Professional development exercise

This is from my Programs and Functions in College Student Services class. I made up a fictitious position and wrote up some thoughts as to why I would be perfect for the job. UPDATE: It’s interesting to see how my thinking has developed in my career path. This was an extremely tech-heavy position. I am now looking forward to working in a Dean of Students unit preferrably in a student conduct/judicial/ombuds position.

Step 1: Imagine what your ideal work life would be like in the first two years after graduate school.

Job description

Director for Web Resources and Services.
Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Director will provide
strategic leadership for all internal and external Student Affairs oriented
web initiatives.

Education

Master’s degree in College Student Services Administration.

Responsibilities

Develop a collaborative planning process that leads to a Student Affairs
Web strategy which will include an assessment component.

Implement web initiatives that support the division’s enrollment, administrative
and marketing objectives, and promote the university’s strengths, mission
and messages;

Participate in creating strategic direction for interactive marketing and
communication objectives.
Oversee a university web portal and the development of a Student Affairs Intranet.
Translate client needs into account and project-specific action plans.
Guide a collaborative priority setting process for web development.
Allocate resources and manage web personnel, equipment and the budget of an
office for web resources and services.
Provide direction to project management and design personnel.
Participate in the university’s web planning and advisory group.

Type of institution

4 Year, State University

Skills required for the job

Minimum three years web consulting or web management experience and higher
education experience. Demonstrated experience in strategic project planning
and implementation in a creative team environment; demonstrated experience
in consulting with design and technical professionals to plan web site development;
understand and effectively communicate with clients about business operations
and information technologies and how the Internet can influence these functions;
excellent written and verbal communication skills; demonstrated success working
collaboratively with clients and content providers to create and maintain web
sites; ability to work independently as well as collaboratively; and ability
to process information quickly and frame issues and solutions. Knowledge of
web site usability and accessibility testing.


Step 2: Assess your skills and knowledge base (in comparison to the
job description).

  • Web design, management, and standards – I am an experienced web
    designer and have been in charge of several web site projects. As the webmaster
    for the UIC Wellness Center , I was responsible for the design, usability,
    and upkeep of over 150 web pages. I am proficient with several web and graphic
    design software packages, including: Dreamweaver MX 2004, PhotoShop 7.0,
    TopStyle 3, and Adobe Illustrator CS. My current position as the OSU student
    affairs web specialist allows me to interact with multiple departments and
    stakeholders. I am currently in the process of creating a web standards document
    which will provide departmental web editors with web creation, design, and
    maintenance protocols.
  • Planning in a team environment – At the University of Northern Iowa
    and at the University of Illinois at Chicago , I was able to be a part of
    several committees and planning bodies. At UIC, I participated in orientation
    planning committees, student-funding committees which included the creation
    of a new student fee structure, and have been a part of a university-wide
    web site “look and feel” initiative. I co-coordinated several
    events and programs in which several university departments participated.
    Currently I am working with OSU Admissions and the Publications Office to
    implement a new web site for Prospective International St udents.
  • Collaboration – I believe that throughout my career I have collaborated
    with as many people and departments as I possibly could. Collaborative efforts
    strengthen the efforts of an ind ividual and can lead to cost savings.
  • Accessibility and usability – I believe that all web sites should
    be user-friendly ( usa ble) and accessible. Every web site that I have created
    has been tested for compliance with section 508 guidelines and has been looked
    at by core users before public release. It is thrilling to navigate the web
    with a screen reader. Used for users who are visually impaired, screen readers
    can provide useful insight regarding web site design and usa bility.
  • Assessment – All student affairs programs need to have an assessment
    component. Web sites are not exempt from this statement. Web statistics can
    yield information which is extremely valuable to enrollment management professionals,
    administrators, and public affairs departments. I have instituted assessment
    programs, in some degree, for every university web site that I have been
    responsible for. Assessment data of this sort has provided me with user demographics,
    browser resolutions, unique visitors, and “popular pages” data.


Important goals you will need to pursue to gain the preparation the
job requires.

