Leiden’s student portal: tailor-made for students
Leiden University’s digital study environment is being expanded to include the Leiden student portal: a single place where students can find all the information they need to organise their studies.
From 15 June, regular bachelor’s and master’s students can use the first version of this custom-made portal. They can plan their studies, view their study results and register for courses and exams in the portal. They can also see their personal timetable in MyTimetable. Students will receive important notifications via the message centre, such as registrations and deregistrations, notifications of new study results, and much more.
MyStudymap is the part of the portal where students can plan their studies for the coming semester and register for course components. They can see which subjects they have to take and when these are taught. Via a direct link with the prospectus, they can retrieve more information and add courses and optional subjects to their study plan. As soon as the registration period starts, students can register for all course components (lectures, tutorials and exams) directly from this planning environment.
'You don’t need to go to so many different desks any more to get something organised.’
More user friendly
Students at the Faculty of Humanities and LUMC have been using the student portal for the past few months. One of them is Jaco Hollebrandse, a student of Law and Philosophy. He thinks it’s a good step forward that many systems have now been centralised. ‘Your grades, timetable, planning: you can find all of them here. You don’t need to go to so many different desks any more to get something organised. It’s all a lot clearer than it was before.’
Jaco also thinks the new portal is much more user friendly and more intuitive than uSis, the system students are currently using to register for courses. ‘The first time I had to register via uSis for an optional subject, I had to call someone for help because I didn’t have a clue about how it worked. It took up a lot of time to actually register. I used to write out lists in advance with all my study activities and the reference numbers. When registration opened, I had to type all those numbers into uSis and hope that there was still a place available for the subjects I wanted to take. And if there wasn’t, you had to start all over again looking up subjects and reference numbers in the prospectus to see which study activities you then needed. It’s still possible for a course to be full, but at least now you can immediately click on a different activity.’
The first time Jaco used the new student portal, it didn’t work perfectly. ‘It’s a system with a lot of potential, but because it’s completely new, there are still some teething problems.’ For him, the biggest drawback is the queue you get into when you want to register for study activities. ‘And once you’re in the system and have indicated which subjects you want to take, you may have to wait a while to find out if you are actually registered.’
The student portal is not finished yet and improvements are being made all the time.
The student portal is not finished yet and improvements are being made all the time. The experiences of students at Humanities and LUMC have already led to adjustments to the portal that will be available from 15 June.
Once the first version is in use, new functionalities will also be added. These too will be tailor-made for Leiden University, and that takes time. Priorities for further development are agreed with students and staff.
Harmonisation of Education Logistics
The development of the first version of the student portal is part of the University-wide Harmonisation of Education Logistics programme. The aim of this programme is to enable students to have better control of their studies by harmonising processes, structuring them more logically and presenting information in a more user-friendly, coherent and clear way. The programme also aims to automate and optimise the timetable process and to make the registration and notification of study results clear and unambiguous.
Photo: Marc de Haan