MyUST, the workhorse student portal on the St. Thomas Web, will undergo a dramatic transformation this summer. On Aug. 1, 2002, the current portal will be replaced by Blackboard, a comprehensive e-learning software program that will offer course information, personal content and the ability to create and participate in online communities.

A portal is a Web page that provides access to the information and applications that an individual needs, based on his or her role in an organization. The new portal still will be called MyUST; you will continue to have the ability to access your e-mail, find course Web sites and transfer files to your storage and Web space from that page. But the new portal will offer much more. Here are some examples:

Customized MyUST Content
Once you login, you will see information that is specifically for you — "My Courses," "My Announcements," "My Calendar" — as well as modules that deliver information specific to your role as a student, faculty or staff member (e.g., "From The Registrar" for students, "From Human Resources" for faculty and staff). You even can add some of your own modules — such as bookmarks — and can customize the presentation of your portal page.

Courses
Every course at St. Thomas will have its own course Web space. What does that mean? It means that each course you teach or are enrolled in will appear under your Courses tab in the MyUST portal. Professors can use this to provide class information and announcements directly to each student in the class. A syllabus, presentation or class notes could be posted in the space, or you might join a class discussion from the virtual classroom without ever leaving your residence hall room or home.

UST Communities
Speaking of making connections, the UST Communities tab will allow students, faculty and staff to become members of new and existing online organizations. Discussion boards will allow the St. Thomas community to share information, interact online and organize clubs and activities in a way that transcends campus boundaries and timetables.

UST Bookmarks
The UST Bookmarks tab offers a quick reference to links on the St. Thomas web. The St. Thomas homepage, A to Z index and people finder will be only a click away; by accessing them from this page, you’ll be able to stay logged into your portal and find other resources and services that you need on the UST Web site.

Bulletin Today
University news will be at your fingertips with the Bulletin Today tab. Find out the score of last night’s game, discover who is coming to speak on campus or browse the headlines. Bulletin Today will be there every day, keeping you informed with all the Tommie news you need to know.

In time, the portal is expected to be the "home" page for current students, faculty and staff. MyUST has so much to offer. You may wonder how you ever got along without it.

Check out the preview for yourself at http://blackboard.stthomas.edu. Login with your St. Thomas username and password. Remember, not all of the resources are in place yet, but university staffers will be working to get the portal ready before you return next fall. Questions? Contact the IRT TechDesk, (651) 962-6230.