TechKnowledgy: Countdown to Spring 2019

OLLI@UGA techKNOWledgy 

Stay “Knowledgeable” About our Upcoming Registration & Communication System

Course registration instructions for Spring 2019:

Sign up for the OLLI@UGA online community through Mighty Networks:

Additional Mighty Networks training sessions have been scheduled from December 10 through December 19.  Please click here to view the training schedule and make your reservation to attend.  If you have any questions, please contact Cher Snyder at: cher.snyder.phd@gmail.com or 909-480-5400.

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November 27, 2018

Our registration system is almost ready to go, and we are really excited about the new online experience we will be providing to our members. However, as with all new things, there may be a couple of things to tweak as we get closer to launch. Membership for Jan-Dec will open on December 10, when you will also be able to register for the New Year’s Eve Luncheon, and browse all of our upcoming classes. We suggest that as soon as you can, go to the site and see where everything is so you can be prepared for registration in January. You can read instructions here, but please be aware that not all of the links will work till next week.

We will also be producing a sign-up sheet for anyone who is unsure about the registration process.

As our Mighty Network community is increasing, we will be phasing out use of Memberfuse. We would ask that, wherever possible, you sign up for the new community before the end of the year, to keep up-to-date with SIGs, events and other news around OLLI@UGA. If you need assistance getting started, you can contact the office or contact Cher Snyder directly. We will also post instructions for this next week, so keep an eye out.

 

November 15, 2018

With all our classes for Spring entered, we are putting the final touches to the new CampusCE registration system. We will be sending out emails soon with user names and passwords for current members in the next few weeks, so please watch out for it. This will give you access to renew your membership (Jan-Dec members) or give you chance to browse upcoming courses for the Spring for both membership groups. We will also be running some training sessions in the beginning of 2019 before registration for anyone who would like further instruction.

Our Mighty Network Community now has over 700 members, so please think about signing up if you haven’t already. There are still training sessions available if you want additional assistance (click here for a full list)

 

October 30, 2018

Lots of activity this week with getting courses into the new system and getting members’ records ready for the transition to the new system. Several mini-tasks with great impact are happening now. Members who have a credit on their account received an email from the office this week. If you received an email please do take a moment to respond to the question asked. Members who join or renew for the January-December membership period starting on December 1, will be joining in our new system. We are excited as this new phase draws closer and closer to reality.

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October 23, 2018

Training sessions both class and individual are underway for Mighty Networks. Many of you may already be receiving invitations to join if you are part of a Shared Interest Group or a committee. The set up time is minimal and you are encouraged to follow the link and set up your password so that you don’t miss out on any announcements for your group.

This week in Campus CE news, its all about emails! We are using the best practice advice of our implementation team on how to best word the emails that are auto-sent based on your activity in the new system. There are emails that confirm your password set up, your purchases, and there is even an email that you will receive if there is anything less than a successful payment for your classes.

We are just weeks away from the soft launch in which pre-selected members will receive their emails to test the system and provide feedback. We are still set for our hard launch in December. Tic-toc!

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October 16, 2018

OLLI@UGA is a mighty organization for lifelong learning – and this mighty organization needs a Mighty Network to keep everyone connected and up-to-date on classes, travel study, shared interest groups, luncheons, and social gatherings and events in and around Athens, Georgia.

OLLI@UGA is switching from MemberFuse to Mighty Networks to add value to your membership experience. Once you’ve joined the network, you’ll be able to:

  • Visit the OLLI@UGA Mighty Network site online using your desktop/laptop computer
  • Use the Mighty Networks app to visit OLLI@UGA on the go using your phone, tablet, or other mobile device
  • Join one or more shared interest groups (SIGs)
  • Learn about upcoming member activities and events through the “feed” on the home and group pages and in messages sent to your email account
  • Post messages to other members of your groups (SIGs, Committees, etc.) which include photos, videos and/or links to other sites of interest
  • Chat with individual OLLI@UGA members
  • And more!

If you’d like to sign up and start exploring OLLI@UGA’s Mighty Network on your own, you can:

If you’d like to take a group class or participate in an individual training session on OLLI@UGA’s Mighty Network, Cher Snyder is hosting several dates for members to come in and get a hands-on tour of Mighty Networks. You can see the dates and reserve your spot for either a class session or individual instruction now.   Or you can view/print a pdf copy of the dates/times now.

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October 9, 2018

Remember when I said some weeks there would not be much to say. This past week was one of those -more doing than talking. Getting course proposals into the system has been good since repetition is key to remembering the process. This week also included working with our implementation specialist on how to best design a plan for Host Registration which will occur the first week of January. If you are reading this then you will be the first to know that as of today, general registration is scheduled to open on Wednesday, January 16. Get ready!!

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October 2, 2018

This past week we solidified the plan for implementing our current membership records into the new system. The goal is to get all member files into the new system the first week of November. We’ll give you plenty of heads-up time but you should expect an email from us specifically related to your new login information around Thanksgiving. The current plan is to have the website up and also have some documentation available in December. We want members to see and get comfortable with the new screens. I’ve continued to work with our web designer and am excited to say that we’ve found a workable solution to navigate through an alpha-listing of classes much easier than having to scroll page after page.

The Shared Interest Groups Leaders have been steadily at work exploring Mighty Networks, our new online community. I’ve heard much chatter and most of it is really positive. The questions that have surfaced are strictly related to learning the system, not the system itself, so I’m encouraged to hear and see the progress. We even have some SIGs and Committees that have already fully adopted Mighty Networks – Kudos to them!!

