UKOLN University of Kent Institutional Web Management Workshop 2003:
Talks and Workshop Sessions

This page gives the details of the plenary talks and the parallel sessions at the Instituional Web Management Workshop 2003.

Note that a total of 6.75 hours of plenary talks were held.

Please note that a booking form for the parallel sessions is available.

Also note that an RSS feeds for the plenary talks and parallel sessions are available.

Plenary Talks

1: The Web Of Higher And Further Education: How To Deal With The Spiders

Speaker: Professor David Melville, University of Kent

The recent Government White Paper "The Future of Higher Education" has a theme of collaboration running through it. David will be considering first the implications of collaboration for UK HE. Secondly he will consider those implications that he believes will greatly benefit from the support that Web-based technologies and interfaces can provide. Lastly, he will take a look at how you, delegates to IWMW 2003, can ensure your full participation in these exciting opportunities through learning how to manage your senior management.

Materials: Slides

2: JISCinfoNet: Helping Web Managers Support Our Users

Speaker: John Burke, University of Northumbria at Newcastle

This session introduces JISCinfoNet - the Centre of Expertise in the Planning and Implementation of Information Systems. This is a new JISC-funded service providing advice and guidance to managers and practitioners in further and higher education. The presentation will focus on Web management as part of an institutional information strategy and will consider the implications of new legislation, particularly the Freedom of Information Act, for Web Managers Supporting our Users.

Materials: Slides

3: Web Strategies: Bridging a Continent

Speaker: David Supple, University of Birmingham

This presentation focuses on the processes and methodologies used by the Web Team in Birmingham to calm the chaotic Web environment that was inherited in 1999 through common infrastructures and a solid corporate Web vision. After almost two years of bridge building, hard selling and coming to terms with a site spread over hundreds of Web servers, the presentation will demonstrate how over two thirds of the University has now moved back into the Corporate fold whilst building a new sense of community.
More than just a focus on current technologies however, the presentation will also detail the strategic planning and costs involved and how the future of the user experience at Birmingham over the next two years will change dramatically with the inception of a major new Portal and CMS project.

Materials: Slides

4: Focussing On Users: Gathering Users' Requirements

Speaker: Sarah Agarwal, University of Bristol

This talk will bring together the topics of usability, portals and development strategies in a call for an early focus on users in major institutional development projects.
Sarah will talk about the benefits of doing a user requirements analysis exercise as part of any large scale Web / application development project and describe some of the methods that can be used. The University of Bristol's portal project will be the case study for the talk.

Materials: Slides

5: Semantic Web Technologies for UK HE and FE Institutions

Speaker: Dave Beckett plus Brian Kelly

This talk will provide an update to the latest development in the World Wide Web architecture and provide an introduction to the Semantic Web. XML is just one of the Web technologies that are available and semantic Web technologies based on RDF provide complementary functionality. These can be used inside organisations to address needs such as capturing and connecting key institutional information across different systems as well as externally.

Materials: Slides

6: Content Management - Buy or Build?

Speaker: Gareth McAleese, University of Ulster and Ricky Rankin, Queen's University Belfast

The University of Ulster (UU) and Queen's University Belfast (QUB) have both started to apply content management systems to aid the further development of their Web site content. Both have taken a different approach, QUB to buy in a custom developed solution and UU to develop a solution in-house. This talk will explore the approach taken by both and examine the issues and benefits of both approaches.

Materials: Slides

7: Community Portals - A False Dawn Over The Field of Dreams?

Speaker: Steve Musgrave, Blackpool and The Fylde College

Community Portals have been heralded as a mechanism for improving services to citizens, creating access to government services, supporting e-learning, and promoting social cohesion. Research suggests that there are technical barriers to linking back-office systems, enabling self-service interactivity for learners and citizens. This presentation gives an appraisal of existing capability, including presentation via iDTV, and suggests a future direction for community portals in the context of Public Information Networks.

Materials: Slides and accompanying paper

8: E-learning: The Strategy Continuum

Speaker: Alejandro Armellini, University of Kent

The prospect of enhancing existing educational services and offering new ones across physical and time boundaries, reaching new markets and increasing revenue, appears to lure educational administrators. National and international competition for students now seems within grasp of most academic institutions.
Exploiting the potential of e-learning technologies has proven to be more complex than foreseen. This paper provides a framework and a rationale for e-learning projects and presents ideas for implementation.

Materials: Slides

9: Beyond Your VLE: Strategic Challenges

Speaker: Professor Mark Stiles, University of Staffordshire

Technology is probably one of the least problematic parts of introducing "eLearning" to an institution. Many of the most difficult areas may only become apparent after the technology has been in use for a while. Mark will discuss the issues of embedding eLearning into the policies, procedures, organisation and culture of an educational establishment, based on his own current experience of trying to produce a complete eLearning "Roadmap" at Staffordshire University.

Materials: Slides



Note that a total of 35.5 hours of parallel sessions were held.

Note that sessions A1-A9 will be held on Wednesday 11th June 2003 from 16:00-17:30.

A1: From Vision to Reality : Implementing a University Web Strategy

Facilitator: Ian Upton, University of Birmingham

This workshop will provide the opportunity to explore the issues surrounding the implementation of a University Web strategy.
Using a model developed at the University of Birmingham we will explore issues surrounding 'developing production services', 'getting and maintaining content' and 'supporting users'.
As well as the 'nuts and bolts', the workshop will provide the opportunity to consider the unique challenges presented by the University environment.

Materials: Workshop materials

A2: Integration, Integration, Integration: Issues Involved in Providing Web Access Across Institutional Systems

Facilitator: Chris Awre, JISC

Institutions provide access to information through a multitude of different systems that have often been developed in isolation. Many of these are nowadays delivered via the Web. With staff and students requiring access to different types of information for their work and study, this approach can lead to a lot of wasted or duplicated effort. Integrating such systems enhances the flow of information and can support the learning, teaching, and research roles of the institution. But how far should integration go and how will this affect the delivery of information via the Web? Can the Web be used as the means for integration or should it remain a window onto integration performed at a different level? The advent of institutional portals and managed learning environments offer solutions to these questions, but there appear to be pros and cons to all of these. This workshop session will provide a forum for the discussion of how the Web can best be used in integrating previously distinct information systems.
Different perspectives will be presented to set out the ground, followed by an open discussion on the different paths being followed by institutions and the options and issues involved in deciding which path is most appropriate.

A3: Practical Approaches For Gathering Users' Requirements

Facilitator: Sarah Agarwal, ILRT, University of Bristol

While project managers, developers and designers generally recognise the value of user input to their projects, they are often frustrated by lack of resource or expertise to get this input, and end up settling for having an occasional user group or running a quick survey.
This session will provide an opportunity for participants to explore effective approaches and techniques for gathering users' requirements on a budget and within practical timescales. The session will expand on some of the techniques used by the facilitator and which she describes in her plenary talk. Experiences and anecdotes from participants will also be sought.

A4: Promoting Online Collaboration and Virtual Community: Benefits For The Web Team

Facilitator: Andrew Cox, University of Loughborough

This workshop will be an opportunity to develop ideas about how to increase ICT supported collaboration, for example, among departmental Webmasters or across institutions. It will build on our common knowledge about the effectiveness of familiar forum software such as JISCmail, or YahooGroups. We will look at the theory of community of practice, which suggests some key processes that need to be supported for collaboration, and criteria for evaluating the success and health of online knowledge sharing communities. The session will also look at what value less obvious collaboration tools such as blogs and annotation tools can contribute to the mix.

A5: Search Facilities For Web Sites

Facilitator: Helen Sargan, University of Cambridge

How can you provide the type of search facility your institution wants, needs and can afford, or do you need different functionality for different data? An overview of the options and issues and new developments in search engines, with exercises and answers to some of your most troubling questions.

