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New MyBGSU layout gets mixed reviews from students, faculty


Aesthetic changes have been made to the MyBGSU homepage, with the old purple, black and orange page being replaced with a new modern looking design.

Not only has the look changed, but the portal has switched to an open source software called Life Ray.

John Ellinger, chief information officer for Information Technology Services, said one of the reasons for the change was because the old MyBGSU was “not well-supported and near the end of its server life.” The old portal was also not very well organized and didn’t allow for a separation between the needs of staff, students, and faculty, he said.

“The [new] Portal itself is focused on students,” Ellinger said.

When opening MyBGSU, the welcome page now contains upcoming events and news as well as shortcuts to Canvas, the Student Center, Successnet and Blackboard. Quick access to these resources that are used often by students are what make the page so student-centered.

The University is still in the middle of an adjustment period to the new site and to the new version of the Outlook email that came along with it.

Though the changes were made with students in mind, some are not fond of the new layout.

“I didn’t know there was a change to the email and I don’t like the changes to the new MyBGSU site,” said sophomore Brittney Steffen. “I can’t find anything. I know where Canvas is and that’s about it.”

Ellinger said all of the same things are available on the new page, but it is understandable that people might have trouble with the changes at first.

“Navigation, which is the heart and soul of doing whatever you’re doing, that change in navigation is probably where the issues are arriving,” he said, “I’m sure there are some things that we could probably do better to help people understand what it is, but everything is there that was there before.”

For users who are resistant to change, the old version of MyBGSU will be available until the end of this semester.

“I always switch it back to the old version with the button at the bottom,” said freshman Madison Livingston. “[The new MyBGSU] seems fairly similar, but I just like to stick with the old way.”

The changes have also affected faculty as their MyBGSU page has changed too. Now, instead of the column on the left side of the page that the old version had, which contained multiple links for students and faculty, there are tabs on the top of the page that separate student and faculty functions. The link to get to email is now available under the tab.

“The new BGSU, once I got used to it, I thought it was fine,” said Carrie Hamady, professor at family and consumer sciences. “The Outlook, on the other hand, I’ve had a lot of issues with that on my laptop. It’s just trying to find the right browser to use, although Firefox, that I’ve been using for the last 13 years, or however long it’s been around. As long as I’ve been at the University, using Blackboard and Canvas, I’ve used Firefox and I’ve never had one issue until they made the change over.”

Ellinger said there could be more changes when Blackboard is completely phased out at the end of the year. This will include replacing the current Blackboard shortcut box with one for the University email.

“I’ll learn how to use it,” Steffen said. “It’s kind of like when I went from Blackboard to Canvas; I’ll catch on eventually.”

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