Josh: The 9 best features of the new student UConnect Portal

USQ blogger Josh Toombs
Josh Toombs is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Relations and Marketing. While he studies full-time, Josh likes to keep fit and remain up-to-date with contemporary news events from around the world.

Well, the semester is underway and whether you’re a new or returning student, our UConnect update is sure to have caught your eye. I am, like you, trying to find my way amongst all the new shiny features and have put together this list of what I’ve already discovered, and found to be especially useful, so far.

#1 Quick view forum posts

A great study task to tick off while you’re on-the-go, this feature allows you to quickly and easily see whether any new forum posts have been uploaded since you last signed in. This is especially handy if you’re like me and have plenty of subjects that require forum engagement.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #1 forum notifications

#2 To do lists

If you haven’t already noticed, there’s a brand new ‘To Do’ sidebar within UConnect. Now you can track all of those pesky study jobs easily in the one place. If you’re like me and need to see your tasks mapped out visually, you could use this tool to put all your weekly ‘To Do’s’ in a prominent place on the website that you’ll spend hours on throughout the semester. Give it a try and see how it could help you increase your productivity.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #2 to do list

#3 Searching the Library

Well, this feature is in contention for the best addition to the new UConnect layout! Scrolling down your page will reveal a Library segment, which allows you to search for those scholarly resources within UConnect. Simply type what you would usually search for when opening the Library page separately and boom, you’re good to go!

best new features of new UConnect Portal #3 library block

#4 Banner image and goal setting

It’s probably the first thing that caught your eye when opening the new UConnect … The banner image at the top of the website might remind you of a Facebook cover image, and that’s exactly what this new feature is all about: personalisation of the page you spend so much time on during uni semesters. It’s a change that makes UConnect feel like your own space. There are a few pre-set banners to choose from, or you can upload your own.

Goal setting is another nifty feature that can help motivate you throughout the semester. It adds to the personalised experience within UConnect and, as we all know, setting goals is crucial to academic success.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #4 banner image with arrows

#5 Search USQ & Bookmarks bar

The search and bookmarks features go hand-in hand and can help you out when you’re looking for specific information that may be otherwise tucked away on the numerous USQ webpages. Search anything and you shall receive clickable links to take you where you want to go. You can also bookmark your search results for easy access later. The bookmarks bar is an efficient way to keep track of USQ webpages you visit often and want to be able to find at the click of a button.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #5 bookmarks

best new features of new UConnect Portal #5 search

#6 Scheduled events and Calendar

This feature is one you may not know about if you’re studying online or have no on-campus events to attend for your studies, but it is very useful once you know how it works. Firstly, your class times will show up within your calendar each day to remind you when and where they are so you don’t have to go searching for your timetable anymore. Secondly, on the calendar there are specific events throughout the semester that may be of interest to you, which can be added to your schedule and will trigger a reminder prompt to appear in that convenient sidebar.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #6 today calendar

#7 Helpful links

At first you might think the new UConnect looks a little overwhelming with all the links you can click on but, on closer inspection, these items are extremely helpful. The Useful Links segment lists some of the most common and helpful webpages you’ll need, which saves you the hassle of opening the whole page. ‘Support’ is another segment that has commonly asked questions, which are now right in front of your eyes.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #7 useful links

#8 Due fees quick view

Have you ever forgotten to pay your Student Amenities Fee? You’re not alone! With the new UConnect layout, there’s a very helpful quick view of your fees that are due for payment.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #8 student centre fees

#9 Ease of access to assessment due dates

You can now view each of your subject’s assessment due dates and easily click on them to submit your assignment directly from the new UConnect portal. This may seem like a small convenience, but when you’re head-deep in study, it makes a huge difference.

best new features of new UConnect Portal #9 studydesk assignment dates

Those are my top nine features from the new UConnect update and I’ve only just scratched the surface of how you can utilise them within your studies. Personalisation is the biggest benefit that has been brought to us with this update. So go on and dive into the new portal and hopefully use some of the features mentioned above to improve your productivity this semester.

If you’ve explored all the new features of UConnect and are on the lookout for other ways to make the most of technology in your studies, be sure to visit the Tech tab on USQ Social Hub.