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What Students Want

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Before leaving university and starting Luminas Limited, the directors were all involved in running student union-backed web sites. While doing this, they obtained a unique perspective on what students want from a university site. In this talk, they present some ideas from this experience that you may not have considered before.

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What Students Want

  1. 1. What Students Want Institutional Web Management 2001: Organising Chaos
  2. 2. Who Are We? <ul><li>MJ Ray </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Former Student Union Webmaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>tsw Founding Editor </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Andrew Savory </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Former Student Union Webmaster </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Former University Webmaster </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Luminas </li></ul>
  3. 3. Why We're Here <ul><li>Some time in Higher Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 years working on SU sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 years working on tsw </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>5 years work on HEI sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now semi-detached </li></ul>
  4. 4. WebsitesThatSuck.com <ul><li>Are university sites really that bad? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yes... </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Well, maybe. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Lots of useful information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But is it &quot;What Students Want&quot;? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What HE Sites Try to Do <ul><li>Marketing (prospectus etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Course information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timetables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results and grades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrolments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Term dates </li></ul><ul><li>Event information </li></ul>
  6. 6. What Students Want <ul><li>Prospectus </li></ul><ul><li>Course information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timetables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Results and grades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enrolments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Term dates </li></ul><ul><li>Event information </li></ul>
  7. 7. Why Aren't They Happy? <ul><li>&quot;I just want it to work.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;It's always out of date.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I still haven't found what I'm looking for.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Actually: &quot;I want it structured to find what I want without searching through links and pages.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Why Aren't They Happy? <ul><li>&quot;It has to look nice for students thinking of coming here.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I want links to the Student Union social stuff.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I don't trust it.&quot; </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(too much marketing material to draw students in?) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How to Improve? <ul><li>Structure and Organisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Separate student material </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Types of content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mostly right, but some missing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. How to Improve? <ul><li>Simplicity and elegance vs. &quot;Wow!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Work with Student Unions to gain credibility </li></ul>
  11. 11. Remember the Audience <ul><li>Paying customers now? </li></ul><ul><li>Legal requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching Quality Assessment </li></ul>
  12. 12. Summary... <ul><li>Much done right </li></ul><ul><li>Still strive to improve </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to the audience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask &quot;what students want&quot;! </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Top Ten Tips for Tip-top Sites <ul><li>1) Provide the basics first </li></ul><ul><li>2) Update the information </li></ul><ul><li>3) Segregate the information </li></ul><ul><li>4) Maintain consistency </li></ul><ul><li>5) Use Student Unions to complement your content </li></ul><ul><li>6) Get institutional buy-in to providing services </li></ul><ul><li>7, 8, 9, 10) Ask them what they want! </li></ul>

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