Tuesday 9th October, 2012
4:00pm to 5:30pm
Campus news. Events calendar. Photos. Digital bulletin board. Room-scheduling. Community interaction. Serial weekly features. A "blast from the past" each Friday with information about the history of our institution. And one lead story (plus three to four additional stories and user-generated content) offered each day, highlighting prominent events and announcements on campus. We’ve created an internal, portal-like experience, without the price tag of a portal. In October 2010 Beloit College introduced the Terrarium. Built on the open-source content management system Reason, with the addition of open-source scheduling tool software, we’ve created an internal site for sharing information among current students, faculty and staff. With options for users to generate shared content and communicate with one another, book rooms on campus and keep up-to-date with what’s going on, the site has quickly grown to be a favorite homepage and daily information stop. Campus community response has been phenomenal and analytics show that our external audience is enjoying the window in to the Beloit College "tank" even more than we had hoped. Several re-designs later (with tweaks based on user input and suggestions, gathered informally and in structured focus groups), the Terrarium is more popular than ever. How did we do it? A member of our web services team and the Terrarium’s content editor/manager will show you how we transitioned our internal campus communications from a printed paper flyer and an overwhelming number of email announcements to a useful, interactive, popular website, and discuss some of the changes and re-designs we've employed along the way.
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