Law School adopts SharePoint for Student Communications Portal

Situation

Law School students receive a vast amount of email from staff, faculty and administration. All emails are not created equal. While a message about a visiting guest lecturer may be important, a message regarding a missing requirement for graduation is urgent. Unfortunately, due to a high volume of email the urgent emails were getting lost.  Moreover the sender (faculty, staff or administration) had no means to assess whether students actually received and/or read the emails they send. The senders email lists were not centrally managed and not based on a student’s profile.

Solution

Greystone designed and built a Portal to enable the school to manage communication with students. This portal provides a single access point for official one to many communication, removing it from the fog of the students email inbox.  A Managed Messaging application was implemented using .Net technology coupled with Microsoft SharePoint. Faculty, Staff, and Administrators can now target messages to specific groups of users and easily understand who has seen the message, and even require a simple survey style response.  Students may decide to keep or dismiss messages. However they may not dismiss an urgent message without reading it first.  Through an administration console the Faculty and Staff can zero in on students who have not read or responded to a specific message and follow up with an alternate method of communication.

The portal is primarily about School – Student communication but it offers Students much more than a list of announcements. It is also home an area where students can collaborate with one another. Student groups can provision a collaboration site within the portal and share documents, calendars, contact information, and host discussions. They can maintain their online profile, and search for more information about a fellow student or faculty member.  Information from various other university web sites are also surfaced here so the students can login and jump to a variety of resources.

Benefits

  • Single method for official targetd communication with students
  • Automated Message tracking
  • Provisioned Collaboration Sites
  • Integration with existing authentication provider.
  • Centralized Student, Faculty, and Staff Profile

Technologies

  • Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • Relational Database
  • Reporting Services
  • Microsoft .Net 4.0