Wentworth launched our original version of LConnect in 2002. At that time, it represented a state-of-the-art messaging system designed for both “push” announcements and “on-demand” access to content. Since then, we’ve seen tremendous changes in the available tools and expectations of our community to receive concise, timely, and personalized communications. And of course, everything has become mobile-first and the expectation for current and personally tailored information has been amplified.
Nothing displayed this clearer than the results of stakeholder engagement sessions we hosted in early 2019 where messaging took two of six themes we heard across many campus departments. As a result, we’ve put together a transformative program to improve our communication tools, in partnership with the Web & Digital Communications team.
Elevating Campus Announcements
Launched in 2019.
In 2019 we launched a tool called Poppulo which replaced our previous, home-grown, email system. Poppulo was selected after gathering feature requests and pain points from current users and the Web & Digital Communications Steering Committee. An extensive search and review process led us to this solution for many reasons.
A few examples of the new functionality enabled by Poppulo:
- Highly Personal – Leveraging Banner and HR directory data, and custom lists to target intended audience
- Preview & Approval – Minimize errors before they are sent to the community
- Digests & Events – New tools to consolidate multiple topics into one message and support events which include RSVP and “Add to Calendar” functionality
- Embed video & images – Enhancing our messages, boosting readership, and properly supporting accessibility standards
- Analytics – Are messages being read? (Yes!)
In the first full calendar year of use, we’ve already been able to observe some dramatic data.
For example, over the 2019 calendar year, an average of 42% of messages sent through Poppulo were opened by the recipient.
Also of note is the near 50/50 split between messages read on mobile devices versus desktop/laptop computers. It’s a good reminder of the power of concise messaging, especially when nearly half your audience has limited screen real estate.
During the past year, key communications areas across campus have received Poppulo training. You can submit your announcement or event to be included in “The W” – Wentworth’s weekly, personalized newsletter.
Re-imagining LConnect & Wentworth Mobile
Coming Spring 2020
It was also clear that LConnect needed a new user experience. Now housing mostly static content, the portal feels old and has lost its dynamic edge. Our mobile app platform is isolated from LConnect, meaning you experience different capabilities on the go than at a computer. It also limits access to data from systems outside of the Banner ecosystem.
To figure out a solution, we turned to you. After hosting 15 focus group sessions that included students, staff, and faculty, we compiled a comprehensive list of requirements and narrowed down our potential solutions. These groups unanimously identified a single platform that will replace both LConnect and our Wentworth Mobile app in the spring of this year.
What’s most exciting is that this won’t be a static environment. This new tool will become the new go-to place for student, staff, and faculty information. You can expect relevant information to appear in the app as campus milestones occur. Your course calendar, personal Outlook calendar, and Wentworth events will appear in one place so you can plan your day. “Live Tiles” will display notification dots and badges when you need to take action in different places – such as in Blackboard or LeopardWeb.
These re-alignments will enable the public website (WIT.edu) to be re-launched a with focus on external audiences including student recruitment, alumni, and corporate partners.
Thank you for being our partners on this journey. If you are interested in being involved, have suggestions, or just a question, please feel free to reach out to us. In the coming months we’ll be engaging with key departments as well as students through Wentworth Student Government.