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The Re-launch of Calvin.Edu

Improving our findability: part two

Friday, July 17, 2009

Part two is an update to Improving our findability posted March 10, 2009.

So, what’s new?

Calvin's Google Mini search appliance unboxed and sitting on Matt's deskHere’s a quick summary of what’s taken place with the Web Project since early spring:

  • The launch of Calvin’s new Google Mini Search Appliance (GSA). If you haven’t already kicked-the-tires, by all means please do! The search results now include:
    1. upcoming events
    2. building names and addresses
    3. phone directory information
    4. course descriptions
    5. and named scholarships
  • A redesign of the People Search to improve readability and whitespace
  • The A-Z Index now includes building, apartment, and residence hall names
  • Consistent navigation between site tools (Search Calvin, A-Z Index, People, and Maps)


A big "thank you" goes to Calvin international relations major Gabe Bell. Gabe optimized the Google Mini by modifying its front-end, pairing search terms with Web pages, defining related queries, and building five "OneBox Modules" to provide targeted search results (see above). If you see Gabe on-campus, please congratulate him on a job well done.

What’s next you ask?

Jonathan Laughlin is reviewing open-source content management systems; Allison Graff, Erin Bryant, and Joy’l Ver Heul are re-vamping top-level content, particularly in student life and admissions pages; and Luke tweaks the Calvin Web template and global navigation (take a peek).

And, there’s always spring cleaning =)

  1. Remove
  2. Reuse
  3. Rewrite

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2 comments on "Improving our findability: part two"
  • I like having the dorm names included, but when I went there, I expected to find their address.  Could that be included on the individual dorm pages, or have a link to the mail services page where they’re all listed?  “Where do I send something so it reaches my child?” is a question we get from parents and I think that’d be helpful.  I liked finding the scholarship info by name, too.  Susan

    Posted by Susan Buist on 07/20 at 12:30 PM
  • I’m not sure how far up the content chain the sample template is (the one linked to “sneak peak”).  I could see how the organization of content would be helpful for students, but not for faculty members. As a faculty member, I would prefer not to have to go 8 levels down to find a form, or a committee, or a policy.  Would it be possible to have one link, one button, that would take a faculty member to a page that lists, in a coherent fashion, with links, all the forms that one might need to fill out from time to time (leave of absence applications, DCM course proposal forms, off-campus course proposal forms, and the like)?  Might another button take a faculty member to a page with links to all the college committees, with their reports, meeting times, deadlines and the like?  I would find that helpful.

    Posted by Lee Hardy on 07/20 at 09:06 AM