A student portal is a commonly used phrase to describe the login page where students can provide a username and password to gain access to an education organization’s programs and other learning related materials. Sometimes a student portal also refers to the entire student-facing part of a learning management system (LMS).
A learner who has enrolled in an online certification program, for example, may use a student portal to access online course materials that are hosted on the school’s servers, such as articles, lectures and videos. Student portals may be used to provide information about the school, course details, calendars, academic resources, and contact information.
Some student portals may integrate with other systems to provide students with easy access to personal information, such as tracking financial aid disbursements and using campus medical services.
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A student portal is usually part of a broader LMS that can also be used by parents and faculty members. This system is also usually built and managed in-house by the college/university, school district, or private educational institution. Students typically use their school-provided email address or student ID number to access the portal, and sometimes additional layers of authentication are required to verify the student’s identity.
A student portal is essential in a digital-first education environment. As referenced above, it centralizes all school-related announcements, information, and resources. Students can keep up with assignments, course material, grades, and announcements from the same place, so It also enables students to take care of all school-related needs from a single location, which means students have fewer accounts to manage. This ultimately benefits campus-wide cybersecurity because it minimizes the opportunities for a malicious actor to intercept a student’s login credentials.
Some student portals, like Stanford Axess, are built from the ground up using in-house developers. Other schools use web applications like Blackboard, Canvas, or Google Classroom to create student portals.
Updated April 2021 by Kaiti Norton.