ACANS News & Information Center
UNO Project Student Ambassadors
The Unifying NMSU Online (UNO) Project is an initiative in which NMSU is joining more than 1,100 other higher education institutions in the implementation of the fully integrated Banner suite, the SunGard HE Luminis web portal, and the Content Management System which allows for easier and more consistent web access to Banner and other university services. At the beginning of the spring ’06 semester, the UNO project formed a student ambassadors group that is helping NMSU prepare for and refine the new Banner Student system usability.
In preparation for the student self services going live in October there are tests now being run on the system by varying staff members, the Registrars Office, and the UNO Project Student Ambassadors. Kristin Cordova, ICT Student Relations Coordinator, explains that the UNO Student Ambassadors group was developed because “we wanted to give a group of students a chance to look at the interfaces and tell us what they thought could be changed or could be made better.”
The UNO Student Ambassadors consists of seven students from varying years, colleges, and technological interests. “Initially we tried to find students from different colleges, or at different technology literate levels. All of them are volunteers,” Cordova said. All seven of the students began working as ambassadors in February, 2006, and will continue as ambassadors through October, 2006, though taking a short break during the summer interim months.
The UNO Student Ambassadors are able to view a test page of the new student tab that will be implemented into the Banner system in October, 2006. “ Like the employee tab currently found on the myNMSU portal, when students self services goes live students will have the same type of tab (as employees currently have) that will say ‘Student’ and will have all their information and tools listed,” Cordova explains. The student ambassadors have been able to help make needed and useful changes and modifications to the tab while it is still in the test stage, “It just gives them a chance to look at the interfaces and let us know what they feel could be better, and what would be easier for them…as far as ease of use.”
At the last monthly meeting, ambassadors went over the modifications that had been implemented based on their suggestions made after completing assignment two, “All of their assignments are done on their own, and at every meeting they are given a new assignment for the month,” says Cordova, “For instance, their first assignment was to go through the system, check it all out, and tell us where they thought things needed to be changed. Then, for our second meeting we demonstrated the changes we received from their feedback and gave them their next assignment.”
Beyond this, the group of ambassadors is going to help with the up-coming mock registrations. Cordova explains that “We will be running mock registrations for students, not only to test our systems, but to be able to show the students what it is going to look like for the following semester (spring ’07). Starting in October students will have to register through myNMSU and not through NMSU Online as they do now.” During the mock registrations the UNO Student Ambassadors group will assist as mediators, acting as student liaisons for Banner, and help other students learn to use the new system before registrations begins for the spring ’07 semester.
The new student tools under myNMSU are still under construction, but will be available for use before registration begins for the spring ’07 semester. “Right now we are still working on the test-system, so nothing is permanent. But we are able to mock up what the student ambassadors want to see,” Cordova says. The UNO student ambassadors are scheduled to meet two more times, in August and September, before helping with mock-registration and before the portal goes live, insuring better user-ability and success of the launch on all ends.
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