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8 Reasons why educational institutions need intranets

8 Reasons why educational institutions need intranets

Jonathan Davies

9 mins read

Mon, Feb 27, '23  


Let's face it. Ever since the pandemic forced students from the classroom to the bedroom, the education industry has been going through somewhat of a digital engagement crisis.

 

 

While bored students might not be anything new, educational institutions are facing bigger challenges as a result of the shift to digital learning.

A study by OneClass found that 75% of college students are unhappy with the quality of online classes, and 35% have considered withdrawing from school.

And while most schools and colleges have since returned to in-person teaching, many educational institutions have adopted a hybrid approach—whether that’s by continuing online lectures or introducing digital homework activities.

The main problem is that digitally native students expect ‘Netflix-like’ digital experiences. But in reality they are faced with poorly integrated systems and, more often than not, user interfaces straight out of the early 2000s.

Luckily, online education platforms don’t need to be stuck in Windows 2000. There is a way out. Modern intranet platforms can digitally transport educational institutions into the (right side of the) 21st century. 

8 reasons why educational institutions need intranets

It’s not just students struggling with legacy platforms and approaches, teaching staff also face a number of challenges on a daily basis. Without an intranet platform, most teachers are over reliant on email to communicate with their students, and don’t have the right tools to collaborate with fellow staff members online.

By centralizing information and communication channels, and enabling collaboration with tools, intranets can help schools bring together different departments, foster teamwork, and improve productivity.

Here are eight reasons why your educational institution needs an intranet: 

Fast up-to-date knowledge access


One of the biggest challenges for educational institutions without an intranet system is sharing important information such as deadlines, timetables, policies, resources, and events—and keeping them up-to-date.

 

 

To avoid keeping your students’ anxiety levels high, an intranet solution makes it easier for them to know where to access important information—whether that’s a deadline for an upcoming assignment, necessary reading for the course, or a new school policy that’s being implemented.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo’s federated search allows you to find pages, channels or specific content, across the platform and third-party apps, with just a few keywords. Students and staff will no longer have to sift through unorganized email inboxes to find what they’re looking for.

The Happeo intranet also makes it easy for your staff members to update dynamic pieces of content, such as university resources, student information, curriculum, and reading lists; meaning that your students will always have access to the most up-to-date version. 

Personalized content experiences


Before you think this sounds like a scene from Minority Report, but for schools, hear us out.

Intranets are more than just platforms for sharing documents. They can be a vital part of the teaching process. Intranets allow teaching staff to personalize the learning experience for the different classes they teach. Teachers and professors can assign tasks with deadlines, grade coursework, and leave feedback.

As tasks can usually be assigned on an individual basis, teaching staff can go one step further and provide a tailored learning experience for students who may need extra help. When paired with in-person class work, intranets can help to keep students engaged with discussion groups, quizzes, and virtual “office hours” with staff members.

Thankfully, students won’t be followed around campus by the recommended reading for the course.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo’s Pages feature enables your teaching staff to create a customized homepage for their different classes in a matter of minutes, without needing to code. Staff members can drag and drop the sections their students need to see, such as course materials, video recordings, the latest assignments, and even discussion groups.

Better staff collaboration


Educational institutions, such as universities, have a number of different faculties spread out across multiple buildings, and sometimes even across countries. Each faculty usually has its own way of doing things and their own goals. And, even within a faculty itself, communication and collaboration are still limited to email.

Intranets make cross-departmental collaboration a walk in the park. Whether you need to work on a new curriculum for the year or turn staff meeting points into a project with actionable steps, having a centralized platform where people can work on things collaboratively, makes life so much easier for your staff members.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo’s Channels feature allows your staff to create a centralized, online ‘space’ where selected employees can collaborate and communicate in real-time. Channels also support a number of different content formats, including Facebook-like posts, long-form articles, and even live streams. That means that multiple people can view and update documents, comment on important announcements, and participate in online meetings. 

An accurate view of staffing resources


What’s more difficult than finding a needle in a haystack? Finding a teacher or professor without an online directory. There are usually hundreds of staff members at schools and universities.

Whether you’re a student who needs to connect with a professor for an assignment or a professor looking for a colleague in a different department, without an intranet, this process often involves jumping from one university webpage to another until you eventually find whom you were looking for—if you’re lucky.

