The MyBGSU Welcome page with
The MyBGSU Welcome page with 'MyServices' in Blackboard removed

Meet the new, streamlined MyBGSU

Following fall break, on Oct. 8, the campus will see a significant improvement in the look and usability of the MyBGSU secure Web portal, Information Technology Services has announced.

Lead Web Developer Dong Chen has been at work on making the basic “Welcome” page less cluttered and easier both to navigate and customize, and has added several helpful features.

The change was initiated by the Web Advisory Group, a cross-campus committee, whose members gathered feedback from their constituents on the University’s Web-based services and provided a set of recommendations. 

“The changes are what the constituents asked for, and we appreciate the guidance we received from the Web group,” said Kim McBroom, director of marketing and communications, which collaborated with ITS on the project.

Streamlined pages
Now, instead of repeated lists of services in the Blackboard portion and the left navigation bar, all services (such as “View My Paycheck”) are located on the left, and users may choose what they would like to see on the right. This will help prevent confusion about which set of links to use, the advisory group said.

The site still provides the convenience of a single login for many functions, from registering for a parking permit to changing one’s address, and—for those taking or teaching classes or participating in campus communities—using Blackboard.

Now it is easy to also view Webmail and use Meeting Maker while in MyBGSU, without having to log in a second time—another of the advisory group’s recommendations.

The multiple logouts have also been eliminated to reduce confusion.

“We’ve streamlined the site,” said Chen, noting that Campus Update and the CNN headlines are now closer to the top and more visible. In addition, a new portlet allows viewers to see the daily BG News headlines.

ITS will continue to add new portlets as the campus community needs them, he added.

The new layout provides a clearer distinction between Blackboard, which is for course management, and MyBGSU, which is a general-purpose portal, Chen said. Blackboard will appear by default, but can be closed by clicking the small black X in the upper right corner.

Customize your page
By clicking on “Customize Page” in the black bar at the top of the page, users can arrange how their information appears and add portlets such as Webmail, Meetingmaker and weather information.

Simply click “Customize Page,” then, below the horizontal boxes, click on any of the “plus” signs. A new page called “Portlet Repository” will open.

Click on “Portlet Staging Area” to see a list of portlets you can add to your page. Select the portlet you wish to add, such as Monitor or Webmail, and you will see it added to the list on the right. Click on “Portlet Staging Area” in the bar above, and you will return to that page, where you may select additional portlets.

if you would like to customize your Welcome page further, you can choose the order in which the links appear by highlighting the name of each portlet in the list and then clicking on the arrows to the right of the list to move it up or down.

When finished, hit “OK’ in the upper right corner. Your Welcome page will now show the information you have selected in the order you chose.

You can always undo any of your choices by clicking again on “Customize Page” and selecting “Remove My Personalizations.”

If you find you need assistance with any of these operations, simply click “Help” on the right side of the black bar at the top and you will see a list of self-help tutorials on a number of topics. “We provide a shortcut to get help,” Chen said.

Perform regular maintenance
To keep your system running optimally, Chen advises emptying the Cache and history from time to time.

To empty the Cache in Firefox, go to the Tools menu bar and choose “Empty Private Data,” then click “Empty Cache.”

And, though closing the browser will also close MyBGSU, it is best to log out when you are finished with MyBGSU, Chen cautions.

Get, share information
With its tabs for Monitor, Campus Update, Webmail, Quick Links, services and more, MyBGSU is the information center for all campus employees. ITS encourages everyone to make logging in a regular part of their day to stay abreast of campus news and events.

October 1, 2007