New face to University homepage and e-portal unveiled

Michael Gibb

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CityU is launching a new look homepage and an all new e-portal on 14 February. The new face to the website represents the full migration of

CityU’s e-learning platform from WebCT to Blackboard. At the same time the homepage itself has been re-designed for easier navigation and customized to suit the needs of individual users.


“We are releasing a completely new University e-portal together with the new homepage,” said Dr Jerry Yu, Chief Information Officer at CityU. “The old e-portal, Campus Pipeline, has been integrated with WebCT, and the new e-portal, which is provided by Blackboard, marks the final transition from WebCT to Blackboard.”


Dr Yu said that the new e-learning portal had been in use for several months, but the new look CityU website would provide a perfect link up between students and the e-learning platform.



This new e-portal encompasses the Blackboard learning management system as well as the Blackboard content component. “Once inside, members of t

he University enter an e-learning environment whereby institutional data held in AIMS (such as class and course lists) and personal content held on Blackboard (such as course materials and coursework assignments) are fully integrated,” Dr Yu said.


The University homepage will look different to the thousands of users, from both inside and outside the University, who view the site every day. “The homepage is the main web access gateway for external communications, so we have re-designed information items on the homepage from the perspective of an external visitor and re-arranged them for easy navigation,” he said.  


To cater to the needs of different types of users, four new links—“Current Students”, “Staff”, “Alumni” and “Prospective Students”—have been added. Each link is connected to a second-level webpage, customized to the specific role of the user.


“We’ve set up new channels for news, events and university/departmental announcements on each page targeting the intended user group. Thus information applicable to the user group is indexed and brought forward to the front pages instead of being buried deep inside individual departmental websites," Dr Yu added.


Continuing with the user-centric approach, when a staff member logs into the new e-Portal, he/she will be placed within the Staff Portal. Students will of course be placed inside the Student Portal. The important e-Learning tab with courses and teaching and learning information always appears at the top of the page.


“With this role-based model, we can organize and make available a variety of services pertinent to different users so they can easily access personalized and up-to-date information,” Dr Yu said.


The Alumni Portal and Prospective Students Portal are still under development and will be available soon.


“While we have tried to make the navigation as easy as possible, it may take some extra time for you to find your way around the new sites,” Dr Yu said.


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