Materials: Workshop materials

A6: The WWW Web - Widgeted, WebDAVed and Write-enabled Web

Facilitator: Paul Browning, University of Bristol

The Web is over ten years old but it still hasn't realised the vision of its founder Tim Berners-Lee: "... it should be possible for grandma to take a photo of grandchildren and put it on the web immediately and without fuss ...". This year's Workshop theme is "Supporting Our Users". But why do we continue to make a rod for our own backs by providing our users with such an inferior set of often expensive and bloated authoring tools? This session will review the technologies - within browser editing and drag-and-drop publishing - that will allow us to deliver, at last, a write-enabled and supportable Web.

Materials: Workshop materials

A7: Whose Web Is It Anyway?

Facilitator: David Sweeney and Anne Uttley a Royal Holloway, University of London

Meeting the expectations of many and serving the needs of all is a tough call. How does an institutional Web site become a dynamic fusion of big picture priorities, devolved participation of stakeholders and positive PR? This interactive session will focus on practical techniques for redeveloping a Web site and keeping the users on your side.
At Royal Holloway, University of London, our Web team philosophy is about building confidence through shared aims, supportive management and developing in-house skills. Our focus is on promoting a vision of the Web that is user-friendly and based on user needs, coordinating online services to enhance internal and external interaction. We've learnt from good and bad experiences and are willing to share them ... are you?

A8: Professional Development For Managers And Providers Of Web Content - The Way Forward

Facilitator: Trish Murray and Chris Young, Netskills, University of Newcastle

This session will discuss the issues surrounding the topic of training and accreditation for Managers and Providers of Web content. Whether you are new to Web Content Management and needing to develop your skills in order to perform your role or are more experienced and looking to gain accreditation, this session will be of interest to you. The discussion will include:

A9: Supporting The Research User

Facilitator: Catherine Ewart, PPARC/NERC

The UK Research Councils and the Arts and Humanities Research Board are running a joint project to deliver electronic submission facilities to researchers and research administrators within universities. In parallel, the concept of a research councils web portal is being developed, to provide joined-up access to a wide range of research council information and services. This workshop will review progress on these developments and explore the issues surrounding the introduction of these new facilities. Areas for discussion include:

Note that sessions B1-B8 will be held on Thursday 12th June 2003 from 16:00-17:30.

B1: Can Librarians Transform The Institutional Web?

Facilitator: Tracey Stanley, University of Leeds

This session will assess the role which library staff can play in supporting the development of institutional Web sites. Library staff have always played a critical role in the facilitation of access to a wide range of information resources; and have used 'traditional' skills such as cataloguing and classification to organise, describe and index these materials.
In a digital environment, Library skills are becoming increasingly relevant in supporting the development of institutional web presences. Librarians have a role to play in finding, assessing and validating digital resources. They are also becoming increasing involved in the creation and management of digital content - for example, in the setting up and managing of e-print archives. Librarians are also becoming skilled at creating digital 'pathways' for their users, guiding them to the resources most likely to be of interest to them in a learning or research context.
The session will aim to identify the emerging roles for Library staff in supporting the development of the institutional Web, and will look at associated issues such as skills development and cultural change.

B2: E-learning And Accessibility

Facilitator: Melissa Highton and Richard Jones, University of Leeds

This session will cover some of the issues faced by centrally located staff who are involved in supporting academic staff who are implementing e-learning.
Academic staff increasingly look towards central units for advice in areas of Web accessibility, usability and staff development for e-learning and e-learning resources. What implications does this have for our own practice and the training we provide? In the light of SENDA, how do we know if we are 'reasonably adjusted'?

B3: Online Research and Technology Transfer Expertise Systems

Facilitator: Paul Anderson and Gaynor Backhouse, University of Nottingham

There is an increasing number of developments in links between university research/expertise, and business and the wider community, through funding routes such as HEROBC. There is also a demand from regional agencies such as RDAs and BusinessLinks for systems and pathways that increase access to HEIs. At the European level there is the eContent initiative and CERIF Data Model.
This workshop will allow interested parties and birds of a feather to discuss developments in these areas and compare proposed solutions and best practice. It will be a highly interactive session that will take its lead from participants describing their local directory of expertise and its limitations. Issues that could be covered include - the rights and wrongs of linking systems; translation between academia and business; use of metadata; etc.

