Portal system creates nuisance

Email server always redirects, mobile version unreliable


Cody Casares / The Advocate

InSite Portal is unavailable on mobile devices restricting student access to laptops and computers only.

By Asma Alkrizy, Opinion Editor

While InSite Portal serves as the student’s crucial navigator for registering for classes, making payments and more, it currently faces some defects in its system.

InSite Portal operates as the district portal, the doorway for students to gain online access to information: class registration, class schedule, college websites, campus events and directories.

“Everyone on campus functions off of InSite Portal and some with a Desire2Learn,” economics major Sean Cadwallader said. “That’s why improvements are always necessary. When the site lags or goes down, people can’t constantly keep up.”

One of the issues that hit students the hardest when logging into InSite Portal is the lack of convenience. 

Many students are unable to access the site through certain mobile devices, restricting its usage to laptops and computers only.  

District Director of Communication Relations Tim Leong said when launching the design of InSite Portal, “It wasn’t intended to be a mobile friendly system. It can work depending on the phone students use, but it doesn’t work for everyone.”

“It’s so frustrating when it is sorted in a different way on  a mobile (device),” computer engineering major Ogheneyengbame Akpojiyoubui said. “I went to find my class schedule and I was thrown into a whole new world.”

Psychology major Rebecca Rosillo suggested that an app be launched on mobile devices to make InSite Portal easily accessible. 

“InSite Portal is convenient only when I have my laptop,” she said. “An app for the site would make it easier to log in.”

Leong said to renovate InSite Portal into a mobile friendly system technological work needs to be executed to ensure that every student can get access to many things, such as registering for class or paying for fees online.

He said the district’s information technology department rolled out some upgrading strategies that will be tested to work through the semester. 

“Upgrades are currently in works, where we make sure links in the site are working properly or if there are any filters in the system,” Leong said. “These are all aimed to facilitate a student’s use of the site.”

Leong indicated the Microsoft SharePoint platform, a collaborative platform with technology that joins with the district side of InSite, is expected to be upgraded in early summer or fall semester.

“However, it will not be ready for registering for fall classes which begins in late April,” he said.

The Microsoft SharePoint platform allows staff in the district to collaborate and participate in upgrading the operating system, which includes college websites and portal sites.  

Upgrading the operating system will strengthen InSite Portal’s online usage and facilitate the student’s use of the site, Leong said.

Psychology major Puleiaava Thomsen addressed another technical issue making InSite problematic.

“There are a lot of improvements that need to be done to InSite. One of them is separating the server from email,” he said. “Students cannot log in to their emails without going to the server (InSite Portal). This can be quite time consuming.”

However, Leong said that moving student email to another server is not an option. 

“The system was set in a way to ensure the safety of a student’s information,” he said, “so no one hacks or accesses the information that isn’t theirs.”

Instead of accessing their email on a different platform, he said students have another option to access their email from this link: http://mail.4cd.edu and then log in with their InSite login username and password.