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College Web Portal Expands Features

By Laura A. Morris, Crimson Staff Writer

Looking for a lecture video? Need a calendar to schedule your busy social life? Want to check that graduation date one more time? Then it might be useful for you to visit the newly redesigned my.harvard portal where you can do everything from creating a detailed course shopping list to locating the office telephone number of your favorite professor.

The portal, located at http://my.harvard.edu, is a Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) website that offers students access to a variety of College information. Before the redesigned site was launched this month, the portal linked students to other sites, such as those of the registrar’s office or financial aid office. But the redesigned interface has more content—including integration of webmail—and is faster than the old portal.

“The my.harvard portal makes anything a student needs to find during their lives at Harvard accessible on one website,” said Kevin S. Davis ’98, the director of residential computing.

The new my.harvard portal was created by a team of student and staff web developers.

They kicked off the redesign effort last spring and launched the revamped site early this month. “The redesign was sparked by University-wide consensus that there was a need to reinvigorate the portal in order to make it both lively and timely,” Davis said.

The layout boasts several new features, including an improved course shopping tool that allows students direct access to course schedules, syllabi and CUE Guide ratings.

Davis said he believes that speediness and performance are the biggest improvements of the new design.

Students who have used the portal seem to appreciate its new layout. “I like how it links you to all the course information so I can see if times conflict,” said J. Douglas Jamieson ’07, who used the portal to create his course shopping list.

But even those who were pleased with my.harvard suggested further improvements. “It’s really, really useful,” said Kevin T. Grosvenor ’08. “But one improvement would be color-coding courses according to exam dates.”

—Staff writer Laura A. Morris can be reached at lmorris@fas.harvard.edu.

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