will be more friendly
  • The navigation will also be more friendly

IT and communications staff are in the process of learning Drupal, setting up the system structure, and planning the content migration. As we move forward we will have a better idea of what our migration timeline and training schedule will be like and we will be in contact with our content authors as we progress.

If anyone has questions or feedback about this transition, please send them to webmaster@hampshire.edu.

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TheHub Changes for Faculty

Upcoming Changes to TheHub

In a few weeks, we will introduce the first changes to TheHub to move towards the BetaHub design developed working with students and faculty. Most importantly we want all faculty to understand that the changes you will see around April 1 are only the first step in a series of changes designed to help both students and faculty better navigate Hampshire’s unique academic program.

Main Menu
Main Menu

What’s New?

The navigation, or how you get around, has been vastly simplified.  Instead of clicking from a long list of possible items, you choose what you want to see from a few simple tabs at the top: your Courses or your Advisees.  Once you have selected a specific course or advisee, you can view details or take action such as sign a contract or write an evaluation.

Changes to Courses and Writing Course Evaluations

The content previously found under “Current Courses” and “Previous Courses” is all now located under the “Courses” tab.  When you click on it, you are presented a list of current courses, but you can use the filters on the left to view any course (past, present or future).  Moreover the course listing itself is will provide you useful information.  The color-coding and format of the lines will quickly alert you that you have something to do (eg: write a missing evaluation, etc).

Old Course Listings
Old Course Listings
New Course Listing
New Course Listing

Changes to Advising/Div I/II/III

The content previously found under “Adivsor” and “Division 1-3” is now located under the “Advisees” tab.  When you click on it, you are presented a list of current and prospective advisees, but you can use the filters on the left to view any advisee (past, present or future).  Additionally, the advisee listing will provide visual indicators (both with symbols and colors) indicate if/when you have some action pending, such as a Div II or III contract awaiting your signature.

Old Advising/Div Menus
Old Advising/Div Menus
New Advising Menu
New Advising List

Summary

We will continue with a series of blog posts to update the status as we prepare to release these changes to faculty.  Stay tuned for more updates shortly.

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TheHub Changes for Students

thehub In just a few weeks, all Hampshire students will begin to use TheHub 2.0, the first in a series of steps to reinvent TheHub.  This first iteration will introduce changes to the navigation and menus students use to access and write evaluations.  The old, outdated display (at right) is finally going away to be replaced with something that’s far easier to use.

Who will see these changes?

The changes affect all students, but those who entered Hampshire since Fall 2011 likely have not seen the old menus so this may not seem new to some.  Regardless, we have vastly improved the site navigation by introducing tabs tied to your most common activities: Courses, Div I, Div II and Div III.  You can view and write all course evaluations under the Courses tab, and view/edit your forms for Div I and contracts for Div II and III under their respective tabs.

Is this bediv2tahub?  What is betahub?

Betahub is a project where IT is working with faculty and students to completely reinvent TheHub.  The changes we’re introducing here are only a first step in that process and betahub will continue to exist. Thus, we’re not done making changes yet…

 

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