Asking students about IA

As part of our internal information architecture (IA) work we wanted to ask students what they think about the information we share with them. Is it in the right place and accessible when they need it? What works with how we currently share info? What could we do better? What information would have been helpful to them when they were applying?

Jodie Humphries (IT) at our consultation stand

Jodie Humphries (IT) at our consultation stand

This morning we set up a stand in the Atrium (student coffee shop) and asked students to consider nine different types of student information, and where they felt it should be available from. The types of information were:

  • Learning and teaching resources (study skills, research info, lab info)
  • Student support (wellbeing info, disability info, assistive technology, medical)
  • Employability and enterprise (Careers info and enterprise info)
  • Campus information and policies (launderette, gym, catering and menus, accommodation info, parking, farms)
  • Important info (semester dates, exams info, graduation, timetable)
  • Academic policies and information
  • IT, library  and study skills support
  • Personal tutor info
  • Social (Student Union,  news and events)

There were three boxes representing where the information could be situated:

  • The RAU Web site
  • Gateway (the RAU Virtual Learning Environment)
  • Other (myRAU – the mobile and desktop app, other websites e.g urban fox, office 365, social media)

Students were asked to think about factors such as the security and access to information (should it be open – public, restricted, confidential), the audience for that information, whether they would like to have accessed it when applying and if the information was visible enough for them.

Students post information in the boxes

Students post information in the boxes

The results from the consultation will help up build our core IA principles – a set of guidelines that help us make decisions on where we store and deliver our information.

These are likely to build upon:

  • Open by default
  • Single source of truth
  • Clarity on stewardship of information
  • Role based stewardship
  • Periodic review of information to ensure accuracy and relevance of data
  • Standardisation of content and labeling
  • Improved navigation and searching
  • Ensuring compliance