MyKSC is set to launch with a redesign this summer, according to MB Lufkin, vice president of enrollment and student engagement. The new version is in its initial testing phases; a pilot version of the portal was released to students via email on March 6 as a first-look to engage with the new features and design. Following the official launch, a process will kick off to phase out the current MyKSC website. Recognizing that the new portal is in testing stages and is likely going to change based on feedback, The Equinox noticed some design elements could be tweaked to be more userfriendly upon first interaction with the test portal.
New features of MyKSC will include widgets with highlights from the student’s Canvas page, Microsoft Outlook and college events calendar. Students will also be able to join groups pertaining to campus activities they’re interested in, like events and student organizations.
While there are a lot of good features on the new website, The Equinox believes those features are thrown at the user all at once, which can be overwhelming to both current and incoming students.
The test portal includes a tutorial introducing the new features, but students may disregard and click through to get to the site more quickly. The new MyKSC website is what incoming students will be seeing instead of the version that is available to current students. So, should the front page of the new website overwhelm students? Especially as they are already stressed, entering a new stage of life in college.
One positive aspect of the new website is that the top of the front page includes links to things such as events and course registration. The Equinox thinks it is good to get information out about events and for students to be able to register for classes or track their academic progress all in one place.
What’s most different about the new MyKSC is that it functions much like a social media platform and includes features like messaging. However, The Equinox finds it unlikely students would use this platform as a form of social media.
The Equinox is concerned that the messaging option in the redesigned MyKSC could cause more harm than good. At this point in time,
students contact others, such as professors, using platforms such as email, Canvas, Facebook messaging, texting, etc. Adding another form of contact has the potential to confuse not only students, but also faculty and staff.
While the new platform may include some interesting features, The Equinox wonders whether the change is necessary. The current
MyKSC, despite having its share of technical issues, isn’t broken, so why fix it?
While it is evident the school is working on implementing tactics that will be beneficial for its student retention rate, putting its resources towards a new website may not be the way to accomplish that. The Equinox sees that this is potentially a good marketing strategy for incoming students, but the current test model needs improvement.
The Equinox hopes that Keene State will truly listen to student feedback about the new website and make the changes fundamental for the success, enjoyment and comfort of students. Current students might not like the changes, but change can be good, so long as it’s in the best interest of our students.
While The Equinox is appreciative of the effort being put in to better engage students through things such as MyKSC, it is essential, now more than ever, that the college make an effort to produce what current and prospective students really want and need.
For the full story about the MyKSC redesign, see A1 in our print edition or online at kscequinox.com.