Information Technology releases new student/faculty portal

Tommy Sullivan

On Sept. 8, WKU’s Information Technology Division released myWKU, a mobile-friendly portal that allows students, faculty and staff to access their WKU accounts from one location. Users can go to myWKU for most of the content they need daily.

“You don’t have to re-login,” said Chief Information Technology Officer Gordon Johnson. “This saves the user’s time.”

IT is proud myWKU’s design is user-friendly because mobile devices have become much more popular on campus, said Eric Wolfe, the director of enterprise applications and programming.

 “We want it to reach out to more people,” he said.

Wolfe and his team began to design myWKU in March. They used analytics from the old portal to determine its most popular aspects and researched portals from other universities.

Nearly every department within the division played a role in developing myWKU, said Wolfe.

The new portal will not remove TopNet, TopperMail, Blackboard, iWKU or any other preexisting program; rather, it places them in the same webpage.

myWKU replaces Luminous, WKU’s previous portal. For the past 10 years, Luminous was used mainly by faculty and staff though students also had access to it.

“We want to expand the base for students,” said Johnson.

Ellucian, a higher-education software company, charged WKU $50,000 per year to use Luminous, so creating myWKU has helped balance IT’s budget. myWKU is not only more cost effective but also more customizable than Luminous.

“We hope to be able to improve it and add things to it,” said Johnson.

Because myWKU is not a vendor system, students will have more input in how it works after IT follows up its release with student surveys about the product.

“We can make it what users want it to be,” said Johnson.

In fact, students have already had an effect on myWKU. To create the portal,  Wolfe and his team surveyed students before the design process began.

“We try to provide what people are wanting,” said Wolfe. “When we put things out, we strive to continually improve them.”