B4: Catching Mistakes: QA for your Web site

Facilitators: Marieke Guy, UKOLN and Anne McCombe, MIMAS

Quality and reliability are two of the most critical aspects of any Web site. Yet there are so many problem areas for Web site builders to stumble on from human error in page creation to browser consideration and accessibility issues. Ensuring that these concerns are addressed takes time and effort. This workshop will discuss Quality Assurance procedures for Web sites. Participants will be asked to consider what can go wrong on their Web site, why exactly things are going wrong, how Web site owners can find out when things go wrong and finally what can be done when things have gone wrong. In this session we will consider how you can integrate important QA aspects, like testing, into your current evaluation procedures and in doing so significantly improve your Web site, its infrastructure and content.

Materials: Workshop materials

B5: 'One Query To Rule Them All' - Cross-database Searching and Finding

Facilitator: Mike Lowndes, Natural History Museum

This session will discuss various approaches to searching the localised 'deep Web' from optimising for Google, through metadata harvesting to dynamic distributed queries, with examples from ongoing work at The Natural History Museum. The goal of this work is simply to reduce the number of times users need to type in a query to return all relevent, accurate online resources.
The session will cover:

B6: Institutional E-print Repositories

Facilitator: Bill Hubbard

This session will look at the idea of institutional e-print repositories. This is an idea whose time has come, with a lot of institutions currently working on establishing their own research repositories. Topics to be discussed will include:

B7: Open Source Software - The Developers View / The User's View

Facilitator: Mark Stiles, University of Staffordshire

The overwhelming victory for the open source lobby in the debate at last year's Institutional Web Management workshop confirms the popularity of open source software in the Web community. But the availability of open source products is not in itself a guarantee of quality software. What are the risks and issues for both the developers and users of such products? How many people actually want open source as opposed to "free" binaries - albeit with a community of developers backing it up?
In this session Mark Stiles will provide a forum to discuss these issues. The session is suitable both for open source developers and for those who may have an interest in using open source software. (Mark would like to stress that he hasn't been a "programmer" for a very long time and claims no expertise in the technical aspects of Open Sourcing!)

B8: Implementation of a Commercial Content Management System

Facilitator: Rob Bristow, University Of Bristol (and formerly Cass Business School)

Cass Business School (formerly City University Business School) recently migrated the management of their Web site to a commercial Content Management System (CMS) - Merant Collage. This session will examine the drivers for this process - the requirements and constraints, and will use Collage to demonstrate some of the fundamental aspects of Content Management Systems and their role in information management in Higher Education.
This session will be of use to anyone considering the adoption of a CMS.

Materials: Workshop materials

Note that sessions C1-C8 will be held on Friday 13th June 2003 from 09:15-10:30.

C1: Vertical Learning Environment to Community Portal

Facilitator: Steve Musgrave, Blackpool and The Fylde College

Learning Environments are becoming established in many Schools, Colleges and Universities. This workshop session introduces the concept of a 'Vertical Learning Environment' and examines the issues surrounding the sharing of access to learning resources in multi-institutional contexts; and into the wider community. Following an overview of the business drivers, the implementation issues will be explored through a case study of development underway to adapt the Granada Learnwise VLE to a 'Communitywise' portal.

Materials: Workshop materials

C2: Managing People in an Educational Environment

Facilitator: Anne Rushworth, University of Kent

It has long been recognised that managing people is a key area for Web experts within education. If it isn't managing your staff, then managing the people you collaborate with on projects, learning how to persuade and negotiate or even upwards managing your manager or other people's managers are all necessary skills. This session aims to help you share your people management issues and become more aware of what staff development opportunities there are for you via your insitution. This session will finish by making recommendations for staff development agencies, UKOLN and institutional staff development teams on how to target meaningful people management training at Web teams across the country.

