With the new school year underway, the university launched a new CaneLink mobile version in response to students requesting a more clear and accessible way to find schedules and class descriptions on the go.
Even for senior Asia Cadet, the CaneLink site is confusing and difficult to navigate, especially when trying to access schedules the first day of school.
“It’s even worse on your phone, especially if you didn’t take a picture of your schedule and you don’t know where your classes are; you’re trying to log in to CaneLink on your phone as you get there,” Cadet said. “It’s really inconvenient.”
On the new mobile-friendly website, students are able to perform many of the same tasks as on a desktop, such as enrolling in classes, accessing financial aid and making payments.
Students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the new rollout. Faculty can view class schedules, enter grades and release advising holds via phone.
According to a 2017 Student IT Services survey, the number one write-in comment was for mobile access to University of Miami systems.
“We are responding to new ways that students interact with technology and what students have specifically requested,” said Allan Gyorke, chief academic technology officer.
However, not all functionalities available on the desktop version of the site can be performed. Students cannot apply for graduation or view unofficial transcripts or degree progress. Faculty cannot enter incomplete or failing grades through the mobile version.
“It’s really a work in progress,” said Scott Ingold, executive director of enrollment management and system analytics. “We actually were ready to promote as of last year, but it didn’t have all the functionality we wanted.”
Ingold said UM is working to provide all the functionalities found on CaneLink’s desktop version on CaneLink mobile.
The university worked with HighPoint, a software development company that works with higher education institutions, for over a year to create the current version of CaneLink mobile.
The idea for a mobile version of CaneLink was first considered in 2013, the same year CaneLink replaced MyUM, the old student system.
When CaneLink was first introduced to the university, UM set up information centers in the registrar’s office to help students and faculty navigate through the new system. Ingold said working with HighPoint is easier because it’s “intuitive.”
“You click into it and you can just navigate through it without much difficulty, and that was one of the high-points of HighPoint,” Ingold said.
Freshman Thomas Sullivan said he had an easier time adjusting to CaneLink because his dad worked at UM. However, he said initially it was still confusing.
“It’s easy to just go on the mobile version,” Sullivan said. “I used it the other day to check my classes because it just has my classes listed on there, and it’s a lot easier than going onto CaneLink, going to the student center, looking at my classes. I’ll definitely use it for that in the future.”
According to Google Analytics results of traffic Aug. 23, 10,000 users accessed the mobile version of CaneLink, with over 30,000 pages viewed throughout the day.
Ingold said that the site traffic will depend on the time of the year, as students search and drop classes and look at their schedules, but hopes this is a sign that students will adapt to the site.
As time goes on, Ingold said it is possible that the new mobile version will organically replace the desktop version. However, for now, both options are open to the university with no plans to eliminate the original CaneLink.
The university also plans to launch a new app, Guide, this spring. The app will focus on interaction. It will send students alerts for important deadlines and allow them to explore different majors and connect to student organizations and events. Guide will also be customizable in terms of specific schedule and interests.