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September 25, 2018

As we’ve been learning how to build out the courses and their details, we’re discovering some neat features. How about a note on your receipt specific to a class that you are taking? Yes! That is going to be a reality with our new system. These receipt notes will allow us to pre-load information for off-site classes  such as location/meeting details or parking information so that you will be able to plan accordingly. We will also be able to “flag” a class with an alert should we have something special like a date change (correction) or a cancellation. And would you like to see your speaker? We will have the ability to embed images and even include photos of our presenters with their biographies. The possibilities are exciting and we look forward to learning more how our membership might make the best use of these new features.

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September 18, 2018

This week we looked at entering courses and learning some new lingo. A big data entry win with this system is that a course is entered once and then we create specific details each semester. This is great for courses like Tai Chi, Yoga, Current Affairs that tend to repeat.  We aren’t recreating the entire wheel every semester. New words for us include a new word for a class. We are now working with “Sections.” You will remember that in our current system they are called “sessions.” Additionally, rather than credit on account, you will now see the word “escrow.” Functionality is the same, words are different, and we will work to make sure everything is clearly defined for our members.

Speaking of credit on account – following the best practice advice of our implementation team, members that have a credit on account will be contacted and asked if they would like a refund or if they would like to make a donation in lieu of a refund. This way we can move forward into the new system with a clean accounting base.

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September 11, 2018

Talks this week have included making decisions on whether or not we want the courses to display horizontally or vertically. While that might not seem like a big deal, there are many considerations… how much scrolling is too much scrolling? How many clicks are reasonable to select a course?  While the horizontal style may be more visually engaging, the functionality is greater in the vertical layout. Could we have a hybrid of both? Can we somehow create links to make it easier to locate a class starting with the letter “R” in a list of 200+ classes? and the list goes on. Fortunately, the web-tech person on their end has been an amazing resource as we pick and choose what we like from other schools’ layouts. We’ve learned how to enter courses and have begun to learn the new lingo.

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September 4, 2018

Weekly check-in calls with the CampusCE implementation team have been focused on walking the office through the various steps needed to build the site that will house our registration system. Our current calls have included discussing how we are setting up the system so that we can make the most of existing reports rather than having to build custom queries.

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August 29, 2018 Technology Changes for OLLI@UGA

In the most recent OLLI Times Newsletter (page 6) we shared that changes were coming to the OLLI Online system. For the past four years, our current system has been invaluable in helping us understand more about our members. Looking at key items like year of birth, retired/not retired, how long one has been in Athens, as well as, the areas of interest someone would most enjoy seeing in a class schedule has helped OLLI leadership understand the make-up of our membership better – and it shows. You have likely noticed an increase in the range of topics offered, the number of classes given, the variety of travel study trips and social events, and the many ways that members can engage and experience OLLI@UGA.

To continue on this path, we have selected new system partners, Campus CE and Mighty Networks to become our new registration and member community systems. If the name Campus CE sounds familiar to you, it’s because it was the system that OLLI@UGA used previously. Simply put we had outgrown it – but over the past four years Campus CE has been intentional in their growth and commitment to understand the OLLI model. They strive to provide the best reporting and registration system possible and they are currently supporting twenty-two other OLLIs across the country, so we are confident in our partnership to keep OLLI@UGA moving forward. For the social component we will be partnering with Mighty Networks. Currently Mighty Networks is being used by several OLLI@UGA Committees and SIGs. They are helping us understand the system so that when we introduce it to the membership later this year, we will be fully able to share best practices as well as some tips and tricks.

Starting September 4, the office will regularly post updates on the progress being made with the implementation of these new systems. Some weeks, these updates may look small but we are confident they will have a large impact when we open for registration in Spring 2019. These weekly updates, posted on Tuesday afternoons, will be found on the OLLI@UGA website in the scrolling announcements on the left. Change is on the horizon, so is the sun… let’s all look forward to a new day!  Membership Announcement

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Technology Update: OLLI Times Newsletter

“The only thing constant is change,” wrote Heraclitus of Ephesus, and that idea applies even more to the technology we use, including our online system for registering for classes. In fact, though, our online presence is used for much more than class registration. It also includes other program registration (for membership sign-up, events, and travel study) and a secondary system for communication among OLLI@ UGA members. While many members enjoyed their classes this spring, one group of our members added an extra task to their schedules. They began to review potential new registration systems. Some members might think, “Well, it’s about time,” while others might wonder why we are looking to change the way we register online yet again. Online registration launched in 2011, and, since then, OLLI@UGA has made incredible strides in the number of classes presented and in the complexity of cataloguing all those classes. Both the staff and our leadership recognized early on that we had outgrown our initial registration system. In 2013, a team of members, leaders, and staff found our current online system that would not only allow us to process registration but also provide OLLI@UGA with a better understanding of its membership. We are now in another stage of growth. You can feel it when you take classes and attend events, and you are likely to hear the word “engagement” stated more often. As we move toward putting a new online system in place, we have been careful to consider the feedback from our membership surveys as well as good old-fashioned conversations. We understand that members primarily want two things: the ability to join and register in an easy manner, and the ability to connect with other OLLI@UGA members. With those two items as our focus and following the direction of the Long Range Plan as set forth by the Board of Directors, we are in the process of bringing change to our online OLLI@UGA system — but, at the same time, it is important to make sure that we bring you along in this process. To make that happen, we will provide updates and will work to maintain a transparent and open line of communication as we make decisions about how to improve our online services. Let’s all agree that although we would be hard-pressed to find a perfect system, we can do our best to find one that will be perfectly suited for OLLI@UGA. June/July 2018 edition, page 6

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