Intranets allow you to keep an online record of teachers, admin staff, part-time workers, faculty heads, lecturers, and even Ph.D. students—making it easier to find staff members and their contact details.

How this looks in Happeo:
Happeo’s People section allows you to find anyone in your institution, see where they sit in the org chart, and connect with them in a couple of clicks. Each staff member will have their own user card which can be populated with relevant information such as their department, role, area of expertise, whom they report to, and any discussions they’ve participated in.

The best part? Every user card detail is searchable, meaning you’ll be able to find exactly who you’re looking for, with just a few keywords. 

Centralized platform to manage internal information


Most educational institutions are still stuck in the past when it comes to communicating internal information. While email can be a useful tool for quick announcements or last-minute location changes, the last thing you want is important announcements lost in the inboxes of your staff and students.

Whether you’re announcing a faculty dinner, a list of extracurricular activities, or posting a recap of an event, an intranet with a blogging platform can help you share important information in a more dynamic and engaging way—with videos, images, and links.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo’s intranet employs a web-based content management system where educational institutions can manage digital content on one single platform: from creating and publishing content to updating, sharing, and archiving it. 

Integrated with existing workflows


From Microsoft PowerPoint for lecture slides, to Gmail for communication, teachers and students often use a number of different tools, systems, and apps on a daily basis. Instead of spending too much time jumping across tools and information sources, intranet platforms integrate with some of the most popular apps, providing your staff with a single place to access and share information.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo has native integration with Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, allowing you to work with Gmail, Outlook, Calendar, Drive, Meet, Teams, and more—without having to leave the Happeo interface. You can also make your class discussions more engaging by embedding widgets for YouTube live streams, Google Forms, or Typeform surveys. 

Secure and compliant knowledge sharing


As an educational institution with students and teaching staff, you’ll want to control who can access and contribute to certain pages and channels. Most intranets allow you to easily assign user roles and permission levels so you can keep specific areas for the right eyes only.

Additionally, depending on the jurisdiction that your educational institution operates in, you may have to adhere to certain governance requirements. The best intranets for educational institutions usually come with top-of-the-line security and privacy specs to keep your sensitive data secure.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo is an intranet solution that’s been built with security in mind. All customer data stored in Happeo is housed in the Google Cloud, which means users benefit from Google’s best-in-class security protocols. Plus, Happeo is ISO-27001 certified, which means we’re committed to maintaining rigorous security standards to keep important data safe. 

Customizable to fit your brand


With universities struggling with enrollment declines and increasing their attempts to attract both domestic and international students, university branding has never been more important. Your school or university brand symbolizes who you are and what you stand for.

As your intranet will be used on a daily basis, by teachers and students alike, you’ll want the platform to reflect your institution's personality and culture. Most intranet platforms allow you to customize your platform on a visual level, with logos, colors, and branded activity/news feeds. A fully branded experience helps to strengthen online engagement and adoption by making your users want to keep using and returning to the platform.

How this looks in Happeo:

Happeo’s full branding add-on lets you customize the look and feel of your intranet. From a custom URL and login page to branded notification emails, your users will feel right at home whenever they use your intranet platform. 

Education intranet examples

Here are two examples of educational institutions that are taking full advantage of Happeo’s intranet solution.

Inspire Education Group


Inspire Education Group, formed after the merger of two colleges, employs 1200 staff members who teach around 10,000 students every year. While both colleges were using their own intranet platforms, they were static and mainly functioned as file repositories.

IEG wanted a dynamic intranet platform to allow all departments to create, control and maintain their own content, decrease the number of emails being sent and the time spent searching for information, and improve the visibility of the college’s leadership team.

See how Happeo boosted Inspire Education Group’s digital transformation

Launch your intranet faster with Happeo

With branding, style, and section templates, Happeo is easy to use and easy to maintain. So easy that you could get your intranet up and running in just a few minutes. On average, organizations take over a year to launch their intranet. With Happeo, that’s closer to a few months.

The reduced complexity requires less time, maintenance, upkeep, and coding from your IT department.

 

Happeo is trusted by leaders in Education industry:

Happeo customer
Happeo customer
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Happeo customer

 

Launch your very own intranet for your school or university: request a free personalized demo here