Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 7:01 am | Fair 42º


Allan Hancock College Survey: Technology Improvements Make Students’ Lives Easier

As more and more of the student experience moves online, Allan Hancock College has continued to develop technology to make students’ lives just a little bit easier.

Since the launch of the college’s student portal, myHancock, in 2010, students have been able access grades, financial aid information, transcripts and more online. Recently, changes and improvements have been made to myHancock, some at the request of students, and a survey of students has shown the changes have been a success.

“The new system makes it easy to find everything that I am looking for when it comes to my college classes or whatever else I may need,” said a student in the anonymous survey.

More than 700 students responded to the survey, remarking on changes and improvements and features such as text message notifications for students on wait lists, the ability to sign up for emergency notifications and easier access to student email accounts. A popular addition to the page, according to students, has been photos taken and submitted by students and staff and displayed on the myHancock login page. Blackboard, an online course management system, also received good reviews.

“I like that 90 percent of what I need is online, as it is hard for me to get to the school due to gas prices and kids. Thanks Hancock!” another student said.

One recent change was the addition of Spike’s List, a place for students to buy and sell class material, set up study groups, arrange a rideshare or just to connect with other students. Spike’s List was created at the suggestion of students in a previous survey.

“I think the addition of Spike’s List was awesome and is a great resource for students,” one survey respondent said.

Students were also asked how they stay updated on important college information. A popular response was the college’s Facebook page. Started in 2009, the Hancock page now has almost 7,000 fans and reaches an average of 16,000 students, alumni and community members weekly.

Improvements to the online experience for students are ongoing and include developing mobile applications for the college’s website and student portal and the ability to transfer transcripts electronically from Hancock to another community college or four-year university.

Students will also have an easier time getting the books they need with a new feature that links their online class schedule directly to the bookstore and the books and materials that they need for that class.

“Technology drives what we do every day, and making sure that the technology available to students is meeting their needs is important to the college,” said Rebecca Alarcio, interim vice president of student affairs and college communications. “By getting student input on a regular basis, we’re able to customize myHancock and other online services to more accurately reflect what Hancock students want and need out of their student portal.”

Students and community members are encouraged to give feedback on the college’s website and the student portal through a feedback button located on the bottom of each screen.

— Sonja Oglesby is a public affairs and publications technician for Allan Hancock College.

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