“Woods Connect” provides new means for WWU campus community to connect, share and get involved

Through academics, clubs and organizations, social involvement and on-campus events, college can be an incredibly time-crunched, near overwhelming experience. Wouldn’t it be incredibly valuable to have one place where members of a campus community like The Woods could streamline the wide variety of student activities to help manage them all within one private campus network?

Well, yes it would, which is why William Woods recently established Woods Connect.

Woods Connect is an online platform that provides students with a complete toolkit for campus groups to manage activities, where everyone can connect, share and get involved. The system provides dedicated access and tools to students, group officers and school administrators, including faculty and staff. Students are able to explore groups, activities and a campus directory of users to stay up-to-date on everything that is happening at WWU through a community feed, group pages, event calendars, and notifications. Students, faculty and staff get involved by posting to the community feed or their group feed, joining groups, registering for events, answering forms or surveys, and becoming leaders of groups.

Woods Connect officially went live on January 28 of this year, after the University began exploring a new campus community engagement platform.

“It is a platform that allows students to make connections and increase engagement on campus, as it is a ‘one-stop shop’ for available resources, groups and events on campus,” said Travis Bond, Chief Information Officer at WWU. “Not only are students now connecting with other students, faculty and staff, but they now have the ability to see community feeds, student group feeds, announcements and event calendars while receiving notifications from the dedicated mobile app keeping them informed of everything that is happening to connect, share and get involved at The Woods.”

Sharing news and announcements with other group members, or to the entire campus, has never been easier.

“As director of the William Woods Leadership Center, part of our mission is to work collaboratively across disciplines with professors and students alike on different academic projects,” said Dr. Thomas Trice, Associate Professor of Business and Director of the WWU Leadership Center. “I envision using the Woods Connect platform in a number of ways.”

“First, it can stratify groups of users based on different types of projects they are involved in,” said Dr. Price. “Additionally, I see Woods Connect playing a significant role in marketing the WWU Leadership Center. It also affords the ability to put out information campus-wide related to events sponsored by the Leadership Center. And I can see the platform being used as a think tank for project ideas, for collaborative work on self-pace coursework and for creating synergies for projects that individuals have a mutual interest in.”

Users to Woods Connect can manage information more efficiently in a number of ways, including:

  • Dashboard: Track recent activity and quickly access commonly used features (e.g., Events, Email), manage your group settings, list of officers, and access rights
  • Members: Add and manage group members or validate people who request to join the group
  • Emails: Compose new emails, using mailing lists or email templates and check delivery status
  • Events: Create events, sell tickets, view event statistics, track registrations and attendance
  • Forms: Create forms or surveys, assign approval processes and manage submitted responses
  • Files: Upload and share photos and documents
  • Website: Create and/or administer the group’s website, blog, and discussion boards
  • Money: Keep track and manage the group’s transactions (e.g., club dues collection, ticket sales, refunds)
  • Integration: Woods Connect can integrate with systems via API or RSS feeds, calendars can be synchronized in a few clicks with Google Calendar or Outlook, for payments most common gateways are supported (e.g., PayPal, PayFlow, CyberSource, Authorized.net).
  • Mobile: Woods Connect is also available on mobile phones via native iPhone and Android Apps

Access to Woods Connect is easy – it can be done via the web by going to Quicklaunch and clicking on the Woods Connect icon. There is also a mobile app; users can go to app stores for either iPhone or Android, search for Woods Connect or William Woods University to find and download the app.