Editorial: The amount of student platforms is overwhelming

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Washburn students spend a lot of time on D2L and MyWashburn. The two platforms are manageable, but adding in a multitude of other platforms is where life starts to become messy.

Students and faculty use the following platforms, oftentimes simultaneously: the official Washburn website, Navigate, Degree Works, Zoom, MyWashburn, D2L, GroupMe, Bods Connect and Outlook.

These accounts are all tied to your Washburn email, so you’re only obligated to remember one password. However, with each platform comes a different headache. Some, such as Zoom and Degree Works, can be confusing to navigate.

Additionally, constant software updates and name changes provide more pain. The app used to find class locations started out as Ellucian Go. Then it changed to the Guide app and now it’s changed again to the name Navigate. It seems like the more the name changes and the more often the university switches platforms, the more likely it is for students to dissociate from the platform.

These student platforms typically are taught during the WU101 course. Therefore, if a new platform is added, only incoming students will know about it. For example, the newest addition to the multitude of platforms is Bods Connect. Many students are unfamiliar with the new addition. Bods Connect isn’t addressed consistently in WU101 classes, which causes large knowledge gaps in how to use the platform.

Unless you’re a president or vice president of an organization, you probably haven’t gone through Bods Connect training. If Bods Connect training was an option, would students buy in?

The questions on everyone’s mind are… “is it worth it?” and “how long will this new platform last?” Each year, at least one of these platforms faces software updates, and the only people getting trained on how to use the new tool are WU101 students and members of organizations. This is a small part of the student population.

Overall, Student Media likes the idea of Bods Connect and thinks that it has the potential to reduce the increasing number of platforms for students. We just hope that it catches on in time to be effective.

Edited by Wesley Tabor, Shelby Hanson, Jessica Galvin

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