‘Significant changes’ to come to Aurora

Changes to the management system will begin rollout in March

Keep an eye on your computer, because changes are coming to Aurora beginning in March.

U of M associate registrar and director of service and records Elfie Smith explained that the self-service student records and registration management system will undergo “significant changes” in March and continuing throughout 2024. “The system we’re currently using, it is up for an upgrade,” said Smith.

The changes will be “incremental” throughout 2024, beginning with a new front page that will link back to current Aurora pages under the existing system.

Students should expect to see updates rolled out in a “phased approach,” Smith said. She explained that this will be temporary, and the roll-out will continue to replace the old Aurora functions with new ones as the months go on. 

“It won’t be everything new all at once, and it’s not wrong if it brings them to something that looks like it’s our previous system. That’s by design.” 

Smith described the student experience when navigating Aurora as “fragmented” and said students can find it difficult to locate what they need.

Victoria Nelson, a U of M student currently pursuing a master’s in human rights said it is difficult to find classes without knowing the course number.

“They’re all just in one large area and it’s kind of disorganized,” she said.

Nelson drew attention to the likelihood that users may find themselves  “on a dead end” when looking at the awards and scholarship ssection.

“If you click something and you’re not sure where to go, you have to open more tabs and do all this instead of it directing you somewhere else and it can take a long time to go through all of it,” she said.

Smith said students told them they wanted a more “modern feel” to the website, where all aspects are streamlined for easier accessibility.

Functions like course registration will not see an update until after the summer 2024 registration period, when many students are already registered for courses.

When Smith’s team spoke to students in November about prospective upcoming changes to Aurora, one aspect that caught a lot of attention was the ability to access UM Learn and UM Achieve through Aurora. She said the goal is to make Aurora  “A one-stop destination.”

While plans are still “being finalized” and Smith said she could not give a precise timeline for when all changes will be implemented, the goal is to have the transformation “substantially completed” by the end of this year.

“2024 is our big year,” said Smith. 

Smith said the new system will be more “mobile-friendly,” and will give students the ability to personalize their Aurora experience.

Instead of the current system, students will see a page with cards that will take them to one of the various functions on Aurora. Students can “click and drag” these cards to organize the functions they use the most, positioning them at the top of their Aurora home page.

For students who need assistance using the new features, navigational tools will be available in Aurora’s new launch page. 

More information regarding the changes that students can expect when accessing Aurora over the coming months will be communicated after reading week. Students looking for more information on changes coming to Aurora can contact the U of M registrar’s office or visit https://umanitoba.ca/student-supports/ask-umanitoba-contact.