I’d like to share the upcoming orientation with you so you can get a feel of how it will work and possibly show it to your advisers and/or students services people. That way you can start planning what content you might need to have on it and be ready to put that content in the orientation when it’s ready. The back-end is still a ways off because we are in the process of merging a lot of our systems into a single system so user will not have to log into multiple places to do their work. Eventually the CMS portion of our site will be in this new “application.” It will function pretty much the same, just be in a new spot.\
The demo front end of the orientation can be found on our development website at http://rcdedevb.usu.edu/websites/distance.usu.edu/orientation/. As of writing this it is currently incomplete both in content and in coding, but should be stable enough for you to view. The first thing you will notice is that you were pushed to a login area. You can login if you like with your USU A-Number and password or click skip login to continue without logging in. If a user does not login, the progress will not be logged. I know some people want the ability to track students completion of the orientation for various reasons so that is an option. However if you just want to browse the orientation without tracking, just click skip login.
The orientation looks basically like our website currently. It has a navigation menu on the left which outlines the entire orientation. At any time a user can skip to any page of the orientation and view the content or they can use the buttons located at the bottom of the content area to go forward or backward in the orientation. Each time a student views a page, the the time and date is logged in our system and linked to the student’s A-Number. If there is a video on one of the pages, we will log if the student watched the entire video or just skipped it.
We will add a finish button at the end of the orientation so when the user clicks on it, it will go through and verify all videos were watched and all pages were viewed. That way it can alert them to go back and watch the video if they want to. Other than that, the orientation is now a lot more simple. Users can easily see on the left which page they are at, and if they skipped any pages along the way.
Our current back-end still does not have the security set up, so I can’t send you there to login and see it, but I will post screenshots for you to follow along. When a user logs into the system and goes to the orientation section, they will be greeted with this page.
On the left you will see existing orientations to edit for locations that you are tied to. In the center you can see instructions in case you get a little lost when editing an orientation. Also if you see the menu at the top, you can easily switch between orientations and tracking. If you click on a location, or create a new orientation, you will be sent to the orientation editor page which is where you will do all the editing of the orientation pages.
Everything here should be pretty straight forward. On the left are the existing orientation pages. You can drag them around to re-order them. The center area you can edit the page title, url, link text, YouTube video, and content. Hit save and the page is good to go. It’s black and white as far as editing goes. If you are editing an orientation on a site other than Logan, you will have the ability to import pages from the Logan orientation. All pages you add, edit, remove, or re-order are instantly updated on the front end orientation.
The tracking page is just as simple too. After you pick a location, you will be greeted with the following page with all the data you need.
As you can see in the photo, on the left you can either select the A-Numbers of students who have recently viewed the orientation, or just enter one in the box. On the right you will see all of the pages of your orientation. The pages at the top of the list are pages that have been viewed by the student. At the bottom are missed or skipped pages. Pages added to the orientation after the student viewed the orientation would be shown here as well. All of the logging data is clearly marked. At the top right corner of the Tracking Data box you can quickly see the status of if the student has viewed the entire orientation or not.
I am looking for input at this phase of the process of things that you, your advisers, or student services people might want to see or add. I can make any promises, but I have been working with Chris here to develop this, and while it is not as intricate as the previous orientation, it is also a lot more maintainable and stable.
Feel free to play around with the orientation and get a feel for how it works. It is honestly at a point where we can do some testing now, and I really hope to have it done by mid next month to give everyone plenty of time to make their own orientations for each site. Chris is currently working on the Logan orientation so that when we launch, everyone will have access to the Logan orientation pages. Please leave your feedback as a comment on this post or in an email. I encourage comments on the posts so we can have a discussion on here and everyone can be in the loop.