  • Knowledge of university web portals – OSU currently does not have
    a web portal. I am presently conducting research into the efficacy of various
    portal applications. A web portal project can last for years and I hope that
    I can play a role in the actual development and implementation of a portal
    at OSU. In researching web portals, I have tried to keep in mind some of
    the student development theories which might be relevant in a web portal
    discussion. Sanford ’s Challenge & Support Theory, Astin’s
    Involvement Theory, and the Theory of Marginality & Mattering by Schlossberg
    can all be taken from the “brick and mortar” student affairs
    office to the World Wide Web. For more information, please read, “Theory
    to practice: Real to virtual, the new environment” by E. Stoller.
  • Develop a collaborative planning process that leads to a Student Affairs
    Web strategy which will include an assessment component I
    plan on working with key technology stakeholders in Enrollment Management,
    University Housing and Dining Services, Central Web Services, Publication
    Services, and University Marketing to create an OSU web standards document
    and plan which will hopefully include an assessment component. It will be
    challenging to get everyone on the same “page”, but it will lead
    to a better web site for OSU students.
  • Implement web initiatives that support the university’s enrollment – Before
    I started my assistantship I had no idea about the functions of enrollment
    management departments. I really want to immerse myself in this area. The
    Admissions web site is in need of several changes. It currently is not very
    user-friendly and it is barely accessible. A new web services manager for
    Enrollment Management will provide me with a mentor and a “techie” peer.
  • Provide direction to project management and design personnel – The
    decentralized nature of the OSU web makes it difficult for users to have
    a consistent experience. In my role as the student affairs web specialist
    (yes, that is my title!) I hope to bring a standardized approach to the entire
    web development process and build up a sense of community within key personnel.
    A semi-work related project that I am interested in pursuing is a re-design
    of the OSU Public Safety web site. It does not look like an OSU web site
    and it is not user-friendly. I hope that protocols and standards will help
    alleviate web sites which are not up to par.
  • Participate in the university’s web planning and advisory group – I
    was recently asked to join two separate committees. The first committee’s
    goal is to create accessibility guidelines for technology at OSU. The second
    committee is an ad hoc technology think tank with the goal of being innovative
    with OSU web services. I honestly have no idea if these groups will help
    my development but they sound exciting!

Step 3: Personal philosophy statement about yourself, your beliefs
about students and your values as a student affairs professional.

My personal philosophy is based around the concept that I can make the world
a better place by making web sites better. Web sites are integral to the success
of a university. Student affairs departments are integral to the success of
students. It would seem then that student affairs departments would need to
have good web sites in order to support both the university or college in which
they reside, and the student whom the serve.

I believe that a web site can have a tremendous impact on the life of a student.
A highly usable and accessible web site can make a students learning experiences
more efficient and can lead to a positive view of the university. The first
experience that most students have with a university is online. Their first
impression is crucial in their decision about which school they will attend.

It is a fallacy that today’s students are all technologically competent.
Students maybe quite adept at entertaining themselves with Playstations and
instant messaging, but how does this relate to their ability to navigate a
university’s web site?

A university web site can provide students with a multitude of resources
and services. The Director of Web Resources and Services positions compliments
my personal philosophy about the web and its ever-changing role in the lives
of students. I have consistently incorporated elements of assessment and student
development theory in my web work. I also keep accessibility and usability
at the core of any web project. It is my hope that all students will use our
web site, that we will assess that use, and that we will provide a continually
evolving “virtual” environment.

OSU EM Web Standards

OSU Enrollment Management Web Standards Responsibilities of Web Publishers

Content validity

As a web publisher at Oregon State University , 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
OSU expects sites to be accessible to users with visual, hearing, mobility,
and cognitive disabilities. The guiding principle is that all OSU sites must
meet or exceed Section 508 (Priority 1) standards for accessibility.

http://oregonstate.edu/publications/webidentity/accessibility.html

Interface Consistency

Web Pages should “look and feel” like the OSU web page template.
http://oregonstate.edu/template/

Page Components

OSU Banner
Use the same OSU banner for all pages.

