The faux presentation

What would be the most appropriate professional organization conference
at which to present?

NASPA – National Conference

Why?

Originally, I was going to send this proposal to Educause for their Spring
Conference. I came to the conclusion that I would be “preaching to the
choir”. The folks at Educause already are on board with many of the concepts
which I will discuss below. I believe my student affairs technology ideas need
to be presented at NASPA so that senior student affairs practitioners can adopt
them. Technology needs to be discussed at every level and across a wider range
of audiences.

When is the next conference?

March 19-23, 2005

What is the deadline to submit program proposals?

September 10, 2004

What is the theme of the conference?

Imagine and Explore the Future

How does the presentation relate to the theme?
My presentation embraces a new paradigm, the idea that the virtual web is
just as important as the brick and mortar office and that student affairs
websites need to adopt standards.

What method can programs be submitted?
Programs can be posted electronically via a web form.

Program title:
The Student Affairs Website: It’s time for a framework.

Name of presenter, including name of institution:
Eric Stoller, Oregon State University

Program abstract:
This session will emphasize the importance
of and reasons for utilizing web standards. Websites and the functionality
they provide have become as important as brick and mortar services. The need
for web standards is important in this age of nontraditional students, recruitment
initiatives, and budget uncertainty. The need for dedicated web programmers,
designers, and usability specialists will also be addressed.

Program Overview
Many of us wear many hats. One hat or role that some student affairs
professionals have is the function of the student affairs webmaster. Once
a website plan has been established, it becomes necessary to follow a process,
which enables user-friendly access for all stakeholders. This presentation
will present a framework for student affairs professionals who are looking
for a technical document written in a non-technical manner.

Responsibilities of Web Publishers
As a web publisher, you are responsible
for the content of your pages. You must ensure that your content is up to date
and is grammatically correct. Macromedia Dreamweaver has a built in spell checker
located in the “Text” menu
(Shift + F7).

Content Maintenance
Pages must be accurate and up-to-date. Establish an updating system and identify
specific individuals to help maintain content validity.

Accessibility
Websites should be accessible to users with visual, hearing, mobility, and
cognitive disabilities. The guiding principle is that all sites must meet
or exceed Section 508 (Priority 1) standards for accessibility.

Interface Consistency
Web Pages should maintain a consistent “look and feel”.

Page Components
Web pages should include the following:
university branding, search capability, and cascading style sheets for universal
design.

Contextual Titles
Titles are used by search engines to identify pages when users
search. Additionally, if two or more pages have the same title, they cannot
be differentiated by users or the "Favorites" capability of a browser.
Page titles also aid users who are using screen readers.

Site statistics
Website statistics can be monitored using a variety of options. These numbers
should play a vital role in how your site functions. Most web statistic options
include the ability to monitor referrals and the most “popular” pages
on a site. It is important for a website to be updated and upgraded in order
to meet the needs of your audience. Once those needs are determined through
proper web statistics, content can be created or updated to match.

Site Directory Structure :

Unlinked/Landing pages
Place all non-public\landing\temporary test pages in the root directory.
The only html files in the root should be current pages or pages which fall
into the aforementioned category.


Directory rules

Do not use capital letters. Use lowercase for all file names. Try to limit
the use of #’s and _’s. Use clear naming conventions: applications.html
instead of apps.html


Technical Notes:


Accessibility
A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be
provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc",
or in element content). http://tap.oregonstate.edu/webForm/a.htm

ALT tags is short for alternative tags.  ALT tags appear when you place
your mouse over an image.  They also appear when an image does not load
or is not allowed to load.  This provides a hint to a user reading from
a text only browser or one on a slow connection. Screen readers also use
the ALT tags when reading to the visually impaired.  ALT tags are very
easy to add to your pages.

Frames
Do not use frames. Frames are not universally accessible. The content of frames
may not be searchable by search engines.

Descriptive links
Instead of denoting a link with the words "Click here" or similar
phrase, be descriptive when providing links; for example: "more information
about online applications." Consider allowing such links to stand on their
own line or provide an ordered or unordered list of links in HTML.

Page dimensions
Pages should be no larger than 740 pixels wide x 440 pixels high to fit on
an 800 x 600 screen without scrolling. This ensures that someone on a 15 inch
monitor can use your website as well as someone with a monitor that is 22 inches
in size.

Meta Tags
Meta tags help search engines find and index your web pages.
Meta tags provide:

1. A brief description of the content

2. The edit date and name of the author or authoring department 3. Keyword
search terms for indexing.

Testing:

Meta tags
For beta/test pages please include the following code in the <head> of
the document:
< META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX,
NOFOLLOW">

A robot will not index this document, nor analyze it for links.

Validate code in Bobby, W3C, or Cynthia

http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp
http://validator.w3.org/
http://www.cynthiasays.com/

Archival
Do not leave old web pages on your web server. Old
pages are still “live” and
can be found via search engines and old links/bookmarks.

Resources:

Web sites

http://www.w3c.org
http://www.dontmakemethink.com/

Books
Krug, Steve. Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability.
Indianapolis : New Riders, 2000.
Veen, J. (2001). The art & science of web design. Indianapolis
, IN : New Riders.

Questions/Answers

Outline of the program presentation

Introduction
Responsibilities of Web Publishers

Content validity
Content Maintenance

Accessibility
Interface Consistency

Page Components

University branding

Search

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)
Contextual Titles
Site statistics

Site Directory Structure

Unlinked/Landing pages
Directory rules
Technical Notes

Accessibility

Frames
Descriptive links
Page dimensions
Meta Tags
Testing

Archival

Conclusion


Resources

Questions/Answers

  • Intended learning outcomes
    It is my hope that attendees of my presentation will gain a new
    understanding of how a simple plan can be used to create a successful website.
    Through the use of technical examples that are framed in an easily understood
    manner, the audience will be shown directives which compliment their existing
    brick and mortar structures.
  • Relationship of program to conference theme
    The future involves change which historically has been a slow process
    in academia and student affairs. Today’s students move at the speed
    of light. I hope to generate momentum for the audience’s imagination
    regarding their websites. Exploration is an exciting yet challenging
    endeavor and I hope this presentation sparks the audience to effect
    change at their institutions.
  • How audience members will be involved in the presentation

I will ask for audience participation throughout the program.
At the end of the session I will allocate time for questions and answers. The
structure will be flexible so that a free flow dialogue can be established.
The framework that I will provide is not written in stone but instead is presented
as a springboard for new ideas.