Ten Votes for a Web Makeover

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  1. have a one-stop student portal

    There is no direct way for students to access the information on our Middlebury website. Some of us start at the institutional homepage, some start with webmail, others have bookmarked pages, etc.

    We need a single place for students enter the Middlebury website. There needs to be a place that has everything we, as students, need on one page from course catalog listings to dining hall menus.

    Even better, make the entrance portal customizable (like iGoogle or MyYahoo) so that we can put the kind of information we want on it.

    33 votes
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      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    • get Google's Gmail for all students

      Many students already forward their Microsoft webmail to Google Gmail accounts. Why not just give students Gmail that is connected with their @middlebury.edu email addresses.

      It's called Google Applications. Google provides email to the school and it is tied to our middlebury.edu addresses. You use the same Gmail interface but with all of Google's goodies -- ease of use, HTML, conversation view, tags, etc.

      Here's how it works: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/index.html

      30 votes
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        0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
      • enable RSS feeds for everything Middlebury

        Let students take Middlebury College's information on their website and let them view and use it when, where, and how they want.

        Right now, students must continually visit the middlebury.edu website to get information. But what if that information could be used anywhere on the web? What if your online calendar could pull events right from the College website? What if you could receive automatic updates from your major department everytime they updated the course catalog info?

        Building RSS technology into the core of the Middlebury website will allow students to mold the information into uses we want, not just…

        29 votes
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          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
        • make online evaluations a part of the new structure

          Students now fill out course and professor evaluations by hand during valuable class time.

          Changing the format to be web-based would reduce the amount of time students spent filling them out and walking them to Old Chapel.

          It would also save piles of paper.

          Lastly and perhaps most importantly, it would allow the evaluations to truly remain anonymous since professors wouldn't be able to recognize students by their handwriting.

          There actually isn't a single down side to it, now that I think about it.

          25 votes
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            1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
          • have formalized opt-out email lists

            As students, we are various email lists. But what if there were a centralized location to opt-in and opt-out of various lists. Just like you subscribe and unsubscribe to online newsletters, all of Middlebury's listings from various student organizations (weekly Mountain Club emails or Lindy Hop meets) to administrative emails (health and wellness reminders or Cafecito Hour emails) to lecture lists (Rohatyn Center lectures or Faculty Lecture Series reminders). Of course, some emails such as emergency notifications, classes, etc. would not be able to be opt-out.

            This will help our community deal with the email influx while giving us control…

            19 votes
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              2 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
            • allow students to create ad hoc groups (a la facebook)

              Students want to organize groups to do projects, communicate internally, share documents. Let's make it easy for them to do so via the website.

              15 votes
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                0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
              • make a really great ride board

                Wouldn't it be great to have all the various ride boards both physical and virtual consolidated into one single ride board...

                13 votes
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                  1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                • have a useful and flexible online calendar of events

                  Our online calendar (http://cat.middlebury.edu/events/) sucks. Students don't use Outlook calendars and that online "Events at Middlebury" website.

                  We need a next generation, open-source calendar in which students can access the calendar in whatever way they want. Categories of RSS feeds (arts events, sports events, individual sports schedules, social events) should be available so that students can use it in Google Calendar, iCal, or any other popular online calendar or desktop software.

                  Furthermore, the calendar should be multi-media rich. Why not have links to buy tickets, photos, videos, and other content built right into the events?

                  11 votes
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                    0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                  • Make the website more visual, virtual, and interactive.

                    Lets showcase Middlebury's beautiful campus to all those students who intend to apply. Lets incorporate Midd's beautiful scenery into the website's architectural layout. Our current website's images are small, dull and outdated. Also, lets update the online tour feature.

                    A school as small as Middlebury needs a website that showcases our best attributes, namely top flight academics, beautiful facilities and interesting people.

                    Check out Vassar's website.... honestly, our website needs a facelift. Also, lets get onto ITunesU: where universities post information.......Bowdoin has it!

                    10 votes
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                      0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                      I absolutely agree that the website needs to become more interactive and visually stimulating. We have a very static design.

                      But here’s a few facts: 1) the photos on the website are updated at least yearly but the “My Midd Experience” section is sorta outdated. It’d be nice for any Middkid to be featured — showing our diversity and openness to non-scripted admissions material. I’d also like to see a flickr account for Middkids to post photos to.

                      2) iTunesU is already on its way from the Communications Office as a way to see all the fantastic lectures around campus online in an easy format. Be prepared to see it launch in the Spring.

                      3) The online tour is actually one of the newer features on the website but yes, it is a little skimpy on real information and interactivity.

                      Here’s a link to Vassar: http://www.vassar.edu/

                    • eliminate segue in favor of professors using blogs!

                      Segue is the course management system for professors to officially interact with students. Course pages are built using segue and students most often post discussion/reaction papers this way.

                      Segue, while a great homegrown Middlebury-centric tool, is far too hard to use for both professors and students. Course websites need to move to a blog format where syllabi are posted as pages, schedules easily updates, and reaction/discussions take place in comment form. Media can also be added at will. Plus, blogs easily look good unlike Segue.

                      Blogs make professors and students interact more easily and efficiently online.

                      Example: http://blogs.middlebury.edu/21stcenturychallenges/

                      9 votes
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                        1 comment  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                      • Mobile application for student portal

                        Be able to download a the new student portal type application to a mobile phone - iphone/blackberry to be able to check events, news, menus, etc.

                        6 votes
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                          0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                        • incorporate more white space

                          Although I'm not a fan of Vassar's site, they do utilize white space effectively on the homepage.

                          2 votes
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                            0 comments  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
                          • midd recommendation system (a la amazon)

                            So you sign-on with your midd user & pass and the website recommends some sites for you to visit based on previous browsing history.

                            Are you a political science major? The website recommends to you check out the International Studies video archives page and the Rohatyn Center website. Art History major? The website recommends that you check out the College Museum at the CFA or that you learn about the Committee for Arts in Public Places (CAPP). If you're a prospective student interested in the Dance major, the website recommends you also check out Riddim, Middance, CDM, and On Tap…

                            2 votes
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