Institutional Web Management:
The Joined-Up Web



Note that a total of 5.5 hours of plenary talks were held.

1: E-Learning Developments
John Slater, GLTC

Abstract: e-learning technologies are advancing rapidly in a number of areas. Many competitors are appearing in a number of sectors that threaten the traditional model of a conventional bricked university. To counter this threat the UK is looking at a number of models for an e-university to help retain UK market share in a lucrative overseas business. This talk looks at models in other countries and discusses some of the remaining obstacles to widespread acceptance.

Biographical Details: John Slater is a part of the Generic Learning and Teaching Centre and the Technology Integration Centre in the Learning and Teaching Support Network. His past includes being a JISC member, a Computer Board Member, and a number of relevant L&T Initiatives. He was the PVC for Learning and Teaching at Kent and is a member of the E-University Steering Group.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

2: HERO: Higher Education and Research Opportunities
Chris Harris, University of Newcastle / HERO

Abstract: The aim of the HERO project is to set up a portal site for the whole of the Higher Education community in the UK. The talk will cover the project's history so far and discuss the issues raised in the development period, primarily those of creating the technical infrastructure to deliver the content from a wide range of sources to a very wide user base.

Biographical Details: Christopher Harris is Executive Director of HERO. He has been seconded from Newcastle University for a period of 3 years to undertake this task. At Newcastle he was Director of Communications and Public Affairs, which included responsibility for NUInfo, the University's Internet service.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

3: From Shredded Trees To Mobile Phones, The Awful Truth About Digital Convergence!
Andy Price, University of Teeside

Is it practical or possible to create a single digital database of marketing communications material that can then be published through the media of choice? The University of Teesside has both a WAP and Web prospectus, fed from the same source as traditional printed version. How do you maintain integrity and accuracy and is it sensible to simply replicate the same material in different media? This talk will discuss the vision, and pitfalls that the team at Teesside has found in its search for digital convergence.

Biographical Details:
Andy Price has been the Head of Corporate Communications at the University of Teesside for 18 months. He spent two years as Head of New Media at North East Evening Gazette, seven years as a Marketing and Business development consultant. Andy has had a varied career in both the private and public sector and have spent almost half his working life self employed. His main discipline is Marketing, but he has increasingly been involved in developments in new media and digital imaging. He has worked on early on-line 'business to business' developments in the music industry as well as managing a very early international on-line digital photography event in 1995. Subsequently he put local newspapers on-line, created local community portals, put Premiership footballs clubs in cyberspace and created national business databases as well as being directly involved in a wide variety of other on-line initiatives. In the past he has been the managing director of a graphics company, a community development worker, a language teacher in Spain and has helped establish a community circus, so he feels ideally suited to life on the web!

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

4: The Personalised University
Cliff Sanders, University of Ulster

As the quantity of information being published online has increased, techniques such as personalisation and customisation have become the most effective way of improving and managing the online visitor relationship with your organisation.

This talk will look at the techniques and issues surrounding the deployment of personalisation and customisation techniques in both commercial and academic websites and how these can be used to improve and strengthen the visitor experience.

Biographical Details:
Cliff is Projects Manager for the Online Group, part of the University of Ulster's department of External Affairs. His duties include advising client departments on corporate Internet strategy and the overall development of the institution's web presence.

Cliff began his employment career as a land surveyor and became increasingly involved in the use of IT for survey processing in the late 1980s. To further this interest, Cliff enrolled on the University of Ulster's BSc Hons Computing Science degree and graduated in 1998. On graduation, Cliff joined the Online Group and was promoted to his current position of Projects manager in June 2000.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

5: Town and Gown: Finding Common Ground on the Web
Mary Rowlatt, Essex Council

Abstract: Two of the key drivers for local government at the moment are e-government and lifelong learning. This talk describes current developments and explores how these are opening up new opportunities for joining up services and co-operation between local authorities and the HE/FE sector.

Biographical Details: Mary Rowlatt is currently Information Services Manager with Essex Libraries where she is responsible for the development and delivery of information services to the public. In October she will move to a new post as Community Information Network Co-ordinator for the County Council.

