Setting the Standard: Portal Proposal at Ellingsburg University Ted Lewis, Danny Meuninck, Rachel Ott, Deanna Rella University of South Carolina Setting the Standard “The idea that a prospective student can establish a lifetime relationship based on an initial visit to an institution‟s Web site has become a reality for many colleges.” - Katz & Goldstein, 2002 Ellingsburg will set the standard for its peer institutions while setting a standard for all department Web pages within the university. Portals vs. Web Presence Portals Web Presence Single log-in Multiple Log-In Can be personalized Same for all users Process optimized for Process optimized for users department Allow for electronic Allow only for specific groups users Easier to use Rather complex With portals, colleges and universities could see “increased revenue through improved recruitment and retention, reduced recruitment costs, improved customer service, quicker yield conversions, [and] improved customer satisfaction.” What is a portal? “Portal is a term, generally synonymous with gateway, for a World Wide Web site that is or proposes to be a major starting site for users when they get connected to the Web or that users tend to visit as an anchor site.” -searchCIO.com Visual Example of Portal -Boston College Other Definitions “An environment that fits specific needs, or stated another way, architecting the environment so people can do what they need to do.” -The University of Washington “An interactive gateway to resources and services.” -Boston College “A user-centric Web page that allows users to easily locate all the Web content they commonly use-a „one-stop Web page‟.” -Cornell University Why use a Portal? Encompassing sense of membership Central database into University resources Increased efficiency Publish information campus-wide Single log-in Connection for University Alumni Instantaneous research Access for perspective students, parents, and government officials Types of the Portals Horizontal enterprise portals (HEPs) Set standard E.g., Yahoo! and Netscape Vertical enterprise portals (VEPs) Currently at most institutions E.g., PeopleSoft and Blackboard CPAD Portal – customized, personalized, adaptive desktop Goal for the future Unique portal reflecting individual needs, interests, and preferences VEP- Enterprise Portal Ellingsburg University would most benefit from using a Vertical Enterprise Portal, simply referred to as an “Enterprise Portal” VEP-Enterprise Portals offer customized services and allows EU to create individual niches for different audiences (e.g. students, faculty, staff, alumni, etc…) VEP-Enterprise Portals are commonly found at institutions of higher education The Enterprise Portal Provides channels for a single organization, such as in a college or university setting Channels offer link information or services that are available at the institution and are of value to that organization‟s customers e.g., prospective students, current students, family members, alumni, and supporters of athletic programs Serves as a means for users to get things done more efficiently and effectively Ability to allow each user to define a unique and personal view of the campus web e.g., students can add their own links Channels Channels are the options the portal provides Should contain a wide array of channels that the user can choose from based on individual interest Categories of services that would be used include: Communication tools (e.g., e-mail, Web-based discussion groups) Information resources (e.g., library resources, institutional data) Translocation services (e.g., paying tuition, registering for classes) Communication Tools Communication tools allow users to interact with each other, sharing information in a safe environment. Examples: E-mail Portal based e-mail systems allow users to communicate within specific groups (e.g. residence halls, class, administrative offices, or clubs) Chat rooms Portal based chat rooms enhance student learning experiences in safe and monitored environments Announcements Portal based systems can reduce supply costs by providing an electronic way to advertise Information Resources Information resources allow users to do research about their institutions as well as outside them. Examples: Library Resources Portals allow for cross-resource searching, customized data mining of content, web page personalization, and support services (e.g. online references, Inter-Library Loan systems, etc…) Institutional Data Portals would allow all interested parties to view information about the university Translocation Services Translocation services allow for “paper-free” services, faster and more complete customer service, and easier access for users. Examples: Admissions/Orientation On-line applications and Financial aid applications Academic Online registration, grade reports, and transcripts Financial Pay bills, apply for student loans, financial aid application, and debit system for student ID Extra-Curricular Sign up for clubs, committees, and organizations; online housing selection; online applications for job opportunities Other Channels Institutions of higher education commonly use the channels listed previously and they are the “standard” for