It's the little things that make a portal home. Part II

A while back I wrote about how popular our new polling channel has become within the portal. For those who worry about creating and aggregating content for a university/college portal, it is a challenge to create and foster the changes that must occur organizationally on the supply-side of the content chain to make the portal and other web services that exist at an institution to co-exist and compliment each other. Of course, one way this can happen effectively is through the use of a content management system. We are in the process of implementing a CMS from Hannon Hill, so in the near future there should be a few posts about that experience. Another way to address the challenge of creating and aggregating content is to leverage exisiting services and content. LaSalle University has created a prospective student portal built on SunGardHE's Luminis product. By doing so, they are allowing content generated in the normal operations of the organization to be presented to prospects and thereby giving prospects a better sense of the institution. As stated in a recent Campus Technology article:

For La Salle, there has been an unexpected payoff from integrating the recruiting portal with portal features for other groups like students, faculty, and alumni. As activity on the campus portal has grown, it has nourished the recruiting portal. The school’s on-campus announcement forums, for example, have provided content about lectures, academic events, sports, and volunteer activities that all can be fed to prospective students who share those particular interests. “At first we had to sit down and generate the content for the prospective student portal,‿ says James Sell, director of Portal Communications at La Salle. “Now it’s being generated for us.‿

Personally, I like two-fers.

Content Management System, portal, university, college

Is it a blog or a e-portfolio?

Here's an interesting mashup. Our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's College of Arts and Sciences are requiring entering students to particpate in a blog that is only available to the student, an advisor, and authorized personel. The general idea is for the student to respond to a series of survey's over the course of their academic career in order to faciliate the advisor and advisee relationship. We'll have to keep an eye on this. My initial reaction is that it is too limited in scope and they should have moved to a portfolio, but I'll give them credit for making the move.

Migratory Faculty, Part II

Several months ago I posted about Migratory Faculty, a the term I have given to the collection of adjunct faculty who serve several institutions in a geographical area (or virtual) using course materials they maintain at non-edu sites, personal blogs for instance, rather than using an institutional LMS. This observation is just part of what could argueable be called Higher Ed. 2.0. Here's another example of a Higher Ed. 2.0 professor "mashing" up his resource to do some out-of-the -box course design. Hmmm, I wonder how many committees he went through for aproval?

education, higher, university

Security - Can we ever do enough?

The Veterans Administration's stolen laptop along with Sacred Heart's recent difficulties are reasons to keep any IT professional lying awake at night wondering where their data are. In the case of the VA, a *dedicated* staff member apparently was doing a little homework at home with real data in violation of VA policy, and the laptop was stolen. What institution doesn't have employees that don't do homework? The VA is going to require the staff to undergo cybersecurity training by the end of June, but organizatons will always be at risk fro low-tech mistakes. On the other end of the spectrum are the institutional systems such as those at Sacred Heart that are maintain by over-extended or inexperienced staff. Not that I have specific information as to the nature of the breech at SHU or that staff issues were the cause, but it is certainly a very plausible explanation. Regardless, the charge to maintain and secure institutional data is more challenging than ever. The hackers only have to be right once, while we must be vigilant 24x7x365 on all systems and with all staff.