She is joint editor for the Essex County Council website, Project leader for the LIC funded Seamless project, Project Director for the DGV funded ISTAR project, and Essex Co-ordinator for the DGXIII funded ONE-2 Project. She is a Member of the Interoperability Focus Advisory Group, the European Public Information Centres (EPIC) National Steering Group, and chairs the EARL European Task Group which developed euroguide.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

6: A Controversial Proposal
Brian Kelly, UKOLN

Don't have enough resources to manage your Web site? Feeling frustrated because you can't afford to buy any new Web development applications? Finding it difficult to recruit and retain good software development staff? This talk might provide a solution - but, arguably, a controversial one. A wide range of externally-hosted Web services are available which can be easily incorporated into a Web site. They can be used for a variety of purposes, including analysis of Web statistics, providing news feeds and other content, checking Web sites, providing voting systems and other forms of user feedback, monitoring Web sites availability, providing disk space and even hosting Intranets. But how reliable are they? Will the services remain in business? If they are successful, will we find ourselves out of a job? Brian Kelly will consider these questions.

Biographical Details:
Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus - a JISC-funded post which provides advice for the UK Higher and Further Education communities on Web developments.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

7: Self-Evident Applications for Universities
Greg Smart, University of Bath

One of the most effective uses of web technology for reducing costs and increasing efficiency is the development of so called 'self service' systems. For these to succeed the use of such systems must be immediately obvious to the user; they must be self-evident. This presentation will explore the reasons for developing such applications, the infrastructure on which such applications depend and the design concepts which foster their creation and effective deployment. I will also explore some of the issues which this type of development creates and what the future might hold, as self evident becomes common place.

Biographical Details:
Greg Smart is the Development Manager at the University of Bath, and is responsible for the University's Management Information Systems, having previously worked on implementing and supporting the University's Finance System, Lawson. Greg has helped to ensure that the University plays a leading role in utilising Lawson's tools for web deployment. He has worked in IT for over ten years and in HE for four, and has particular interests in the way people use computers and how their jobs are affected by changing technology.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

8: The WEB and the GRID: Science and Society
Professor Ian Halliday, PPARC

Abstract: The talk will be in two parts. First how the Research Councils aim to use the Web (an invention funded by PPARC at CERN) to deliver electronic grant submission. Secondly to describe the GRID, the successor to the Web for delivering e-science (with CERN again in the lead).

Biographical Details: Instructor, Princeton University 1964-66.
Fellow Christ's College, Cambridge 1966-67.
Lectureship 1967-75, Reader 75-90, Professor 90-92, Imperial College, University of London.
Professor of Physics and Head of Department, University of Wales, Swansea since 1992, Dean of Graduate School 93-96 (on leave of absence).
Chief Executive, Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council since 1998.

9: Newcastle Case Study
Tony McDonald, University of Newcastle

Dr McDonald will talk about some of the issues involved in developing, implementing and deploying a Networked Learning Environment (NLE) which, so far, has been deployed at five institutions. Issues such as selection of a Content Management System, integration with existing Management Information Systems and Student Record Systems, staff and student involvement and feedback will be presented. The future directions of the NLE will also be discussed. The project Web site is available at <> where further information is available.

Biographical Details:
Dr Tony McDonald is TLTP officer at the Faculty of Medicine Computing Centre in the Medical School at the University of Newcastle. In this position he has been involved in the development and implementation of the Networked Learning Environment and its deployment at the consortium sites. Whilst developing this system, a lot of additional work was done on XML.

Before joining the FMCC, Tony worked at Netskills on the DESIRE project and, further back, was the Macintosh systems advisor at the University of Newcastle Computing Service.

His current interests are in website communication (XML-RPC and SOAP) and in 'shipping' the NLE out to as many sites as want it.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

10: Out to Tender: Commissioning A Web Site
Martin Belcher, University of Bristol

What are the issues that you need to consider when commissioning various aspects of a Web site (ranging from design through to coding and full technical implementation)? This session will focus on the issues behind developing a design brief or service specification that can be used to commission third-party Web developers.

The talk will be primarily aimed at those looking at engaging external consultants. However, those who wish to offer their Web developer services on a consultancy basis may also find it useful, as many of the issues are applicable to both people commissioning and consulting.

Biographical Details:
Martin Belcher is Project Manager for the Internet Development Group <>, Institute for Learning and Research Technology at the University of Bristol. Martin is responsible for the consultancy activities of the ILRT. These mainly take a Web-based focus and include Web site design, implementation, service specification development, usability and accessibility audits, online strategy development and various forms of Web-focused training. Recent clients include; JISC, ESRC, University of Bristol, Bank of England, the Institute of Fiscal Studies, National Maritime Museum, BMW.

Martin has been working for the University of Bristol in Internet related projects since 1994. Previous to that he studied, and sometimes practiced, in the fields of archaeology and geology.

