May 8, 2012 – Brown bag training notes

In Attendance

Ron Smith
Lavana Kindle
Marianne Woodard
Jan Kiilsgaard
Sheri Baggett – McMinn
Bill Keopple
Landon Keopple
Kathy Cole
Carl Drexler
Wilma Williams
Pam Riggins
Denise Moseley
Hope Guo
Dr. Kim Bloss
Chantal Doucet-Brice
Shelley Keith

The main topic of the meeting was how to get your web site ready for the fall semester.

  • It is important to make sure that your web pages are saturated in the keywords that you want students to be able to use to find their way to you.
  • Consider including service write-ups : will students know what you offer by visiting your site?
  • Do your services interrelate with other departments? Do you link to the other departments that are integral to your own services? We need to make sure that we are providing a clear path for students to follow so that all their needs are being met.
  • Make sure that your writing is audience-appropriate. The average national reading level is eighth grade- this is especially important for recruitment, since we are dealing with high school students and they may not know subject-specific terms (that’s part of the reason why they are coming to university, to learn them).
  • Make sure all your forms , policies and links are updated.  This may be a good time to make sure any biography information and photos are updated.  Keep in mind what the department’s long term goals are for the upcoming year and consider how/if they are reflected on the website.
  • If you have forms that are printed off, consider whether or not they would be better suited as an online form. If so, that is definitely something the communications office can help you with.

After the initial topic was covered, Shelley opened the floor for general questions/concerns.

  •  Dr. Bloss wanted to know if the Master’s degrees link on the homepage could link to the College of Graduate Studies homepage instead of the academics degree page. She also asked about a Graduate Studies Facebook button, an opt-in form for prospective students and a “Share with a Friend” button.  Shelley noted that she would do some research on the “Share with a Friend” button.
  • Pam Riggins asked about the form to merge courses on Blackboard and whether or not it should be an online form. Because the form does require signatures from deans, it was suggested that it remain a printable form for the time being.
  • Shelley noted that she would make available copies of the booklets of training stuff from the brown bag meetings.
  • Shelley informed the attendees of the “Report this Page” link at the bottom of the page and encouraged people to use the option to submit problems anonymously if they wish, or to leave their contact info for follow-up.
  • Someone mentioned that there have been several positive comments made about the usefulness of the library homepage. Shelley acknowledged the hard work and efforts of Del Duke in maintaining his library site.
  • Shelley drew the analogy of a website being like a house: if it is left alone without maintenance and upkeep for too long, it starts to crumble and melt down around the edges.
  • Someone mentioned that they felt the athletics site was melted beyond melted and wanted to know about how to get in and take care of it themselves.  Shelley explained that before access, it is necessary to complete the training sessions on how to use wordpress. Also, any students who are going to have the access have to go through the training and they need to be accompanied by the person who wants them to have the training.
  • Shelley explained that we use the individual directory pages instead of the Directory-type department listings with the photos all on a single page together because they are easier to keep updated.
  • Someone asked about a “print this page” option. Shelley described the formatting that has already been set up so that printing from the browser will work. This is not set up currently on athletics.
  • Someone asked if it would be possible to have a tutorial on customizing and using the different widgets for the sidebars.


_end of meeting_