Evolution of OUInfo
Introduction of Counsellor Guidelines, a newsletter that provided a central, non-partisan compilation of Ontario university entrance requirements.
Counsellor Guidelines changed its title to INFO and remained a resource for Ontario high school guidance counsellors. A different university volunteered each year to produce and distribute the magazine.
The Ontario Universities' Application Centre (OUAC) agreed to help produce and distribute INFO magazine at the request of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and the Ontario University Registrars' Association (OURA).
The OUAC implemented a new policy of providing copies of the magazine to every graduating Ontario high school student.
The INFO Editorial Board (IEB) was formed to guide the development of the magazine and determine its content. The IEB contains representatives from all parties served by INFO magazine, including the Ontario School Counsellors' Association (OSCA), the Ontario Universities' Council on Admissions (OUCA), the General Committee of Secondary School Liaison (GCSSL), COU, OURA and the OUAC.
The OUAC assumed full responsibility for producing INFO magazine, including coordinating and editing work that was previously done by university volunteers. While the IEB decided the INFO content and format, the OUAC compiled the information from Ontario universities and provided a unified editorial voice that aimed to highlight all Ontario universities equally.
OURA mandated that INFO magazine become electronic by 2008. In response, the IEB established a year-long commission to examine the migration from a printed magazine to an online version.
The IEB indicated that an online INFO would be beneficial to:
The eINFO (short for "electronic INFO") project plan was created to guide the development of the eINFO website.
The IEB, through the OUAC, engaged in extensive consultation with high school students and counsellors via surveys and focus groups to determine the needs for eINFO.
eINFO first went "live" in December.
A new version of eINFO was launched in September with additional search tools and updates.
In the fall, eINFO was completely redesigned in both appearance and function. It became a powerful resource that made finding and comparing university information easier and faster.
The IEB decided eINFO should be redesigned to address evolving design and accessibility standards. The IEB and the OUAC conducted surveys about the content and usability of the website with guidance counsellors, students and universities.
The new website, launched in August, included:
eINFO was renamed Ontario Universities' Info (OUInfo) to better align with COU's new branding and the Ontario university community, and to more closely reflect the content of the website. OUInfo, launched in August, includes a refreshed look and new logo while maintaining the same functionality.
The IEB was renamed the Ontario Universities' Info Editorial Board (OUI-EB).
The Future of OUInfo
From a counsellor's newsletter to a student's online database, INFO has evolved over the last 49 years, yet it has the potential to develop further in its current online format. As university programs and the needs of students, parents and counsellors change, OUInfo can adapt to better serve the needs of its users. The OUI-EB will continue to engage in surveys and focus groups to improve the function and design of OUInfo and include the information that is most valuable to its users.