11: Security and Authentication Issues - Where Are We Heading?
Alan Robiette, JISC

Abstract: Are your web resources open to all, or do you have areas restricted to smaller groups of users? Is managing authentication becoming a major headache? This talk will examine traditional web authentication techniques and go on to discuss more extended and sophisticted approaches to this this problem, including the possibility of a single infrastructure to manage access to on- campus and off-campus resources.

Biographical Details: Alan works as Programme Director for JISC's rapidly developing interests in authentication and security. He began his career as a physical scientist but became increasingly involved in IT planning and management, and directed IT services in a number of HEIs for a period of some 15 years before taking up his current position. He is a former member of the Computer Board and of a number of JISC committees and working groups, and was closely associated with the eLib Programme throughout much of its existence.

Slides: [About the talk] - [HTML format]

Parallel Sessions

Note that a total of 20 hours of parallel sessions were held.

A1: Content Management Systems
Paul Browning, University of Bristol and Mike Lowndes, Natural History Museum
Venue: 8W 2.10 Seminar Room
Time: 2.00-5.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

This workshop session will discuss the role of a Content Management System (CMS) within the institutional Web. We will consider such questions as:

  • What is a CMS?
  • What is a Web Application Server?
  • Why have a CMS?
  • Is anything wrong with the "orthodox" Web?
  • Should you build your own CMS or buy one off-the-shelf?
  • How do open-source solutions compare with commercial offerings?
  • Who is using a CMS and what do they think of it so far?

Biographical Details:
Paul is Information Strategy Co-ordinator at the University of Bristol (but was an earth scientist who ran a departmental network in a former life). He is a member of the institutional Web Team and is fed up using a bucket and spade to build and maintain the University Web; he has been on the lookout for a JCB for the last 18 months.

Materials: [About the session] -
Report Back by Linda Doyle, Salford: [HTML format] (held remotely)

A2: The Joined-Up Web
Greg Newton-Ingham (UEA), Justine Kitchen (RDN) and Pete Cliff (UKOLN)
Venue: 1W 2.25 PC Teaching Lab
Time: 2.00-5.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

The session will cover the holistic issues surrounding getting a variety of different institutional systems to work together. As we try to deliver richer user experiences the need to gather and integrate distributed data is big issue. The session will help participants analyze the issues in their situation and examine possible approaches to resolving those issues.

Biographical Details:
Greg has been in the IT field since 1977. Following periods working as a systems programmer and network administrator Greg joined UEA. Greg describes himself as a 'maverick academic'. In additon to managing EU and TLTP projects Greg has been the course director for the final year undergraduate unit on strategic information systems, MBA course organiser for information systems and until recently lectured on the final year computer science unit "Web and Network Graphics". He is currently the project manager for the eLib phase 3 Agora hybrid library project and has been project manager for the JISC funded Networked Moving Images Pilot Project. Greg's many hobbies include ice-cream, chocolate and the Caribbean (preferably at the same time).

Materials: [About the session] -
Report back [MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format] - [HTML format]

A3: Implementing E-Learning Using A Virtual Learning Environment
Mark Stiles, Staffordshire University
Venue: 8W 2.15 Seminar Room
Time: 2.00-5.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

The workshop will start with a presentation of the issues involved in implementing the use of a VLE (or Learning Management System) at an institutional level including:

  • Why adopt Distributed Learning?
  • What is Distributed Learning?
  • The Need for Strategy.
  • Practical Implementation Issues.
  • The Educational Issues.
  • What's an MLE?
  • Interoperability with Corporate Systems, the Need for Standards.
  • Choosing a VLE.
  • How Will You Know if it Works?

Following the presentation, participants will work in small groups to discuss the issues as they affect their own situations. Each group will report back at a closing wrap-up session and discussion.

Biographical Details:
Mark Stiles is Co-Director of the Learning Development Centre at Staffordshire University. The Centre has the proactive role of leading the transformation of the way learning takes place at the University, which last year saw over 7,000 learners experience using one or more VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments). He is a regular conference speaker on the strategic and educational aspects of the electronic support of learning and has published a number of papers in the same field.

He is also Director of the JISC supported COSE Project which has developed the COSE VLE, and seen it published as commercial product by Longman. The Project is still further developing COSE as a product and, also using JISC funding, is working on COSE IMS standards compliance and the production of an IMS compliant content repository. He also manages the JISC/JCIEL "CO3" project which is testing the IMS (Instructional Management Systems) interoperability standards using the COSE (Staffordshire University), Colloquia (Bangor) and CoMentor (Huddersfield) systems.

