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ERIC Number: EJ839244
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1528-5324
Of Portals, Policies, and Poets
Bunt, Rick; Pennock, Lea
EDUCAUSE Quarterly, v29 n2 p41-47 2006
Universities are drawn to portals as an effective way of organizing and delivering campus services and information. In a university environment, where the desire for local autonomy and the impetus for centralization are in constant tension, a portal seems especially appealing because it allows local solutions through a shared medium. But the fact that a portal cuts across many sectors of the campus, delivering services and information that transcend organizational boundaries, means that implementing a portal raises questions about jurisdiction, responsibility, and authority. Such questions cannot and should not be addressed by the technical team: a successful portal project is as much a social exercise as a technical one, and it demands wide community engagement. A portal implementation is an opportunity to bring together service providers, system developers, and user groups who might not normally work together, providing incentives for them to collaborate and to reflect on common processes and shared principles. Both this collaboration and this reflection are unanticipated but enormously valuable byproducts of a technology project. The authors describe their experience introducing a campus portal at the University of Saskatchewan, a publicly funded research-intensive university offering a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to some 20,000 students. As their project evolved, so too did their understanding of where they needed to direct their attention. They began by conceiving the portal implementation primarily as a technology project, broadened their perspective to emphasize content, and then came to see that an even broader view was called for--one that acknowledged the importance of technology but placed far greater emphasis on content, community engagement, and the range of policy implications that their project exposed. (Contains 6 endnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada