Jan. 29, 2009
Attending: Sanda Legault, Judy Jessup, Elaine Lathrop, Lexa DeCourval, Karen Browne, Susan Holcomb with Renee Brown and Shel Sax
One major complaint was the Middlebury branding, student profiles that are undergraduate focused which doesn’t work for Bread Loaf. – would like to have the ability to use BL appropriate content. Love the fact that BLSE is well-positioned on the College’s home page along with MIIS, Writers Conference, etc.
Unlike other groups on campus, BLSE has its own communication/conferencing/email program, Breadnet (First Class software) that it uses for communications, particularly during the summers when the 4 campuses are in session. During that time, many students don’t use the Middlebury College web page, since all available relevant information is accessible from Breadnet.
Types of information: very basic information is currently there but have talked about photos, something like a Facebook page that connects applicants to current students, etc.
- overview at BLSE page – with who we are, what we do, faculty
- information that we have is there but the CMS standards are too rigid and have prevented BLSE from changing content – so the original content was mostly straight from the catalog and that’s what’s still there – this summer, looking to have a media section where they can put podcasts – this is an idea for the reunion – also issues with permissions for a large scale podcast initiative
- integration with Banner Web is critical, particularly for the online applications process.
- online application is confusing to students – students from the Language Schools apply to BLSE, for example
- Want to make sure that the inquiry process is in place for admissions, so that online applications and forms work well from the current web page. – some students need assistance but typically because they don’t read the available online instructions
- some things are very hard to find e.g. webcams, campus map, etc.
- search function is not a big help but a site map would be a big help. – are there people to advise on the better way to structure the site and to do more creative and interesting things
- people want to get to information with only a few clicks
- areas for growth including online newsletter, audio and video of presentations, plays, readings, etc.,
- online community for alums and current students, BLTN for example
- Single log on and customization of individual pages would be desirable
- Unique factor about BLSE is the use of FirstClass (Breadnet) for communication and some document sharing. Otherwise, use Ocelot
- Having a link to Breadnet would be useful
- Forms, applications, etc. are typically Banner based or on Ocelot
- Definitely want embedded photos, video, podcasting, etc.
- visual map for the various campus, virtual tours of the 4 campuses
- Want to have students submit and publish photos taken by BL’ers with some control.
- Ability to create summer content that would be easy to turn on and turn off as the yearly cycle turns. How to communicate with students during the yearly cycle that permits the targeting of specific subsets of the BLSE community.
- Want different types of information – some general for non-enrolled students, faculty, etc. and then have a log in for students, faculty and staff to access more individualized information.
- Ability to ‘push’ information rather than publish information. – RSS feeds might be of use, but assumes that people use RSS feeds and it is not clear how to create such an environment
- For example, want to let enrolled students in Vermont that theater tickets are available, but don’t want this information to go to BLSE students on other campuses.
- want something to facilitate the publishing of images on the web, automating the optimization of the image size, etc.
Workflow – current & desired
- Interested in having multiple editors with one or two ‘approvers’
- would like a way to individualize the application forms for BLSE – and looking to put course registration online
- Use pdf files, and forms that interact with Banner.
- Note that students range in age from young to old and the older cohorts have difficulties navigating the web site and online forms – there’s lot of individualized assistance provided by the BLSE staff
- lack of use of credit cards is an issue