UKOLN RSC South West Forum - 26 November 2002

Brian Kelly took part in a VLE Developers Forum organised by the RSC South-west. The Forum was held at the Richard Huish College, Taunton on 26th November 2002. It took place from 10:30-15:00.


In the morning the partner Colleges will have an opportunity to showcase their work. In the afternoon the group will split into Technical (webmasters/developers) and Curriculum (Learning Technologists, Champions) subgroups. Brian Kelly will facilitate the Technical group


This session will provide an opportunity for hands-on exercises in which participants will make use of a number of Web-based tools for testing and evaluating their college Web site. This will provide an opportunity for comparisons across the colleges represented at the forum. The hands-on session will be complemented with a review of the approach. The session will conclude with a discussion of the approaches which can be taken in oder to ensure that Web sites comply with standards and best practices and how the methodology can be applied to VLEs.

Participating Colleges

Participants from the following colleges attended the workshop:



Benchmarking Web Sites
[HTML format] - [MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format]


[HTML format] - [MS Word 97/2000 format]


Survey of HTML Compliance
[HTML format]
Survey of CSS Compliance
[HTML format]
Survey of Compliance With Accessibility Guidelines
[HTML format]
Survey of Server Software
[HTML format]
Survey of 404 error pages
[HTML format]
Survey of Internet Archive
[HTML format]
Survey of Metadata
[HTML format]


The timetable is given below.

Time Topic
10:30 Coffee and Welcome
11:00 Showcase of Intranet/VLE work
12:30 Lunch

In the afternoon there were two parallel session: a technical workshop on Benchmarking Web Sites and a Curriculum workshop. The timetable for the Benchmarking workshop is given below.

Time Topic
13:30 Introduction
13:35 'Benchmarking Web Sites' - What and Why?
13:50 'Benchmarking Web Sites' - hands-on session
14:25 Report Back
14:35 Discussion
14:45 Conclusion

At 14:45 there will be a final closing session:

Time Topic
14.45 The way forward ... further collaboration
15.00 Close

URLs Used During Workshop

The following URLs will be used during the workshop.

Exercise Service URL
1.1 NetMechanic <>
1.2 Bobby <>
1.5 UK University Web Entry Points <>
2.3 W3C HTML Validation Service <>
2.5 Webserver Stress Tool <>
2.6 Link Alarm <>
3.1 Link Popularity <>
3.4 Statistics <>
4.2 Browser Emulators <>

Other URLs

The following URLs may also be useful.

Browser Extensions

  Service URL
  Bookmarklets <>
  Cacheability Engine <>
  Extending Your Browser <>
  WebWatch Services <>

Checking Web Site Performance

  EchoEcho <>
  Entuity <>
  e-TEST Suite <>
  Freshwater's SiteScope <>
  Keynote Systems <>
  MercuryInteractive <>
  MercuryInteractive <>
  Prutsman <>
  Somix <>

Evaluating Different Browsers

  Anybrowser <>
  DejaVu (Browser Emulators) <> (archive of old browsers) <>
  Lynx <>
  Wapilizer <>

Evaluating Link and Search Engine Popularity

  AltaVista <>
  LinkPopularity <>
  NetMechanic <>
  Searchenginewatch's Guidelines I <>
  Searchenginewatch's Guidelines II <>

Evaluating Site Accessibility

  Bobby <>
  Color Readability Test <>
  Web Metrics Testbed <>
  Wave <>
  Vischeck <>
  Web Accessibility <>

Evaluating Your Organisational Home Page

Dr HTML <>
NetMechanic <>
WebSiteGarage <>
InternetSeer <>
NetMechanic Monitoring Service <>
Watchdog <>
Alertsite <>
WebWatch Services <>
Dr Watson <>
LinkAlarm <>
NetMechanic Maintenance Service <>
SiteValet <>
This Old Mouse <>
Webmaster-Toolkit <>

Link Checker

Netmechanic <>
Nodeworks <>
Site valet <>
Xenu <>
LinkTool <>
Usable Web <>

Realtime Monitoring

Software in Use: <>

Next Generation Validation Tools

Freshwater Software <>
Web Criteria <>
WebKing <>


A Survey Of Links to UK University Web Sites <>
A Survey Of Numbers of UK University Web Servers <>
A Survey Of Web Server Software Used In UK University Web Sites <>
Showing Robots the Door <>
UK University Search Engines <>
Web Watch: 404s - What's Missing? <>
WebWatching UK Universities and Colleges <>
What's Related To My Web Site? <>

Rolling Demonstrations

Rolling Demonstration of UK University Web Entry Points <>
Rolling Demonstration of UK University 404 Error Pages <>