Via the campus pipeline: customized information
Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice-President (Education) Dr Jerry Yu explained the merits of the new gateway: “Web pages are usually organized and presented from the viewpoint of the information provider. Users are left to search for what they want. The beauty of our campus pipeline is that it's organized with our users in mind, so that they'll be able to find everything with just a few clicks.”
And that’s not all: the portal also provides a powerful web-based e-mail interface, WebMail, which Dr Yu strongly recommends as a better communication channel than Eudora. “It allows you to check your e-mail when you’re off campus or don’t have access to email clients like Eudora, Netscape Messenger, or Microsoft Outlook. And you avoid the junk mail nuisance.”
The new portal has some distinctive features: “My Pipeline”, which customizes information into three groups of users: staff, students and alumni. Each group will receive targeted messages: for example, students won't receive messages targeted to staff. “My Courses” provides a standard set of course management tools for easy communication between teachers and students, as well as a connection to WebCT and other academic resources in the Library and Computer Services. “School Services” connects to many of the University's software platforms such as the AIMS and IRIS, and other administrative services such as facilities booking. “Campus Life”, currently under construction, will provide details of sports and cultural events and will be the focus of phase two of the portal’s development.
“The campus pipeline provides a framework for us to reorganize our web pages from the users' point of view. It will be one of the most exciting IT development projects at the University,” Dr Yu said.