most colleges and universities Additional channels can be added that specifically address the particular needs of Ellingsburg University Channels can evolve and change based on the needs of EU‟s changing population and customer base Planning Team The following offices or groups will be represented: Academic Departments Admissions/Orientation Faculty Senate Alumni Affairs Health Center Athletics Residence Life Bookstore Research/Assessment Board of Trustees Registrar Bursar Student Government Communications Student Union Library Technology How to get started Focus Groups Utilize focus groups of students, faculty, staff and alumni to see what their Web based needs are Research Peer Institutions Look at other institutions of similar size in the region and see what they are doing on their websites Review Literature General resources are available for more information on this topic Communication Between Systems Ellingsburg must perform an analysis of its legacy systems and have a defined strategy for migration from legacy systems to new software either with the design team or the vendor. Legacy Systems refer to systems already in place that would be too costly to replace or eliminate (e.g. Blackboard) In order for Ellingsburg University‟s Web Portal to operate properly all existing legacy systems (e.g. Blackboard, student e-mail, WebCT) must be compatible. Ongoing Assessment for Improvement Gain insight into the success of the portal by collecting information data such as: Number of users, trends, requests for assistance, and monitoring usage looking specifically at click patterns Establish focus groups about the portal Involve as diverse of a population as possible (e.g. administrators, students, faculty, and alumni) Use focus information to compile an annual questionnaire that monitors areas of improvement for the future Portal Organization Specific for each audience Perspective Students, Current Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, Parents, Supporters of Athletic Programs, Visitors Side Directory Side bar of important links geared towards the above audience Tech Support Online access to trouble shooting guide and FAQs Personalization Allow users to personalize their portal to include particular links for their specific needs Good “Practice Sites” University of Washington http://myuw.washington.edu University of California Los Angeles http://my.ucla.edu Boston College http://www.ja~sig.org Louisiana State University http://paws.lsu/edu University of Minnesota http://onestop.umn.edu Web Portal Vendors Java in Administration Special Interest Group (JA~SIG) http://www.ja-sig.org/ U-Portal http://mis105.mis.udel.edu/ja-sig/uportal/ UDDI http://www.uddi.org/ Relevant Literature Web Portals and Higher Education: Technologies to Make it Happen Richard N. Katz & Associates Designing Portals: Opportunities and Challenges Ali Jafari & Mark Sheehan The Future of Higher Education: Rhetoric, Reality, and the Risks of the Market Frank Newman Useful Web Information EDUCAUSE: “a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology” EDUCAUSE has countless articles and book references and should be the starting point for Ellingsburg University‟s web portal design. www.educause.edu How to “Set the Standard” With the use of web portals, Ellingsburg University can be on the cutting edge of technological advancements in higher education, while at the same time cutting its costs, eliminating unwanted paper processes, and providing a better, faster, more reliable service for their customers. References Frazee, J. P. (2001). Charting a smooth course for portal development. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 3, 42-48. Green, K. C. (2003, April 15). Tracking the progress of portals and web-based services. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research: Research Bulletin, 2003(8), 1-12. Jackson, M. E. (2002, September 15). The advent of portals. Library Journal, p. 36-39. Jackson, M. E. (2004). The current state of portal applications in ARL libraries: Results of a survey conducted by the ARL portal applications working group. Association of Research Libraries. Washington, DC. Katz, N. K., & Goldstein, L. (2002). Summing up: In Katz R. N. & Associates, Web portals and higher education technologies to make IT personal (p. 155- 162). Jossey-Bass Inc. References continued Katz, N. K. (2002). It‟s a bird! It‟s a plane! It‟s a …Portal?: In Kratz R. N. & Associates, Web portals and higher education technologies to make IT personal (p. 1-31). Jossey-Bass Inc. Leibowitz, W. R. (1999, October 15). Alumni offices use electronic media to forge closer ties with graduates. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. A45. Lightfoot, E., & Ihrig, W. (2002, January 8). The next-generation infrastructure. EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research: Research Bulletin, 2002(1), 1-11. Looney, M., & Lyman, P. (2000, July/August). Portals in higher education: What are they, and what is their potential? EDUCAUSE Review, 28-36. Olsen, F. (2002, August 9). The power of portals: More colleges create Web services that can be customized to help students and professors. The Chronicle of Higher Education, p. 32.