A Glance at the Mass e-Communication Service at CityU

by Maria Chin

Mass communication in the University is mostly done electronically via the Electronic Broadcast Service (EBS), news posted on the Staff homepage and the Student homepage, news posted in the University e-Portal, and Staff Forum in the University e-Portal. Let us take a look at them in turn:

  1. The EBS makes use of the departmental mailing lists that are updated daily from staff and student enrollment data in AIMS. Each department, office and unit owns an EBS account for sending e-mail messages to staff and/or students of all or selected department(s).
  2. News posted on the Staff homepage and the Student homepage was introduced this February. Departments maintain news items in their departmental websites, which are harvested daily and posted to the designated homepages. As the Staff and Student homepages are also the login pages to the University e-Portal, they are ideal places for news announcement.
  3. In the University e-Portal, each user is known by his/her role as in AIMS, thus providing the identity requirement for role-based communications. News and information in the e-Portal is organized into tabs - Staff, Student, and Alumni, and a user will be able to access the tab(s) corresponding to his/her role(s) after logging in. The content in each tab is maintained by the departments concerned for currency and accuracy.
  4. The Staff Forum in the e-Portal has two basic communication tools - announcement and discussion board. Announcement made via a forum is displayed up front on the Staff page, whereas discussion board facilitates interactions within the forum by means of topics and discussion threads. The choice of tools depends on the communication needs of the organizer.

The EBS was developed to complement personal e-mail as it remains popular amongst staff and students since its inception some ten years ago. News posted on the homepages and the e-Portal is gaining popularity from administrative offices and support units. The Staff Forum was introduced a few months ago, and consideration for creating a forum is on a case by case basis upon understanding its purpose and the appropriate tool recommended.

With the anticipated growth in the University population, the demand for effective e-communication will rise. In order to handle issues on message integrity and content moderation, the Terms of Service for Mass e-Communication Services in the CityU (Beta Version) is devised and put up under the 'Policies and Regulations' submenu of the 'About the CSC' menu on the CSC home page (http://www.cityu.edu.hk/csc/) for your reference. We will continue to improve our e-communication service to meet your needs.