Search (or Virtual Advisor)

OSU Includes
OSU primary “includes” location: www/httpd-docs/u_central

For example:
<!--#include virtual="/u_central/banners/banner_or5a.php"--> =
orange banner

Cascading Style Sheet (CSS)
The default OSU style sheet will be used on every page.
Link to the central OSU style sheet
<link rel="stylesheet" href="http://oregonstate.edu/cws_templates/css/default.css" type="text/css"/>

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.

Urchin (site statistics)
All new pages should contain the Urchin webstats script.
(See Eric for more information)

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
No capital letters

Use lowercase for all file names.
Try to limit the use of #’s and _’s.

Use clear naming conventions: printapplications.html instead of papps.html

Technical Notes

Accessibility

Turn on “accessibility” in Dream weaver MX 2004.
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.

Meta Tags
Meta tagshelp 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, etc. http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp
http://validator.w3.org/
http://www.cynthiasays.com/

Archival

Archive old pages on the EM Network Drive or on your department/personal hard
drive. Each department will have space allocated for archival of old pages.

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

Resources

OSU training sessions
http://oregonstate.edu/tac/workshops/index.html

OSU Publications
http://oregonstate.edu/publications/webidentity/overview.html

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.

Theory to practice

Theory to practice: Real to virtual, the new environment.

Abstract

The introduction of the World Wide Web introduced a new environment to college
and university campuses. The Student Affairs Web Specialist (SAWS) at Oregon
State University (OSU) is a new graduate assistantship position which strives
to ensure that students have a quality experience with online services at OSU.
One of the challenges facing the SAWS is the incorporation of student development
theory into practice. The main theories presented are from Maslow, Sanford,
Schlossberg, Chickering, and Astin. The attempt is made to showcase examples
of web site initiatives which use student development theory directly or indirectly.

Role of student development

The OSU Student Affairs Web Specialist (SAWS) graduate assistantship is a new graduate
student position. Part of OSU Enrollment Management, it was created to increase
the overall quality of the OSU Student Affairs web presence. Additionally,
the SAWS position is in charge of implementing increased web functionality,
usability, and accessibility. There is little interpersonal contact with students
but recent web statistics show that virtual contact is taking place on a daily
basis. However, the SAWS position sees students as virtual visitors who provide
statistical percentages and technical informatics instead of one-on-one personal
interactions. The perceived benefit of increased web services is that students
will have improved access to information. Web services assessment is incredibly
challenging as the results of information access are difficult to track. How
do you create a model for growth and learning based on web services statistics?

According to Evans, “Student development theory provides the basis for the practice
of student development” (Evans et al, 1998, p. 5). The difficulty therein
then, is the relationship of student development theories with new technologies.
How can theories which predate the web be used to access virtual interaction? It
would seem that the main developmental component to the SAWS position is information
access. The primary objective of the SAWS position is seemingly to increase
student online satisfaction. However, this objective does not seem to be based
on any assessment data.

Student development theory translated into practice

As stated earlier, the position of the SAWS does not easily adopt student
development theory. Even the Person-Environment theories exist in the real,
brick and mortar student affairs world. The difficulty then resides in the
flexibility of the selected theories in relation to how they make the leap
from real to virtual. Thematically, the theories are in order from basic needs
to the more concrete concept of involvement.

MASLOW

The basic needs which Maslow speaks of in his theory of human motivation can be loosely
translated from the real to the virtual (1954). The first level in Maslow’s
hierarchy are the physiological needs. These needs typically focus on the needs
of the body. The virtual body has needs which cannot be overlooked. A fast
internet connection or the proper hardware can be as impactful to the web user
as a water would be to a marathon runner.

Safety needs are the next set of needs and are typically characterized by the need
to feel safe and to be stable. A web site and its pages can be orderly or chaotic.
A user may drift away from a web site due to a lack of consistent navigation,
poor accessibility, or because of an anxious experience. An additional issue
arises with the need for universal design. Wording, style, and navigation can
affect the user experiences of your audience. Designing for nontraditional
students can be quite challenging and it may be necessary to test a web site
with a wide range of users.

The next level focuses on the need for belonging and love. Love may be a difficult concept
to relate to the web and the SAWS position but the need for belonging can be
thought of in terms of the intended relationship between a user and a web site.
For example, perspective international students are seeking a new learning
community when they search for a college or university. A web site can make
them feel welcome. The writing style, cultural appropriateness, and truly universal
design can all contribute to a heightened sense of belonging.

After the need for belonging has been addressed, Maslow focuses on the esteem needs
(1954). Maslow states that individuals have a need for “mastery and competence” (1954,
p. 45). Web sites are complicated. It can take months to create and design
a fully functional web site. It only takes a minute for a user to feel incompetent
when they are using a web site.

The final need according to Maslow is the need for self-actualization (1954). It is improbable
that this need will be nourished by a web site. It is more agreeable to say
that the earlier needs will all be assisted through quality web sites and services
which in turn could enable a conscious or unconscious move towards self-actualization.

By being intentional and aware of users’ needs the SAWS can create web sites which
facilitate information exchange and contribute to a stimulating learning environment.

SANFORD

It could be said that the web is an environment which affects student success. Sanford ’s
writings regarding challenge and support, supports the concept that one’s
environment can be both challenging and supportive (as cited in Evans et al,
1998, p. 5). Web sites can challenge users with inconsistent navigation, inaccessible
pages, and outdated content. The ideal web site would support users in all
facets of their experience. It is unclear if challenge can be a positive element
to a web site. Usability is defined as “the effectiveness, efficiency,
and satisfaction with which users can achieve tasks in a particular environment
of a product. High usability means a system is: easy to learn and remember;
efficient, visually pleasing and fun to use; and quick to recover from errors” (Dictionary.com).
It would seem that challenge would nullify support thus making Sanford ’s
theory difficult to translate to the web. An example which could support Sanford
might be the interaction of a blind student with a web site. The initial challenge
is the fact that the information is on the web. The student has to be able
to get online, use a screen reader, and accomplish the task of information
retrieval. Support could be in the form of accessible, screen reader “readable” text
or the inclusion of an alternative means to access the information.

SCHLOSSBERG

It can be assumed that a lack of online services can lead to marginalization. Schlossberg
states that, student persistence can be enhanced through movement from a sense
of marginality to mattering (1989). Perhaps the web can be used to make students
feel that they matter in the same way that a good experience with a real person
can. Schlossberg ponders whether or not a community can be formed on campus “that
allows all students to find a place of involvement and importance” (1989,
p. 6). Perhaps a community can be created on the web which would allow for
everyone to be involved? The SAWS is currently working on the beginnings of
a university web portal. By default, all students would use this portal. This
could provide numerous virtual rituals which would “provide a sense of
mattering” (Schlossberg, 1989, p. 6).

ASTIN

According to Astin, “student involvement refers to the amount of physical and psychological
energy that the student devotes to the academic experience” (1984, p.
297). Fortunately for the SAWS, students can be involved with the web at any
time and on any day if they possess the necessary skills and equipment. One
of the primary challenges for the SAWS is getting student affairs personnel
to realize the idea that the web is always “on.” Students can invest
massive amounts of time in a web site. Involvement on the web is less controlled
and does not follow the same patterns of traditional office engagement. Student
affairs personnel have a tradition of tracking office visits and tailoring
services based on visits and feedback. Astin writes gives the example of a
university building a new library and then failing to assess its usage (1984).
This occurs frequently with web sites. The SAWS has implemented a web statistics
program which should lead to web site changes based on user traffic. Online
surveys can also be utilized to assess student engagement.

Theory to practice in action

The previous sections give some relevance to the application of student development theory
in relation to the SAWS. To further illustrate this application, I will give
two examples of theory and its practical use.

