Dakota State’s web services have changed significantly throughout the last few months. With a new redesigned website and the combining of D2l, Web Advisor, Web Mail and other services, the online presence of DSU has changed quite a bit. While this change has been a positive thing for some, there are others who have seen it as a source of frustration.
The new portal, as many reading this know, combines many of the services previously available on the DSU website. The goal of the portal is to make finding these resources easier by putting them together. Dakota State is not the only university to have such a system. However, this particular version of the Portal is hosted by the Board of Regents, and is also used by Northern State University, and Black Hills State University. Changes to such structures do not come without hiccups, and there have been times when the Portal has crashed or been unavailable. David Overby, Chief Information Officer for DSU, has stated that “As with any new technology system, it can take some time to work through and resolve technical problems. It can also take some time for users to adjust to the new systems.”
It would seem as though it will take some time for users to adjust to the new changes. Several students feel the interface could use some more work. Ramon Estrada, a computer student here at the school, commented that “the Portal just seems too clustered,” a sentiment that many other students agreed with. Reed Norstrom had several suggestions, including still providing links to D2L, Web Advisor, and other services. He commented on the way it gets you to these sites. “It doesn’t make sense that when you go into the portal, you still have to be redirected to D2L and webmail to do anything.”
On the other side of the equation, many transfer students who are new to campus don’t mind and some even enjoy the new Portal. “Everyone comments on how slow the portal is,” Adam Stommes noted, “but I haven’t had any issue with it.” Andrew Adlersberg pointed out, “this is a technology school, and technology changes, so we should learn to change with it.” Both stated that they felt they could find what they looked for fairly easily.
Perhaps, with time, students will adjust to the new system and the system will improve. As David Overby explains, “We’ll continue to make improvements and upgrades as we can.”