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The “Entity”

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The “Entity” Powered By Docstoc
					Technical
Overview
The University of North
Carolina - Online Programs
from the Sixteen
Campuses
Project Overview
   “The Entity” is a website to showcase the online programs
    offered by the sixteen campuses that make up the University
    of North Carolina.
   The site will help to recruit potential students and direct
    them to the programs that best meet their needs.
   The student will then have the option of sending their
    contact information to the selected program(s) for more
    information and for follow up by the program.
   There are two “sub-sites” that share content and many of the
    features of the main website; these are the UNC Military
    Education and UNC 2+2 sites.
Paths
There are three primary paths through the website that
will ultimately bring the prospective student to one of the
program pages.

 Link navigation
 “SiteSearch”
 “EduSearch tool”


There are also additional documents that help answer
questions a potential student might have that are not
directly related to a specific program of interest.
Scenario 1:
Ms. TechSavvyStayAtHomeMom.

Ms. TechSavvy is curious about going back
to school, but does not want to give up time
with her children. She is interested in an
online program because it will give her a
more flexible schedule where she can study
while the kids are in school or later in the
evening.
From an online ad for the “The Entity” website she
saw while searching Google, Ms. TechSavvy goes to
the front page of the website.
She checks out the “Questions Answered” section
and reads the page about being an online student.
She hits the back button on her browser to return to the home page of the site, looks
over the other options for navigating the site and chooses the link for “University &
Programs.” She clicks on the “Programs List” link, scans the link for something that
looks interesting.
Finds a program brings up the page, reads, clicks the browser’s “back” button,
looks down the list again and this time selects a different program. It is not
something she is interested in for herself but has a close friend, Ms.
MiddleSchoolTeacher who she knows is thinking of getting a Master’s degree. Ms.
TechSavvy clicks the link to “digital send” this page, types a short note to her
friend, and hits the send button.
That is all the time Ms. TechSavvy as time for
right now; she bookmarks the home, planning
on coming back and shuts down her computer.
Scenario 2:
Ms. MiddleSchoolTeacher.
After getting home from school, eating dinner and
grading papers, Ms. MiddleSchoolTeacher logs
onto her email. Deletes about 30 spam messages,
than finds the email her friend Ms. TechSavvy sent
her.

Included in the email is the note from her friend,
information about the program, hosting university
and links that take her to the “Entity” website.
Ms. MiddleSchoolTeacher has been thinking that the 10% bonus that North
Carolina pays teachers with a Master’s degree would really help and perhaps an
online degree program would fit in with her demanding schedule. She follows the
link from the email, reads about the program, sound pretty good, but now she
wonders what else is available. She sees the “Search the Site” box, types in
“education” and looks over the results.
It returns a bit more than she wants to look through, so she tries the
“detailed search” to narrow down her results but checking off a
number of options. This time the list is much shorter and she sees a
number of programs that might interest her. She clicks on the link
for the first one, reads like what she sees.
She hits the link for “printer-friendly version” prints off
a couple copies so she can take it to school with her
tomorrow and talk to the other teachers about what she
found.
Scenario 3:
Mr. EarlyRetirementFromMajorCompany.

Mr. Early has just taken a package from his company and
financially doing “OK,” doing a lot of volunteer work, but has
been thinking that he might want to get a teaching degree.
Picking up his son at school the next day; Mr. Early mentions
what he is thinking to his son’s teachers and asks what she
thinks. Ms. MiddleSchoolTeacher remembers what she found
on the “Entity” website the night before and gives one of her
print outs to Mr. Early. He is not looking for a Master’s degree,
but she remembers seeing other programs that might be what
he is looking for.
That night Mr. Early gets onto his home computer to check out
the “Entity” website for himself. Although he thinks teaching
might be right for him he is not 100% sure. On the home page of
the site he sees the “EduSearch” and gives it a try.
This walks him through the decision process
and helps him identify his goals.
Sure enough it brings him to some programs for getting certified in
teaching. He reviews each of the programs and decides he just
can’t yet make a decision, what he needs is more information. On
the page Mr. Early hits the link for contacting the program.
He fills in all of his contact information, types in his questions
and hits the send button. Moments later he sees he has a new
email, he takes a look and there is an email from the “Entity”
website.
The email thanks him for his interest in the program and lets him know
that his contact information has been sent on to the program and he should
hear back directly from them. It also includes the information about the
program, host institution, web links back to the site and a .pdf that he can
print out and save. The last thing he does is look to see where the host
institution is and see how far away it is from his home.
Non Goals
Given the short time frame until launch there are many good
features and functions that could not be included at this time,
but that does not mean that they can not be implemented in
future releases.

Some of the features this version will not include:
 Content management system for entering data in to the
  system.
 Direct registration for programs.
 User registration system to store a profile of the user so
  they can track programs of interest, receive messages
  back from programs within the system, etc.
 RSS feeds
Hardware Infrastructure
The TUNCO hardware architecture will
consist of two tiers, the web/application tier
and the database tier, designed to scale
horizontally by adding servers as needed to
each tier. This will allow tuning of servers
toward the specific task that they support,
as well as adding resources as needed to
the specific areas that are resource-bound.
There will also be a load balancer tier,
consisting of one or more redundant
software load balancers running on
standard Dell servers.
This diagram details the logical systems
architecture:
Application Infrastructure

 Application Language – PHP
 Backend Database – MySQL

 Look & Feel – CSS

 Yahoo Maps

 Print to .pdf - Prince
Draft Data Definitions

This initial draft of the data definitions was drawn from an
examination of the fields used by the SREB E-Campus,
program descriptions supplied to us by the current online
programs available from the 16 campuses and the
combined experience of the development team. As work
continues this table will be expanded to include
examples, field type and field size.

The main application data base contains two primary
tables, keyed on the Institutions’ ID.
Institution Record
Program Record
Program Record Cont.
Centra Online Meeting
Thanks!
   The Project Team
       Mike
       Jon
       Amanda
       Nancy
       Lesley
   GA
   CFNC


Phil Kaufman
IT Director – LEARN North Carolina
philk@learnnc.org

				
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