Materials: [About the session] -
Presentation [HTML format] (remote resource)

A4: Selling Mugs to Masters'
Andrew Aird, Goldsmiths College, London
Venue: Library level 4 PC teaching area plus Level 4 Meeting Room
Time: 2.00-5.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

Andrew Aird will lead a half day sessions on e-commerce for Higher Education. Topics covered will include:

  • Why consider e-commerce? Does it make money?, What are you selling? Do you need a marketing strategy, etc.
  • How do you do it? Different techniques, security, fulfilment, legal matters, on-line payment issues.
  • Who does it? Web manager, Finance Office, External Relations, Alumni society: - what roles do they have to play?

The session will include group activities and discussion as well as contributions from speakers from an online payment handling company, a commerce solution provider and a security expert.

Materials: [About the session] -
Introduction [MS PowerPoint format] - [HTML format]
General Resources: Was available at <>
TrustMarque [MS PowerPoint format] - [HTML format]

B1: Working With HERO
Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath
Venue: 8W 2.19 Seminar Room
Time: 2.00-3.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

This discussion group session will provide an opportunity for participants to be updated on developments with the HERO portal and to discuss the various ways in which information can be supplied to HERO.

Biographical Details:
Brian Kelly is UK Web Focus, a JISC-funded post based at UKOLN, University of Bath. His responsibilities include monitoring Web developments and informing the UK HE community. His dissemination activities include regular contributions to the Ariadne, Cultivate Interactive and Exploit Interactive Web magazines, presentations at conferences, workshops and seminars and organising events such as the Institutional Web Management series of workshops. Brian is also chair of the Hero Technical Advisory Group.

Materials: [About the session] -
Session Introduction: [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format] -
Report [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

B2: Anarchy versus Control in Web Site Management
Malcolm Raggett, SOAS
Venue: 8W 2.22 Seminar Room
Time: 2.00-3.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

Abstract: It's a new technology, but does that mean we need a new approach to managing it? This session aims to build on participants' experiences of managing an institution's Internet and intranet in order to guide those who have to manage a Web-based service. If you have a success story or, just as importantly, a failure we can learn from, please come and share the experience! Expect a short presentation followed by a longer discussion.

Biographical Details: Malcolm was a lecturer in engineering when he introduced and developed the first web-based learning in his institution. Since then he has changed role and moved institution: he is now the IT Manager at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Materials: [About the session] -
Introduction [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format] -
Report back by Miles Banbery [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format] -
Session notes by Malcolm Ragget [HTML format]

C1: Automated News Feeds
Andy Powell, UKOLN, University of Bath
Venue: 1W 2.25, a PC Teaching Lab on the First floor, Student Union
Time: 4.00-5.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

This session will consider the requirements for automated news feeds, both on campus and in the wider context. It will investigate ways of sharing 'news' content between university departments, from commercial news providers to the campus and from the campus to external services such as Hero. It will also consider whether the same techniques used to share news feeds can be re-used to share information about other digital resources.

Biographical Details:
Andy is based at UKOLN and spends most of his time working as part of the Resource Discovery Network Centre, where he is currently responsible for coordinating the technical architecture of the Resource Discovery Network - see <>. He also contributes to a number of metadata-related projects at UKOLN and has been actively involved in the development of campus information services at the University of Bath for more years than he cares to remember!

Materials: [About the session] -
Report [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

C2: "Princes, Paupers and Progress" - Resourcing your Web site
Miles Banbery, University of Kent at Canterbury
Venue: 8W 2.22 Seminar Room
Time: 4.00-5.30 on Thursday 7 Sept 2000

Resource implications of different Web site management models are often difficult to ascertain on your own. This workshop hopes to use the experiences of participants, third party research and good old-fashioned common sense to help you find ways of funding your Web site, whatever your management model.

Biographical Details:
Miles Banbery has been University Web Editor at the University of Kent at Canterbury for two years having previously worked as an Information Officer for UKC's Computing Service. His post is within the Communications & Development Office, a department with remits for public relations, internal communications, alumni relations, fund raising and development amongst other things.

Slides: [About the session] -
Introduction, Miles Banbery [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format] -
Report Back by Malcolm Raggett [HTML format] - [PowerPoint 97/2000 format]


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LAST MODIFIED: 2nd October 2000