Collegiate Oops

Album Cover: The Future

"The maestro says it's Mozart, but it sounds like bubble gum."
Leonard Cohen / Waiting For The Miracle

Posted on April 23, 2008 9:21 PM in Web Development
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Interested in looking up Indiana University? Make sure you include the www or you're screwed.

Comments

Ian Clifton on April 23, 2008 at 11:52 PM:

Sadly, that seems to be a trend at a lot of university sites. Even at Western Washington University, many of the subdomains require the "www" or you're out of luck (e.g., http://www.library.wwu.edu/ vs. http://library.wwu.edu/).

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Bernie Zimmermann on April 24, 2008 at 12:05 AM:

It seems kind of mind-boggling to me, especially given how major a recruiting tool a college's website can be.

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Ian Clifton on April 24, 2008 at 12:34 AM:

Actually, that's one of the most frustrating parts of working as a web developer at a university: most of the people don't appreciate the web. All of the incoming students use it for nearly everything, but the majority of the people in charge of departments do not really see its value. It's a major problem trying to get content updates for web pages, but they have no problem getting the same updates for printed publications. The concept of "if that information was online and accessible, you wouldn't have to answer that question via phone ten times a day" just doesn't sink in.

Technology use is significantly farther behind in most universities than it should be. A lot of tracking is done via spreadsheets on shared drives. It's considered "advanced" to have that data in an Access database. Most tools are bought as prepackaged software that may not play well with the other software, and alternatives that aren't supported by a major corporation are often overlooked. There's a reason Blackboard is so dominant and it sure as hell isn't because it has a byte of quality buried in there somewhere :(

Accessibility as a concept is just beginning to be looked at as universities are slowly discovering the, uh, limitations of Frontpage. The whole situation is pretty depressing, really. It's not surprising that so many big names in technology dropped out of college.

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Bernie Zimmermann on April 24, 2008 at 8:01 AM:

That is very frustrating, Ian. I know I witnessed some of the same things when I was at PLU. Fortunately, right around the time I left into the real world, a good friend of mine had taken over the web development team there and it looked like there was a subsequent push to really improve the usability of the entire website across all departments. One of the big things I noticed was uniformity, where all departments' pages took on a similar look and feel. That is definitely something you don't find in most universities' sites. Nevertheless, I know there was still a lot of frustrating inertia there that seems to be all-too-common among institutions of higher education.

Let's not even get started on what's going on at the K-12 level ;)

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glvwhrmp on May 15, 2017 at 5:22 AM:

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