Accessibility and personalized digital teaching—both a given at Mid Sweden University
Websites built on the Optimizely DXP
Pageviews a year
Increase in 1st choice application from students
All digital channels—including public intranet—on one platform
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many organizations to rapidly transform their operations from the ground up. Now that offices have been emptied and Working From Home is the new normal, digital tools are more essential than ever. While in many cases this has involved a dramatic transformation, Mid Sweden University is one of the exceptions, even in the world of academia.
Long before the pandemic, a large proportion of its academic studies had involved virtual learning. Now almost half of the courses are taught virtually and several entire college programs can be studied remotely.
The Mid Sweden University web has a growing significance for its operations. Optimizely, is the engine for Miun.se, and a number of other conference and project websites run by the university. Mid Sweden University has long been working with the combination of Optimizely and Knowit as partners for web development and management. Working with Knowit involves skills benefits for Mid Sweden University.
"External administration suits us very well. It creates clarity around requirements and planning. We know what is being delivered and can work towards deadlines," says Bengt Nilsson, web coordinator and digital strategist at Mid Sweden University.
The latest major changes include a redesign of the website and moving the student portal (previously located on another platform) to Optimizely. Meanwhile, Miun.se has moved to the cloud via the Optimizely Digital Experience Platform. For Mid Sweden University, gathering almost all content on the same platform, while enhancing and consolidating the user experience, involves obvious synergies. The image archive has also moved to the cloud via the ImageVault media management system, which acts as a media bank for storing and publishing all types of media files.
The new website also reflects the university’s commitment to transparency. Almost all pages on the intranet—over 98%—are freely accessible, which is the whole idea.
The student experience central to MSU's move to the cloud
Mid Sweden University has been preparing for the transition to the Optimizely Digital Experience Platform for a long time. A deciding factor for the move was the prospect of an even more reliable web. Accessibility requirements have always been high, something that is underlined when all web-based services are on the same platform. With the cloud offering, capacity can also be scaled quickly as required. Traffic to Miun.se is noticeably seasonal, with a strong increase during the college application period in the spring, when the number of visitors to the education pages multiplies exponentially.
The Mid Sweden University websites cover about 7,500 pages in total and more than 100 people work with the content in various editorial roles. Alongside Miun.se, which accommodates the external web, student and employee portals, about 15 project and research websites occupy the same platform.
Personalization is central to Mid Sweden University’s efforts to continuously improve the online experience. It is already providing personalized information to its employees and is working hard to provide this to its students as well. The ultimate aim is a personal startpage with information retrieved from various sources and displayed: calendar, email, schedule, bookings and exam results.
Central management of images and content
One complementary solution that Mid Sweden University has been using alongside Optimizely for a long time is the ImageVault media management system, which keeps track of some 25,000 images belonging to the university. The latest version of ImageVault is also cloud-based, which gives access to new AI functions (via Azure AI) and enables automatic tagging of images, for example. ImageVault has also been equipped with built-in automation for scaling images, with adaptation to different devices and the connection in question.
The immediate goals for the Mid Sweden University web manager mainly concern increasing accessibility, for example through new solutions for visual description and automatic subtitling of videos. In this context, it is worth noting that ImageVault has new video functionality.
We want to publish everything covered by the principle of public access to official records. Requiring login to access information that should be in the public domain would serve no useful purpose
Bengt NilssonWeb Coordinator Mid Sweden University
See the result at www.miun.se