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The client

CQUniversity ranks in the top 600 universities worldwide. It boasts the largest geographical footprint of any Australian university with a campus presence in every mainland state of Australia and 30,000 plus students from more than 70 countries.

In 2014, CQUniversity merged with CQ TAFE bringing together more than 175 years of combined experience in the delivery of education and training and establishing Queensland’s first comprehensive, dual sector university.

As a result, CQUniversity now delivers more than 300 education and training offerings, from short courses and certificates, through to undergraduate, postgraduate and research degrees.

The challenge

CQU prides itself on embracing new technologies to improve their students’ experiences. With an out-of-date student portal that wasn’t mobile compliant, CQU wanted a new student platform that would be mobile responsive, easy-to-use and intuitive to navigate.

As a pioneer in the delivery of distance education, CQUniversity also continues to be a leader in this area with almost half of the current student cohort made up of students studying off-campus, many of whom are based in rural and remote areas.

Having worked with Squiz for over five years, CQU approached Squiz again in November 2016 and asked them to help design and build the new student portal.

The solution

Squiz built the MyCQU Student Portal combining Squiz Matrix CMS and Funnelback search platform to deliver a seamless experience for students transitioning between the full website and portal.

The portal works because it brings together many features that a student might find useful, a feature that's powered by the innovative use of Funnelback. The search platform is capable of handling two-way communication from multiple feeds hosted anywhere across the organisation or externally, bringing everything together into a single interface that's easy for a user to navigate without annoying time lags. The feeds woven together include social media feeds; institutional, academic and social information; as well as personalised information for each student including links to handbooks or their timetables.

The results
  • The portal is the University’s gateway to all student systems, tools and resources. Students can access important news announcements, their student email account, their Moodle (online learning) section, and Student Support services with quick links to contacts
  • Overwhelmingly positive feedback from students – new students rated it between 3/5 and 4/5; existing students rated the portal a 4/5 or 5/5.
  • More than 100,000 log-ins per week.
  • Launched in just three months.
  • No service issues experienced during high traffic periods.

Approach

CQU wanted the new portal to be an extension of their website, with the same look and feel in order to provide a smooth transition between the platforms. They wanted the portal to be just another step on the student’s journey and so would need to use a single sign-on.

The project was designed to dynamic and collaborative, resulting in quick design and deployment phases. Squiz collaborated with a consulting company and students to determine the best UX design and navigation experience.

iFrame creation and portal development was followed by testing on the site deployment and UX before integrating it with Funnelback.

Visit CQUniversity Student Portal

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