IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Help Students Maximize Their UW Experience

image of relevant events in the MyUW mobile user interfaceInformation overload is a challenge for everyone, college students perhaps more than most. A key issue for many higher ed institutions is how to help students find and use the information they need to make the most of their college experience. MyUW mobile continues to offer features to meet this need, and now integrates with UW Event Calendars to support students.

MyUW’s Relevant Events feature pulls event data from departmental calendars that run on Trumba software and shows events to students based on their declared major (see image at right). Students with identified majors can see events that are relevant to their course of study. So, for example, a music major can see events published on the Music Department’s Event Calendar.

In previous surveys and research studies conducted at the UW, students said they want to see events that are pertinent to their interests.

Relevant Events makes it easy for departments to reach students, letting them know about events that can enhance their studies. Integrating MyUW and UW Event Calendars meets an additional goal: reducing the number of places students must check to get the information they need. For the initial release of Relevant Events, about 65% of majors were mapped to a departmental calendar.

Only events that are posted to calendars running on Trumba software will appear on MyUW. Currently, there is no plan to support other calendars to show events on MyUW. UW-IT encourages departments that do not currently have a department calendar or do not use Trumba for their calendars to consider making the switch. Going forward, UW-IT wants to help more departments adopt the central UW Event calendar, so that more students can learn about events of interest.

How It Works

MyUW checks for new events every time a student logs in to MyUW. Any events scheduled to occur in the next 14 days will appear. If no events are posted on the departmental calendar, no events will be visible in MyUW. Only students with declared majors will see relevant events; students with double majors will see events relevant to both majors; students with a major and a minor can see the relevant calendars; graduate students will see events relevant to their course of study.

Some programs, such as an interdisciplinary program like Applied & Computational Math Sciences, include majors in math, computer science, engineering, biology, etc. Students with interdisciplinary majors may see four or five calendars that map to their major.

Bringing More Calendars to Trumba

The UW Event Calendar team hopes to encourage adoption of Trumba (and for those departments that already use Trumba, to encourage posting more events) in order to better communicate with students.

Having a Trumba departmental calendar to which events are regularly posted is an efficient, easy way for departments to support the student learning experience and to increase their awareness of extracurricular events and opportunities that enrich their studies.

In addition, the team is exploring the possibility of letting students “discover” their own calendar, not just limiting them to their home departments. For example, an art major with interests in science could pull events from the Biology Department Event Calendar. Eventually, the MyUW Mobile team hopes to extend the integration to include more than just academic departmental calendars, such as those for Student Life and Campus Events.