Technology Plan - Website Access & Development
Chabot College has a website to serve many purposes, including but not limited to:
- Providing 24/7 information to students, faculty, staff and visitors
- Providing a medium where students, faculty and staff can interact with one another (e.g. fill out forms, apply online, register for classes, communicate and collaborate with one another)
- Marketing the College
As more and more people—especially students—use the web more often, reliance on Chabot’s website has become greater than ever before.
Chabot currently hosts its website on its own servers on campus. The purpose of the web servers and software is to host Chabot’s website and provide the functionality we need for the website to work according to our needs.
Chabot’s website is primarily a static website with useful information but few interactive capabilities. Responsibility for the website is divided among several parties, including the webmaster, the marketing manager, the College administration, and the District.
We plan the following improvements to Chabot’s website:
- Replace paper forms with online forms
The extent to which we can do this is limited, since most forms are issued by the District. Moving toward online forms will help us achieve a “greener” campus and environment, save time and trees, and simplify our business processes
- Redesign the website to focus more on students’ needs and easier navigation
The Board of Trustees has commissioned two studies that point to significant shortcomings in the College's web presence. (A three-page condensation of the Interact Communications Plan can be found in Appendix B.) The recently introduced Web Portal addresses one of the plan's recommendations by splitting internal communication among
faculty, staff, and students (which will be handled by the web portal) from marketing and external communication (which will continue to be handled by the website). The College's website should be redesigned in a timely manner to conform with the remaining recommendations of these studies.
- Ensure website meets accessibility requirements.
An easy 10-point checklist is available at www.csun.edu/accessibility/checkpoints.html, and additional resources are at htctu.net/divisions/webaccess/main.htm.
- Automate wherever possible
To conserve economic and human resources, Chabot should automate as many tasks as possible. For example, providing an online “wizard” for building faculty websites, similar to those provided by many commercial web hosting services, would reduce the need for IT staff to train each user on how to build their own website.
- Reorganized authority and decision-making
As web standards and technologies change, the College website needs to stay up to date. A web advisory group representing marketing, IT, the Technology Committee (on behalf of faculty and staff), and other concerned representatives of the District and College should meet regularly with the College webmaster to plan and implement changes to the website in a timely manner .
- Online community
With the growth in social networks and online communities, it is clear that students spend much time and are attracted to networking and communicating online. According to a 2007 report by the National School Boards Association (available at www.nsba.org/SecondaryMenu/TLN/CreatingandConnecting.aspx), online networking can help students improve their skills in reading, writing, and conflict resolution. The Web Portal is intended as a first step toward facilitating communication and collaboration among students, faculty, and staff. The College and the District should continue to evaluate the potential benefits and risks associated with online communities to determine what role (if any) they should play in student learning.
- Explore possibilities for improving service and support
As Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies place greater demands on the College's online infrastructure, investigate ways to optimize the College's delivery of web services in ways that will increase staffing resources and reduce maintenance costs.