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2014 User Conference Final Agenda

Apr
9
2014
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The 2014 CollegeSource User Conference & Training Workshop is approaching quickly and the agenda has been finalized. We have some fantastic user presentations and our staff has worked hard to bring you some great content.

Below are a few sessions we’d like to highlight to give you a glimpse of what’s to come.

TES® Data Dive — The Most and Least Used Features
Data doesn’t lie. We have measured all user activity in TES since its beginning and will show you what features have proved the most and least popular. We discuss the results, compare them to expectations, and try to establish a picture of transfer evaluation activity in general.

u.achieve® Updates
Our annual review of where we’ve been and discussion of where we’re headed. We’ll cover the current state of u.achieve, unveil a few exciting enhancements, review the release schedule (past and future), and talk about the future of the most robust degree audit solution available.

Schedule Builder Updates
The Schedule Builder application has seen a lot of development since last year’s User Conference. In this session we will demo our new auto-generated schedules feature and discuss our work on building an interface with Banner registration.

Maximizing Transferology™ at Your School “Lab“
What are best ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your Transferology Lab? Come and join us for this informative session that will highlight the features available in the Lab, and focus on some of the features that can make your processes more efficient. User stories are welcome and demonstrations are guaranteed as we look further into CollegeSource’s newest, exciting product.

Visit the conference website to view the complete agenda with session titles and descriptions. We hope to see you in San Diego!

Transferology Launch: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Apr
9
2014
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What a first week! Transferology successfully launched as planned in the early hours of March 31st. In the spirit of transparency, here is a summary of the successes and challenges of the first few days.

The Good Stuff
In the first two days of usage there were 14,736 unique visitors! These visitors came from all 50 states and from 45 countries. They viewed 119,488 pages, created 5,930 accounts, added 24,984 courses, and searched for matches for their courses 19,299 times! These numbers generally outpace any single month’s worth of statistics from u.select. This is very encouraging when you consider that the traffic was generated without any advertising campaign or splashy announcements. Of course, the member institutions were (and are) promoting the site, but visitors that arrived from referral URL’s accounted for only a small percentage of the traffic. A larger percentage currently comes from visitors redirected from u.select/transfer.org.

The site performed remarkably under this heavy load; there were no outages or even noticeable slow-downs. During the peak hour on Monday, 1,107 unique users visited the site. Transferology is clearly ready and eager to take on traffic that is orders of magnitude greater than we ever experienced in u.select.

We received positive feedback from many users who were impressed with the new look and feel of the product, and less than 1% (.0053% to be exact) of the visitors to the site contacted us with a problem or concern.

The Bad Stuff
The concerns expressed by users mostly fell into three buckets.

Login Issues. Initially, we had some challenges relating to passwords and password resets. By day three, the bulk of these had been ironed out with a few small bug-fixes.

Creating Advisor Accounts. For years, advisors have been using u.select without logging in. That meant we only had one way to warn them about the upcoming change, which was to post an announcement on u.select/transfer.org. We did this several weeks in advance and even attached a video introducing Transferology. We also encouraged staff from each campus involved in our beta test to help us get the word out. Even so, the change caught a number of people off guard; getting them access to the Transferology Lab, where the tools they use most frequently are located, took a few days.

Dealing with Differences. Transferology and Transferology Lab are different than u.select. Some features are new, some have been moved, some just work differently. Change is hard, especially when it impacts a tool that one relies on and uses daily. Some users expressed confusion over where tools were located and how they worked, though most of these were advisors that were fine once they were introduced to the Lab. Once the users have settled into their respective environments, we will be reviewing comments to plan enhancements that are correctly tailored to each audience.

The Ugly Stuff
No release of this magnitude is completely without some messiness. We had to implement a few fixes on the fly and still have some more to do. A few degree audits broke, a few schools’ data didn’t show, a few schools’ data showed incorrectly. These things are expected when you undergo a radical implementation. Even a month testing by users and quite a bit more internal testing doesn’t proof you against everything. We are continuing to clean up data and enhance the way schools and their information are presented in Transferology. The truth is that maintaining massive amounts of transfer equivalency data is hard, and no one knows that better than our users!

Final Thoughts
Keeping everything in perspective, the launch was a true success. Of course it wasn’t perfect, but I am fond of saying “perfect is the enemy of done.” I believe that the challenges we experienced at launch would have been about the same if we had delayed the launch for a month, three months, or even a year. Sometimes you have to tackle an opportunity head on. We appreciate the help and patience of clients who made the transition with us. We look forward to working with each member of the Transferology network to enhance the information provided to students and help forge real connections between those students and the admissions and advising staff of their preferred institutions. We believe that the members of the Transferology network will soon be widely admired as the most transfer-friendly institutions in the United States.

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