MyACU went through a lot of changes over the summer and became an entirely new program, but it still needs work to be as helpful as it can be to faculty and students.
MyACU underwent changes after a decision earlier this year that it needed a remodel. The institution decided that the old version of MyACU was outdated and inconvenient for its users. The new program allows for users to make their version of the program customizable. The user can make, hide and move widgets, which will appear on their dashboard.
MyACU also has a customizable mobile application, which the old version did not have. This was because of feedback that the programmers received from students and faculty who said the previous version was not reliable on their mobile devices. This was created to make it unique and convenient to the user.
“This is something that we haven’t had before,” said Jeff Brawley, director of enterprise applications. “A true mobile app that is a complete representation of everything that you can get on the desktop experience, but you can get it right through the mobile convenience. Every widget that is on your desktop that is on your screen is on your mobile screen.”
ACU made proactive steps to ensure that it was ready in time for the fall semester, which was a fast turnaround time. Its official release was in June. To build this new program, ACU worked both in house and had an outside vendor, Pathify. Pathify is a company that specializes in programming for higher education that will lead to student success.
ACU also worked with its Information Technology department to create this program with the vendor. This department asked for feedback from faculty and staff around campus on what they thought could be improved from the old version.
Along with the feedback that they received from faculty and staff, they also worked with some classes on campus. These classes did research to compare the old MyACU to other institutions and feedback from students. This is not where the feedback stops. The programmers have noticed that there are problems that need to be fixed and want people to reach out.
“Obviously when there is a change it is understandable that when things are in a different place, we need to help people understand where to find it. There has also been a few cases where the link was on the old MyACU, but not the new one, but we will add it onto the new MyACU for you,” said Alan Hillgross, senior programmer analyst at ACU.
ACU’s programmers and the outside vendor made great progress to ensure that students, faculty and staff had a portal for the fall semester, but there are still components that need to be fixed. Some things are hard to find because of the placement, which is different from the categories in the older version. This makes the new program lose the component of convenience.
“I think it is more sleek, and it is a little more visually appealing, but it is not as visually friendly as the old one. I have to search for everything” Presley Purdom, junior kinesiology major from Crowley.
There are things that need to be fixed on this application and the programmers are making steps to create these changes. They are going to continue to add new features and functionality to the platform. They are also working with different departments in both campuses to see what customizations need to be built in. Along with this, they are accepting feedback from all users that will help make the application more convenient.
“One of the biggest things that helps us is the staff, faculty, and students. When they offer us feedback and give us recommendations for things they want, that is awesome,” said Tim Deanor, systems analyst at ACU. “If they tell us, we can do our best to give them that service.”