Administrators see OneStThomas platform as internal hub for students, faculty

The homepage of the OneStThomas intranet is seen. This new platform for students and faculty provides an internal location for resources like Canvas and email.

St. Thomas launched the new OneStThomas intranet platform on Oct. 30. This cumulative resource changes how students and faculty navigate through the previous university homepage.

OneStThomas was created to make finding and utilizing online tools easier for students and faculty. The platform will also keep resources exclusive to the St. Thomas community private.

“Dr. Sullivan requested it about a year and a half ago. She wanted to have a place for internal communications and ensure that communications were reaching the intended audiences,” project co-manager Steven Ackerson said. “That’s what started the project.”

Ackerson received feedback from various groups on campus including human resources, legal counsel and the marketing team. The marketing team at St. Thomas wanted to keep the university website directed toward recruiting new students and donors, according to Ackerson.

“When you go to stthomas.edu in the future … you’ll probably have none of the stuff that is for faculty, staff and students out there,” Ackerson said. “It will only be stuff related to marketing to potential students and donors.”

The “Quick Links” button on the previous St. Thomas homepage is no longer there. Instead, it has been replaced with the OneStThomas link. Students can now log on using their St. Thomas credentials to see the previous resources from “Quick Links” under a tab called “Apps and Tools.”

“We are hoping in time that we can decrease the amount of emails, so that when you go to Onestthomas.edu and you go to your homepage, there’s the content where you now can see the news for me and announcements that might apply to me in one place,” Ackerson said.

The OneStThomas platform will be available to any student or faculty member with a smartphone on an app. There also is the option to click the ‘share’ button on your mobile device, where it can be added to your homepage, according to Katie Nelson, the communications and training coordinator for Information Technology Services.

The OneStThomas intranet is still in the process of organizing content either externally on the university webpage, or internally on OneStThomas, Ackerson noted. This project will take time to get fully developed, just as it will take time for the St. Thomas community to get used to the new tool.

“It’s meant to be intuitive in a sense. Obviously as it is brand new, it’s going to take some time to get used to, as with any resource, like Canvas that just came out within this past year,” said Justin Klassen, an ITS student employee.

OneStThomas is marketed as a resource to stay connected to campus events, academic tools and the broader campus community. Students and faculty can leave feedback on the bottom of the OneStThomas homepage under the ‘Essential Links’ bar, and a comments section has been added to Newsroom articles.

“We make it better by having conversations with the users,” Ackerson said. “We want to make it useful and useable for everyone.”

MacKenzie Bailey can be reached at bail7757@stthomas.edu.

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