studentcentral goes SAAS

This weekend, our annual studentcentral upgrade was extra special – we moved to SAAS! Thank you for your patience whilst we took studentcentral offline to do the necessary work.

SAAS stands for ‘Software as a Service’ and is a more modern way of delivering website services. Whilst studentcentral will look the same, underneath this upgrade brings a wealth of improvements. These include:

  • Limited downtime – as studentcentral is now cloud based, updates and fixes can be applied with limited impact on our staff and students.
  • Better service – with faster fixes, studentcentral can be maintained more quickly and easily.
  • Scalable – A cloud based infrastructure makes it possible to automatically scale the resources needed during heavy loads periods.
  • New features! – studentcentral will now be updated monthly meaning we no longer have to wait a year for new features.

Another major reason we moved to SAAS, is that it puts us in position to move to the new version of Blackboard – Blackboard Ultra. This is part of our wider plan to overhaul our offering to students and ties in with the MyBrighton project. We will be scoping out this new version in 2019/20 and hope to start the transition next summer.

Blackboard Ultra screenshots

 

So whilst studentcentral will look and feel the same for now, this represents a big technical change and brings with it some exciting possibilities in the years ahead.

3 year Roadmap for MyBrighton and Blackboard ULTRA

And don’t forget, in addition to this, other new features in development for studentcentral, ready for 2019 include:

  • our new 2019 module template is live
  • the addition of an automatic Research Profile link on the contacts page for staff with a profile in Pure, allowing students to find out more about their teachers.
  • a new home for New Student and Hit the Ground Running content with clearer communications and signposting planned for students as they transition from applicant to student.
  • automatic removal of students from school and course areas when they change course (and at the end of their course).
  • opt-in for automatic creation of timetable groups into module areas for use with the photoregister tool.
  • a new visual report for attendance recorded through the photoregister.

 

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