C3: Ubiquitous Computing And The Institutional Web

Facilitator: Tom Franklin, TechLearn

All institutions make widespread use of ICT for both learning and teaching and L&T support. Many institutions in the US now require their students to have their own laptop (and a fair number of these supply them to the students so that they all have the same model).
The introduction of top up fees in the UK mean that is now likely to start here for a number of reasons, including the widespread use of ICT in learning and teaching means that personal access to the equipment at all times is becoming important equity (all students will have the same access to resources so that some are not disadvantaged) return to students - the cost of supplying all students with their own laptop is generally estimated to be about twice the cost of widespread internal provision because of savings in equipment, space and support. Thus the institution can be seen to be supplying something that actually costs them considerably less than it appears. The discussion will start with a brief presentation of the issues followed including security, non-work related use, portals and policies followed by a discussion of issues of interest to those present.

C4: Learning Technology Interoperability Standards Update

Facilitator: Lorna Campbell, University of Strathclyde

This session will provide a broad over view and update on recent activities in the field of learning technology interoperability standards and specifications, along with a brief summary of the Centre for Educational Technology Interoperability Standard's role in supporting the UK FE/HE community's uptake and implementation of these standards. LT standards are open standards that are designed to facilitate the description, packaging, sequencing and delivery of educational content, learning activities and learner information. This session will include an introduction to new standards and specifications recently released by organisations including IMS Global Learning Consortium, the Institute for Electronic and Electrical Engineers Learning Technology Standards Committee, Advanced Distributed Learning and the Comité Européen de Normalization/Information Society Standardisation System Workshop - Learning Technologies. The update session will take the form of an introductory presentation followed by a questions and answer session and discussions.

C5: Web Services and The Institutional Web

Facilitator: Diane McDonald, University of Strathclyde

"Struggling to integrate new services with existing applications? Need to interoperate with other institutions or service providers, all with different systems infrastructures? Fed up of the spiralling costs application development?"
Media hype suggests that Web Services Technologies may provide the answer! Web Services Technologies is essentially a framework of self contained, modular applications, which can be published, discovered and executed over the network by remote programs, using lightweight protocols.
This workshop aims to provide an overview of the technologies involved and consider possible future usage within UK HE and FE. Group discussions will be used to:

Materials: Workshop materials

C6: Beyond Accessibility - Thinking Holistically About Your Web Site

Facilitator: Kriss Fearon, University of York

Because of the way the Web has developed, Web editors are often in the position not only of having to update their content but also to upgrade the way in which their information is formatted. Often there is time only to respond to demands which are highest up the list, accessibility being the most recent example. However, it is only one among many criteria for evaluating the quality of information provision. This session will examine the provision of information as a publishing process, incorporating accessibility into the process of evaluation, and discuss methods of developing effective and successful working practices.

C7: Bandwidth Management Techniques: Technical And Policy Issues

Facilitators: Ingrid Evans and George Neisser, University Of Manchester

The past few years have witnessed the continued relentless growth of dynamic Web content, multimedia and real-time applications over JANET and an expansion of the JANET community to include the Further Education (FE) sector. Bandwidth Management has now become increasingly important and an understanding of such techniques and policy can help Web managers overcome some of the problems associated with the delivery of dynamic Web content. In this session we'll talk about techniques and policy issues related to managing streaming media and data compression. We will also show you how to make your non-dynamic content load quicker and faster (thereby hopefully making you visitors experience a happy one!) by looking at how to make your Web site cacheable. We'll also discuss the pros and cons of Web acceleration, which together with the above techniques, should enable you to give your Web site an overall fine tune.
This session will be facilitated by George Neisser and Ingrid Evans from the newly formed Bandwidth Management Advisory Service (BMAS).

Materials: Workshop materials

C8: Managing People and Projects

Facilitator: Jean Steward, UEA

Getting and managing projects is an important part of the ICT environment in Higher and Further Education. Success is dependent upon finding and developing the right people and ensuring good interaction between project-based staff and permanent staff in the organisation.
After a short introduction, highlighting some of the key issues raised in the "Resolving the Human Issues in LIS projects" report, the session will discuss the "people side" of projects including:

Birds of a Feather Session

BOF-1: Semantic Web BoF

Facilitator: Dave Beckett, ILRT, University of Bristol

The Semantic Web Birds of a Feather session will provide a chance to get the details of the W3C semantic web activity work, updates from the World Wide Web conference, further detail on applications and tools (particularly open source ones) and how they are used in projects and institutions.


Last modified: 18th Dec 2003