Sheridan unveils innovative online campus hub
Earlier today, Sheridan College launched “Sheridan Central” – a brand new, state-of-the-art portal – to its students one week ahead of the Spring/Summer Term, which will welcome over 7,000 full time students to their studies starting on May 19.
Sheridan Central delivers an enhanced user experience that reflects the creative, bold and dynamic culture of Sheridan; it offers robust personalization for students and employees, innovative collaboration tools and a streamlined source for vital information.
“Now more than ever, an experience-centred and service-oriented intranet is essential,” says Dr. Janet Morrison, Sheridan’s President and Vice Chancellor. “Positioning students for success is always our top priority. In the short term, Sheridan Central will keep us connected and informed while working and studying remotely. In the longer term, this modern, online hub will enrich our creative culture while aligning with the goals for people-centric technology outlined in our Strategic Plan.”
On Sheridan Central, employees and students have access to a wide array of features including college-wide news and announcements, engaging homepage polls, event listings, a digital marketplace, a rich people database, quick links, panels that prompt a user about actions to take depending on the stage of their journey at Sheridan, enhanced navigation and more.
The project, which began with a college-wide survey in 2014, marks a massive joint effort between the Communications and Information Technology teams as well as many other departments across the college. Since the initial survey, the project team and steering committee have been continually engaging members across the institution to identify user needs through a wide variety of evaluation methods to determine what the Sheridan community wants and needs in an intranet.
“Sheridan Central will dramatically improve our capacity to connect, collaborate and innovate,” says Christine Szustaczek, Sheridan’s Chief Communications Officer. “This mobile-friendly and accessible portal was built to serve our most important stakeholders – our students and employees. We hope to make it easier for people to find information by centralizing content through one central platform. We also hope to build a sense of belonging by helping people learn more about Sheridan and one another through profiles, kudos and other engagement tools.”
Sheridan Central was developed using agile methodology – a best-in-class, multi-phase development process that begins with a minimal viable product (MVP) and sets the foundation for further product development and the roll-out of new features through key project learnings and user feedback.
“The agile approach has given the project team the ability to move quickly while staying nimble,” explains Lee Chiang, IT Portal Project Lead. “We have efficiently built an MVP without sacrificing the diverse and evolving needs of our community. Through ongoing development, Sheridan is poised to continually deliver an excellent, cutting-edge platform for employees, students and applicants.”
“This exciting launch is monumental and just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to technological innovation and transformation here at Sheridan,” adds James Duncan, Director, Enterprise Architecture and Innovation. “As we build toward a service-centred enterprise architecture, we continue to optimize our digital experience here at Sheridan through meaningful and people-centric technology solutions that enable our students and employees to thrive.”