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Web Services


Introduction

ITS staff within the Web Team work with relevant staff in External Relations and elsewhere to enable and support the use of the web and web-related technologies by College staff for recruitment and promotional activities, the dissemination of internal information, the support of teaching, learning and research, and for administrative activities.  Towards this end ITS aim to provide technical support, advice, documentation, training (where appropriate) and dissemination of best practice to College staff engaged in the maintenance and development of Web-based materials.

All support queries are handled by the central ITS Support Desk, with issues being passed through to Web Team staff if they cannot be resolved by the front-line staff. The Support Desk is staffed between 11:00 and 19:00 Monday to Thursday during term time (11:00 to 18:00 out of term time) and between 11:00 and 17:00 on Fridays.
Tel: 020 7631 6543; E-mail: its@bbk.ac.uk

A college-wide web content management system (Plone) is maintained, to simplify for non-technical staff the process of maintaining Web content.  Training will be provided upon request for new web content maintainers within twenty working days of the receipt of the request.

A WordPress hosting service is also provided to enable Research teams and other groups within Birkbeck to have a WordPress blog hosted by the College.  We do not currently provide WordPress development services in house.

The ITS-maintained College Web servers host Web sites that contain on-line information and services of general interest to the public and members of the College.  The sites currently include: the principal public corporate sites at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ and http://www.bbk.ac.uk/prospective/; the public-facing secure server at https://www2.bbk.ac.uk/, used for on-line booking forms etc; and other sub-domain or alias addresses, such as http://search.bbk.ac.uk/ and http://www4.bbk.ac.uk/ for access to specific services.

Members of the ITS Web Team support the Web Editors in the External Relations Department (ER) in maintaining pages on these sites and developing functionality as appropriate.  Support is also provided to Academic Schools and Departments and to Administrative Departments in developing their sites.

Members of the Web Team are responsible for the administration and operation of the Web servers and the technical development and support of Web-based services and Web-based marketing initiatives, working with other Departments as appropriate.  Services provided and supported by the Web Team include: the creation and redevelopment of web sites and the creation of advertising landing pages; the gathering and reporting of web site usage data via Google Analytics; the creation of HTML email templates for marketing purposes; and the administration of an online survey facility (Bristol Online Surveys).  Detailed guides relating to these services are linked to from this page.  Advice and support is also provided upon request in relation to Birkbeck's externally-hosted on-line learning environment - Moodle - located at http://moodle.bbk.ac.uk/, and towards the development of web interfaces for systems administered by the ITS Corporate Information Systems Team.

Schools and Departments that place their material on the College Web servers will be able to receive help with the technical aspects of the creation and maintenance of their sites from Web Team staff.  However, responsibility for the maintenance of the information content of their sites will always remain with the Schools and Departments.

The ITS Web Team can provide advice and support for specific Web development projects, such as the creation of sites for Research Centres, although support for externally funded projects is limited (see the Policy on ITS Web Support for Externally Funded Projects and External Organisations at ../../regulations/web_externally_funded.pdf).

The mounting of student personal home pages on ITS Web servers is not permitted unless these are required as part of a course of study. Any information mounted on a School or Department Web server (in the main professional material by staff and research postgraduate students) is the responsibility of the School/Department.

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Service guides

Guides are available via this page that outline the standard procedures that we expect to follow when working with Schools, Departments, Research Centres and others in developing various web services. Just click on the relevant link below to read each guide.

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Web Editor's guidelines for good practice

The External Relations Web Editor, Jane Van de Ban, has produced a useful set of guidelines relating to various content-related issues. Links to these are given below.


User Responsibilities

  • Schools and Departments are responsible at all times for the maintenance of the content of their Web-based information.
  • Schools and Departments that operate their own Web servers are responsible at all times for the technical administration and maintenance of that equipment in accordance with the College Network Security Policy (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/hr/policies_services/policies_az/networksecurity) and any relevant College guidelines.
  • The publishing of information on College Web servers must conform to the College computing regulations and any guidelines issued by the College.  Support materials for Web Maintainers are being developed and expanded on an on-going basis and will be linked to from this page that contain information and pointers to relevant regulations and guidelines.  Links are also provided from here to content-related guidelines and resources developed by the Web Editor.
  • Schools/Departments/Research Centres requesting the following specific services must contact the ITS Web Team prior to the required go-live date according to these timescale:

    Service Timescale for initial contact prior to go-live date (minimum)
    Advertising landing page(s) One month for a single landing page;
    Two months for more complex page(s)
    Online conference booking form Three months
    Google Analytics usage tracking Two weeks
    HTML email creation Three weeks
    Online survey account One week
    Web site creation or redevelopment Three months

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Service Standards

  • Training will be provided upon request for new web content maintainers who will be using the College web content management system (Plone) within twenty working days of the receipt of the request.
  • ITS will respond to requests for advice on Web authoring, design of pages, use of Web software, and for requests for any of the specific services mentioned above within two working days of the request being received.  Subsequent work that may arise from the request will be carried out according to a timetable agreed with the requesting unit.
  • Problems reported via the ITS Support Desk and passed through to the Web Team will be acknowledged within one working day and resolved where possible within one working week.

 

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