UAB has launched BlazerNET, the official online portal to the university’s community of intranets and key software, including student registration and financial aid.
Termed “UAB’s World Within the Web,” BlazerNET (blazernet.uab.edu ) has been designed by students, faculty and staff from across campus especially for the internal UAB community. Users will access the portal with their BlazerID and strong password, making BlazerNET secure and enabling the university to use it to present tools and information based on a person’s role within UAB. It will not replace the university’s Web site, www.uab.edu ; however, users will have access to the portal 24/7 via a convenient link from the UAB home page.
“The portal will be our secure, online gateway to campus resources for communication, learning, networking and conducting business,” said Sheila Sanders, vice president of Information Technology (IT). “People eventually will be able to use BlazerNET as their central resource for everything from e-mail, class registration, financial aid and grading tools to policies, service center information, the Oracle Administrative Systems, calendars and much more – all on one secure online platform.”
Portal to be used for class registration
UAB Vice President for Student Affairs Douglas Rigney, Ph.D., said BlazerNET is the replacement for the ACCESS and STARS computer systems, and students will use the new portal for fall 2007 class registration in April. A link to ACCESS also will be available in the portal for summer 2007 registration.
“At that point, students will find the registration system in the Student Resources area of BlazerNET,” Rigney said. “Other information and services they will find there now and going forward include the financial aid system, undergraduate advising, academic records and academic support. There also is a special grouping of information for graduate students in that area.”
Rigney and Sanders explained that new channels will be added to BlazerNET in the future. For example, Rigney said, the actual registration channel will not be available in the system until late March. New channels also will be added for faculty and staff on an ongoing basis.
BlazerNET is built on categorizations of information and services by user role, which means that all users will not necessarily have access to the same data. The portal is currently divided into nine “tabs” and has the potential for unlimited future growth. The portal’s Home Tab, which is designed for all users, contains UAB news, information about parking and events. It also has a “Quick Links” list of commonly visited UAB Web sites, including those of each school. The other tabs in order of display are:
• Courses & Training
• Campus Life
• Employee Resources
• Faculty Resources
• Student Resources
• My Stuff
“Users will be able to personalize the tabs they see to contain the information they need and want to access on a frequent basis,” said Sanders. “The My Stuff tab will be particularly useful for this purpose.”
BlazerNET also offers users the opportunity to create “groups,” which are online communities formed by their members for discussion and project collaboration. In the UAB environment, BlazerNET groups will be approved much like listservs, said Sanders.
“Any activity that furthers the UAB mission in teaching and learning, research, service and administration and support may be approved for a BlazerNET group for the purpose of carrying out communication and collaboration important to UAB’s operations,” she said. “Any student organization that would like to create an associated BlazerNET group must be registered with the Office of Student Leadership.”
Information about how to navigate and use BlazerNET has been mailed to all students, faculty and staff. The information also is available online both from the portal’s login page at blazernet.uab.edu and in its help center.
BlazerNET is sponsored jointly by IT, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.