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Communication Problems Re-solved Copyright Tom Kruse and Jeanne Skul 2005. This work is the intellectual property of the author(s). Permission is granted.

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Presentation on theme: "Communication Problems Re-solved Copyright Tom Kruse and Jeanne Skul 2005. This work is the intellectual property of the author(s). Permission is granted."— Presentation transcript:

1 Communication Problems Re-solved Copyright Tom Kruse and Jeanne Skul This work is the intellectual property of the author(s). Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author(s). To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author(s).

2 Communication Problems Re-solved Loras College Ms. Jeanne Skul, Vice President for Information Technology Mr. Tom Kruse, Sr. Dir. Information & Support Services Midwest EDUCAUSE 2005 MWRC05

3 Loras College Background Technology Rich – 250 laptops in faculty/staff hands since 2000 – 1600 laptops in student hands since 2001 – Focus on technology into the curriculum – 85% of classrooms technology enhanced – Blackboard course management – Everyone receives accounts, network storage space and e-portfolio web space – On-line student services

4 Assessment Performed IT SWOT analysis Held campus forums to discuss issues Met with departments and discussed their concerns and goals Identified common issues and difficulties

5 “The Problem” Information and services in too many separate locations Lacking tools for collaboration on documents Too much network administration for shared information Deficient in campus wide communication to all audiences (faculty, staff, students, etc.

6 Our Answer Revamp our intranet Develop a portal

7 Key Players Endorsed by the president and cabinet Web developer and Dir. of Tech. Support – Develop a vision – Investigate solutions Include the marketing department

8 Goals & Objectives Two main objectives – start broad – Find a better communication tool – Develop a “doorway” to everything the users need How – Streamline information and services Provide access in one central location – Reduce costs through consolidation What existing solutions & processes can be eliminated Eliminate traditional methods of delivery

9 The Project Research – Evaluated articles Many definitions of “portal” – Assessed vendors who could provide support Datatel, BlackBoard, Citrix, Microsoft…. – Visited references Analyze – Further define our goals and objectives

10 First Tier Goals Make them want to use it Centralize a location for announcements Links to needed applications Provide discussion board (threaded discussions) and bulletin board (for sale, ride sharing, etc.) User customizable area Constituent content – different look & feel for different audience

11 Second Tier Goals Single sign on A place to initiate surveys & results Form & document sharing Chat – instant messaging Training and other information via streaming video & audio

12 Third Tier Goals Access to portal from outside the Loras Community – Define for different constituents – parents, alumni, Board of Regents, perspective students Course Management - replace Blackboard Terminal services – replace Citrix “My Site” –provide network and electronic portfolio directory space

13 The Project Continued Testing – Evaluation copies from various vendors – Ease of use – Easy to administer – Total cost Develop Governance – Who maintains – Who authorizes content

14 And The Winner Is…… Microsoft SharePoint Portal Sever 2003 – Cost – LAN is Microsoft & campus license agreement Already familiar with Microsoft products Client licensing already paid for in campus agreement – Built on strengths of Microsoft Server Technology Integrates with MS Office suite seamlessly Ease of use and administration – Another higher ed. Campus willing to help us with implementation and ideas – Runs on SQL database, also used for Citrix and other existing apps

15 SharePoint Benefits Integrate information from multiple applications and databases, including third party systems Users can subscribe to “alerts” to automatically be notified of changes One sign-in and you have individual, teams, and campus wide information at your finger tips

16 Outcomes Announcements working well, BUT need to push to the desktop – Set this site as home page Provided one location for accessing applications – Applications and A-Z search section – Forced them to launch from within portal – IQ – student services (grades, registration, time & attendance)

17 Outcomes continued Discussion boards not heavily used – Users don’t want to make the extra effort – Faculty using this for special classes – Looking for other ways to promote this MySite operational – Minimal training has been provided Shared documents and shared sites slowly developing

18 What’s Next Complete and promote first tier goals – Offer training on uses & functionality Start to plan for second tier goals Discussion on third tier goals Any changes from our original goals?

19 Challenges Finding a third party developer – First developer was local, but limited knowledge with SharePoint – Second vendor from another state & never on-site Getting items pushed to the desktop – announcements Determining the “Gate Keeper” for accepting announcements Reducing mass s

20 Lessons Learned Garner approval from the top – Get the president & cabinet on board – Created a site for this group as things developed Implement in stages – Think Big, Start Small – Enough content to make it worth while for users More than a glorified newsletter – Flexible & customizable enough for future growth – Big enough to see the benefits, but small enough to not get discouraged Continuous updating – valuable content

21 INSIDE.LORAS.EDU Here is a look at our portal portal Questions?


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