Why roll out the new site now, before it is finished?

The timing of the launch is set to coincide with prospective students making their college decisions, a time when we are anticipating a new wave of traffic to the site. The project is still a work in progress, but we are far enough along to feel confident about what we are launching. The community will see iterative changes and enhancements in the ensuing weeks. 

Where can I find links to faculty, staff, current student, parent and alumni resources that used to be in the website header?

Click/tap on “Me” on the top left of any page in the new Calvin responsive template. 

Where can I find links to the A-Z index, People Search, Campus Map and Calendar?

Click/tap on “More+” at the top right of each page.

Who is on the Web team?

  • Tim Ellens, director, communications & marketing (C&M)
  • Jeanne Nienhuis, director, enrollment communications (EC)
  • Matt Jeltema, associate director of information systems, Calvin Information Technology (CIT)
  • Luke Robinson, web manager, C&M
  • Joy’l Ver Heul, print and multimedia communications manager, C&M
  • Jonathan Laughlin, web developer, CIT
  • Allison Graff Poosawtsee, enrollment communications manager, EC
  • Nathan Hibma, enrollment communications coordinator (web designer), EC
  • Ryan Norman, Web communications coordinator, student life
  • Steve Barkema, Web/print designer, C&M
  • Amanda Greenhoe, coordinator of development communications & marketing, development

What is the Web team process?

The Web team works in an agile management process called Scrum. The work is organized around what can be accomplish in two-week cycles called Sprints and addresses items that are prioritized in a backlog. Tim Ellens and Jeanne Nienhuis are the “product owners” and establish the backlog priorities. Matt Jeltema, in the role of Scrum Master, facilitates the daily “standup” meetings and ensures team members can complete their tasks within each Sprint.

How do I request Web changes or report errors?

For the time being, please use the “Website feedback” link on the bottom left corner of each redesigned page. The Web team will address all feedback at its biweekly meeting.

In the coming weeks we will be installing a Web request form process similar to the HelpDesk process. This will allow us to accumulate the data we need to measure need against available resources.

What about my department’s website? I’ve been requesting changes to it for a long time!

The Web team’s focus on top-level pages has left many departments feeling ignored and unattended. Additionally, there are content issues in places where top-level majors and program pages link to department sites.

When the college installed a Web content management system (WCMS) called dotCMS in 2010, the expectation was that the system would provide tools for collaboration, authoring and administration that would allow users with little programming knowledge to easily create and manage content.

We now know that simplicity and ease of use are only attained by going through a tunnel of complexity.

Though the college has been using dotCMS for several years, the complexity of the system has made it difficult to implement college-wide. This complexity involves the need to align many college systems and processes in a way that has not been possible given current resources. We understand this has led to frustration in areas of the college that don’t have adequate resources to address their website needs.

In looking forward, the Web team is taking the following actions to address this issue:

  • We are submitting a website governance model recommendation to the President’s Council that includes oversight by the Council, an advisory board and an organization of campus content creators.
  • We will be establishing an online Web request form. This will formalize a data collection process for understanding the backlog of need and aligning, or making a case for, more resources.
  • We are continuing work on creating the needed database infrastructure (calendars, scholarships, faculty profiles, major requirements, facts, etc.) so that when department and administrative office websites are redesigned, they can use content from a central content database for part of each website.

By using the new Web request form mentioned above, you can help the Web team gather data to measure need against available resources. The form will be available within the next few weeks.