WEB PORTALS

The SAWS has been given the task of researching the implementation of a university web
portal. Web portals are becoming increasingly popular as a primary means of
providing online support to students. In essence, a web portal creates a new
campus environment. According to Evans et al, “Chickering argued that
educational environments exert powerful influences on student development” (1998,
p. 40). A web portal can minimize the enormity of a campus environment and
provide opportunities for all students to access consistent services. Esteem
needs can be strengthened through the intentional creation of a user friendly
and accessible portal. The portal would provide students an online space where
they could access student records, e-mail, registration tools, Blackboard,
library records, and a multitude of customizable user oriented functions. The
portal would also provide a common place for all students to share a daily
announcement or bulletin. Campus wide rituals could be taking place in a new
virtual space. The goal would be that the new web portal would be a component
in a university wide retention program. Unfortunately, student development
theory is currently not in the conversations which have taken place regarding
the web portal. Perhaps it is there in the actions rather than the words which
have been said?

PERSPECTIVE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS WEB SITE

The SAWS was put in charge of the development of a new web site for perspective international
students. To better understand the perspectives of a perspective international
student, university marketing conducted a focus group, with first year international
students, which generated several themes. The main themes were: sense of community,
design consistency, images of campus, resident/non-resident student interaction,
and clarity of content. As I mentioned before, Maslow believed that all people
have the need to be safe or have a lack of chaos and to belong (1954). The
focus group students were expressing their needs and it is unknown if they
are aware of Maslow’s work. The need to belong was clearly expressed
and the safety needs could be related to the images of campus or the request
for design consistency. Images of campus that are visually appealing that showcase
student interactions could create a heightened sense that the university community
is welcoming and safe. A web site design that offers consistent and clear navigation
would lessen anxiety for the student user. Utilizing Sanford ’s challenge
and support theory, the challenge for the perspective international student
is the distance traveled, the cost of attendance, and the differences in culture.
The SAWS has the responsibility of ensuring a supportive web site which offers
the first experience with the university.

Challenges and opportunities with theory to practice

As stated previously, “computer affairs” make the transformation of theory
into practice a challenging task. It is very challenging to think about using
student development theories in the day-to-day operations of a workplace. It
has been my experience thus far that most of the theoretical texts provide
little if any practical usage examples. When the web was created, a new campus
environment was created. I do not think that there has been sufficient work
in web theory application or development because of the newness of the environment.
It will take highly technical knowledge combined with student affairs experience
to create new web centered student development theories. The current theoretical
texts are narrowly focused on the typical undergraduate experience. How can
theory to practice on the web truly be achieved?

References

Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher
education.

Journal of College Student Personnel , 25(4), 297-308.

Dictionary.com, (n.d.). retrieved Nov. 18, 2004, from http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=usability.

Evans, N., Forney, D., & Guide-DiBrito, F. (1998). Student development
in college:
theory, research, and practice . 1st ed. San Francisco
: Jossey-Bass.

Maslow, A. H. (1954) A theory of human motivation. In Motivation and personality
(pp. 35-58). New York . Harper and Row.

Schlossberg, N. K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: key issues in building
community. New Directions for Student Services , 48, 5-15.

Appendix

Student Affairs Web Specialist Overview:

The Student Affairs Web Specialist will assist OSU Student Affairs departments
in developing a web presence and services that facilitate access for all students,
including students with disabilities. The purpose of the position will
be to increase student awareness of Student affairs programs and increase students’
self-service opportunities via the web. While this position will serve
all Student Affairs departments, it will be housed in the Student Orientation
and Retention (SOAR) office, providing a professional home and affiliation
group.

Responsibilities:

1. Meet with Student Affairs departments todetermine web needs,
in order of priority as determined by the Student Affairs Technology Committee.

2. Build appropriate web presence and services for departments, in accordance
with University design standards.

3. Advise Student Affairs departments on web design and service delivery.

4. Maintain close contact with University Publications to ensure alignment
with OSU guidelines for Web design.

Evaluation of Duties and Supervision:

The Student Affairs Web Specialist will be supervised by Bob Bontrager, Assistant
Provost for Enrollment Management and Jim Day, Enrollment Management Information
Technology Manager. In addition, a significant direction will be provided
by the Student Affairs Technology Committee.

Terms of Appointment:

This position is a 12-month, .49 FTE appointment. Admission to the College
Student Services Administration (CSSA) graduate program at Oregon State University
is required. Renewal of the assistantship for a second year is contingent
upon satisfactory performance and favorable evaluation

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.