New student portal MyUT debuted this fall as the main site to address student needs and will replace UTDirect by 2017.
A special team of UT professors, technicians and coordinators designed the website under the direction of the provost office to better fit students’ needs and offer important links in a condensed space.
“MyUT is personalized to the student,” said Jody Couch, program director for student administrative systems. “We like to say that you can find everything you need, all in one place.”
The website gives students access to nearly every campus resource, from financial matters to class listings, advising and more. The MyUT website offers a more organized and refined system that makes navigation of the site simpler than UTDirect, Couch said.
“I’m satisfied with [UTDirect], although it can be convoluted, and the login is difficult to find initially,” said Briana Zamora, journalism and international relations junior.
The portal has several new features that were not previously offered by UTDirect. According to Couch, students can find their class listing, which has automatic links to their class’ Canvas page. MyUT also has an “important info” section with personalized details important to the student.
Similar to class Facebook pages, the portal creates communities for students’ respective colleges and “class of” groups.
Student opinions were deeply taken into consideration in the website’s creation process.
“We did surveys, interviews and six different focus groups with students this past spring, including undergraduates and graduate students … [and] incorporated the student suggestions into MyUT before it was launched to our incoming freshmen during orientation,” associate vice provost Carolyn Connerat said. “So far, 75,000 users, including repeat users, have accessed MyUT since [its] launch on June 6.”
The system is being carried out in phases. It was first implemented with incoming students at this year’s summer orientation, during which over 5,000 students used the portal.
The website was meant to become the main university portal in 2015, but implementation was postponed to modernize the system and add more features.
Currently, UTDirect is still available to both students and staff, because the new portal has not yet fully integrated UT staff and research needs into the website.
Once UT makes the complete switch to MyUT it will add extra features, such as a messaging app, synced calendars and other personalized applications.