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Online developments

Our online resources are undergoing a number of important changes, as detailed below.

STAFF

The present intranet,  www.wmin.ac.uk will be transformed into My Intranet;  a new, private, internal website for staff and a gateway to The Hub, the University’s document management system.

My Intranet will help to find information on people, places and policies, plus announcements, news and events so that we are connected and aware of what’s happening across the University. The benefits include:

  • a logical site navigation
  • improved search facility
  • easy access to the Hub
  • the most up-to-date documents
  • a central place to stay connected
  • a way to provide feedback
  • a vibrant look and feel

Blackboard: Following the Virtual Learning Environment Review, our Blackboard service has been upgraded and is now hosted externally. A new interface is now in place and will be refined over the coming months.

The service can be accessed at http://learning.westminster.ac.uk or via the intranet homepage, www.wmin.ac.uk.

A Blackboard help site can be found at https://sites.google.com/a/staff.westminster.ac.uk/new-blackboard/.

Enrolments to course and module Blackboard sites reflect the 2011/12 student record system data. Any content added to the 2010/11 Blackboard system after the end of May 2011 will not be in the new Blackboard system. Staff will be able to access the 2010/11 system until December 2012; current students will be able to access it until December 2011. The 2009/10 Blackboard archive will remain accessible to staff until December 2011 and can be found at http://bb-archive.wmin.ac.uk

Blackboard Collaborate (previously WIMBA): This is now a full part of the Blackboard suite that can be used by staff. This is a virtual classroom environment that allows academic staff to deliver ‘live events’ through a simple web interface that can be watched and listened to by individuals or groups via an internet connection at multiple physical locations. The events can be recorded and archived.

Google Apps: This continues to be available for staff and offers a useful space for multimedia content (video/audio) that ought not to be stored in Blackboard. Past exam papers are also stored here now.

Google Apps can be accessed via the intranet homepage or directly at https://docs.google.com/a/staff.westminster.ac.uk

Video/Audio: A project is underway to address five areas:

  • Video production (self-production and professional production)
  • Video/audio storage (storing content for sharing with staff/students/the public)
  • Video/audio publishing (making some of the best content visible on public media sharing sites, eg iTunesU and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/uniofwestminster)
  • Video conferencing (desktop one-to-one conferencing); Google Talk and Skype are now available to use on the University network (wired and wireless)
  • Live streaming of events (broadcasting functionality that works across all platforms and devices).

More details on the project can be found at https://sites.google.com/a/staff.westminster.ac.uk/video  

Mobile access: The University now has two mobile platforms:

  • iWestminster: A suite of mobile services available to staff and prospective and current students. The app features a range of University-related content, such as news and events and campus maps, and also includes information relevant to student life outside the University, eg TFL cycle hire information and a find-a-friend feature.

More information and links to download the app are at http://www.westminster.ac.uk/iwestminster  

 

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Public website (www.westminster.ac.uk): Prompted by the John Callen project on recruitment and admissions, the internet site is being restructured to ensure that its clear emphasis is on the promotion of our courses (including short courses and Continuing Professional Development) and that it meets the needs and expectations of prospective students.

Course content is being reviewed and updated, with course content organised around and focused on new coherent subject areas. Navigation will be improved throughout the site and a new search facility will ensure that course information ranks first in all search results.

The new site structure and content will be launched at the end of October, with the new design (look and feel) implemented in Easter.

Portal for enquirers and applicants: A new web-based service is being developed to help improve our engagement with course enquirers and applicants and  increase conversion rates. The portal will offer personalised content to prospective students (at all levels and across all types of courses), who will be able to create an account and access timely, professional communications. Schools can also evidence the quality and value of the student experience to them.

The project is being led by Lindsay Neil and will deliver Phase 1 (focused on undergraduates) by December 2011.

 

CURRENT STUDENTS

Public website (www.westminster.ac.uk): A new central online resource for current students has been created at www.westminster.ac.uk/students The portal houses and directs students to a range of key content relating to University services, support and resources. It also incorporates much of the information previously found on the intranet on School Registry websites and the Academic Services for Students site.

As a publicly accessible area, the portal also allows prospective students to find out about the services, resources and opportunities that will be available to them should they join the University.

Blackboard: New School Registry sites have been established in Blackboard and contain school-specific information and guidance, eg school-specific announcements, course handbooks, and exam timetables.

The sites are accessible from Blackboard’s dashboard, by clicking on the ‘My School Registry’ link in the ‘My Organisations’ box.

Blackboard can be accessed via the intranet homepage or at http://learning.westminster.ac.uk

Google Apps (including YouTube-Edu): Exam papers are now stored in Google Apps and multimedia content for some courses will also be housed here.

 

Rikki Morgan-Tamosunas, Chair LTSS Committee

Graham Megson, Chair Information Strategy Committee

September 2011

Internet(public website www.westminster.
ac.uk
Intranet for staff(signed in site) www.wmin.ac.uk will be replaced by the Hub by end 2012 Intranet for students(signed in site) www.wmin.ac.uk will be  replaced by Internet > Current Students section of public site. wmin pages are in process of being closed down. Blackboard http://learning.
westminster.
ac.uk
Google Apps
https://docs.google.com/
a/staff.westminster.ac.uk/
Key information for all staff to use No Yes No No No
Exam papers No No No No (long term may recommend moving back to Blackboard) Yes
Content directly related to learning and teaching for module cohorts (e.g. assessment timetables) No No Is now replaced by BB, closing down of old site is in progress. Yes Yes
Multimedia content directly related to learning and teaching for module cohorts (e.g. video/audio) No No No No, there will be links in Blackboard to multimedia content housed elsewhere. Yes
Content related to services to students (generic services such as library, IT etc) Yes No Is now replaced by Internet >Current Students section, closing down of old site is in progress. No No
Collaborative workspace No Hub 2012 No Yes where related to learning and teaching for module cohorts Yes
Document management No Shared drives; will be replaced by the Hub by end 2012 No Yes where related to learning and teaching for module cohorts Yes
Communications / announcements for Staff No Yes, will be replaced by the Hub homepage  by May 2012* No No No
Communications/ announcements for Students Yes No Replaced already by Internet >Current Students section, closing down of old site is in progress. Yes, where related to learning and teaching for module cohorts No

* Dependent on funding to keep Web Content Editors in post beyond December 2011.