Staying Up-to-Date, Without TMI
Published in Inside - Volume XVI, No. 2
Introducing TC’s Announcements Channel and Message Center
From the African Diaspora Summer Film Series at the Macy Gallery to the Wadsworth Strings Ensemble in the Everett Library Café, there is no shortage of cultural and intellectual happenings at TC.
Yet all too often members of the TC community say they learn about them after the fact.
Conversely, many people also complain about being deluged with emails about non-essential issues, such as leftover free food after meetings (which usually vanishes in nanoseconds) or lost personal belongings found on campus.
In response to both kinds of feedback, the College has created two new services on its “myTC” portal that will streamline campus-wide communications.
Early September 2010 saw the launch of the TC Announcements Channel, the go-to place for all official College notices, including reminders of important academic deadlines and urgent campus announcements, such as closings. The Channel appears on the upper left corner on every tab in the portal.
Late September brought the TC Message Center, a forum for 22 different categories of messages, including Facilities Notices, Lectures & Talks, Student Events and College Holidays. The Message Center channel is located on the Welcome Tab of the portal.
In addition to having a centralized location to view and post messages, TC community members can also select which categories they want listed on their Message Center page. For example, if a student is studying abroad, she may opt out of receiving notices about on-campus parking or free food while she’s away.
The Message Center also gives users a choice of how they want to receive messages for each category. In addition to seeing a type of message on the portal, users can choose to receive a daily digest email of all postings in that category, or to receive an email each time a new notice is posted. “People know what types of messages they need to see,” says Ena Haines, TC’s Director of Information Technology. “These features will provide the ability to manage what we’re all facing, which is information overload.”
Haines notes that the Message Center will simplify the steps for communicating with all students. In the existing system, if a department wants to send out a student-wide notice, it relies on student lists from the Provost’s office to get the word out. The new system, however, brings faculty, students and staff together in the same forum, making it easier to reach audiences directly.
Says Haines, “This is a new configuration for internal communications which is meant to serve people better by giving them the ability to manage what they define as the noise.”