By Caitlin Gibbons
The third and final phase of the Web Content Management System initiative is under way and scheduled to be completed August 15.
The project, first announced in October 2010, is an effort to make managing websites easier for both technical and non-technical staff. Marketing and Communications is spearheading the WCMS initiative in close collaboration with the Educational Technology Center (ETC).
More than 160 new or migrated sites are now live and 48 sites remain to transition. Several new features also will launch during Phase III.
Site Manager, the new content management software, “has allowed for a more strategic focus on the Web rather than a reactive process,” says Chris Mancuso, director of web communications. “And users are spending less time maintaining their sites.”
The ETC has completed the migration of the School of Business. The final SCOB site launched April 13, well ahead of its May 29 deadline. The School of Professional Studies was the first of the three colleges to be fully migrated in January. The ETC is currently making progress on the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences websites.
“The ETC has done a great job working closely with the deans and academic departments,” Mancuso says.
Already introduced: the ability to easily add social media links, YouTube video and Flash elements. Coming in Phase III are department-specific search, password-protected directories and more.
Also on the list is an update to the WCMS project website to include a training calendar, general system notices, and service and feature requests.
Another focus of both Phase II and Phase III, apart from migrating sites, is on training for users. More than 170 community members have received Site Manager training so far.
Monthly user group meetings include new feature demonstrations and open question/answer and lab time.
“There is a lot of really good feedback on the usability of the system from the training sessions,” says Evan Bowles, technology training and education specialist.
He and his work study student, Josephine Archuleta, hold training for student employees, faculty and staff twice a week.
“A lot of people come in really reluctant, but by the time they get out they have the impression it’s as easy as Microsoft Word,” Bowles says.
For more details about the WCMS project go here.
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