From DENIS stalking to DC stalking?

The newly fashioned website Dordt College Central, or DCC, has taken over Dordt’s student internet. “DENIS stalking” is now a thing of the past, and while “DC Stalking” may not have the same ring, there were many reasons behind the switch.

While the original DENIS (Dordt Electronic News and Information System) site never really stopped evolving since its creation 6 years ago, Director of Computer Services Brian Van Donselaar said the main reason behind the switch was “to provide students and employees with a better system.”

Director of PR/Marketing Communication Sonya Jongsma Knauss agreed that the website was greatly in need a change.  “Essentially, DENIS was old, ugly, and long overdue for an update because parts of it had long outlived their usefulness and necessity.”

So what does this new site deliver where DENIS came up short? Van Donselaar provided a list:

  • The functionality of DENIS and My DENIS is merged into one site that can be accessed from anywhere.
  • It allows employees to easily keep the site up-to-date and view pages on as if they were a student, allowing them to provide better service.
  • The site has been “flattened”— which means you get to content with fewer clicks.
  • A better layout for mobile devices.
  • Better organization.
  • Single sign-on

Despite the many changes and updates the new site brings, some students have found it difficult letting the old familiar DENIS go.

Senior and English writing major Alena De Young is one of these students. “At first I was really against it. I was indignant that DENIS had to be taken away,” she commented.

Anna Visser, a Junior and English writing and music major, noticed a few of the discrepancies between the new website and the old. “The biggest thing is that stuff isn’t always the same as they said it was going to be. Courses@dordt didn’t change, the e-mail is still separate, and the directory is hard to use,” she said.

And yet, work is still being done behind the scenes. “Things are still getting ‘sorted out’” said Van Donselaar.  Due to a shortage in staff, DCC is “not as polished as we would like it to be, nor is the product as complete as we would like it to be. We are actively developing the site,” Van Donselaar commented, acknowledging that the process will be underway for at least the academic year.

As adjustments are made and familiarity with the site grows, students admit that the change isn’t all bad. “Now that I’ve used it for a while I like it,” De Young admitted. “It’s easy, and everything is where it needs to be. I came around to it.”

“It’s easy to use, but in the end there’s still the learning curve,” agreed Visser.

A few things to look out for as changes continue to go into effect are the online directory, book listings, and document management.

At the end of the day, Van Donselaar says he believes the switch has been a worthwhile endeavor. “Hopefully that rings more true a year from now.”

“I would like students to know that we built DCC to make it easier for them to get information they need,” finished Van Donselaar. Any suggestions students may have for improving the site are welcome at brian.vandonselaar@dordt.edu.

Hannah DeVries, Staff Writer

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