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January 2002 Issue

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Management Strategies & Tips

By Frank L. Christ

Email: flchris@mindspring.com

Frank Christ PictureTip #18:Hallmarks of an Award Winning Web site 

At the recent Winter Institute Awards Breakfast held in Tucson, AZ, the learning support center web site excellence award winners for this second annual awards program were announced. See the list of awardees elsewhere in this newsletter. Sites were judged on criteria especially developed for comprehensive learning support centers in higher education -- criteria that you can review on LSCHE/About Learning Support Centers/Learning Support Centers on the Web at http://www.pvc.maricopa.edu/~lsche/about.htm 
  
As I looked back at the award winning sites, I noted 10 web site features that were evidence of award quality to the judges as they evaluated the web sites for the 2001 awards program. Why not use this checklist to score your web site against these 10 hallmarks by placing a checkmark in the box before each feature that your web site utilizes. 

First viewer impressions of the splash (home) page: loads in less than 15 seconds with content headers or buttons visible without scrolling down the splash page and displaying a welcoming and user friendly attitude. 
 
Pictures of students and staff working in the center. 
 
 Fresh updated content with date of changes visible on web pages 
 
 Welcome message from the director along with link to staff photos and brief biographies 
 
Viewing ease and content readability. See http://psych.utoronto.ca/~muter/pmuter1.htm for details. 
 
Site map and/or search box linked to splash page 
 
Use of accessible web-designed standards. See http://library.uwsp.edu/aschmetz/Accessible/pub_resources.htm 
 
Being Bobby approved for visually impaired students by offering either alternate text only pages or using alt tags to describe all photos and graphics 
 
All links relevant to the center's mission with no broken links 
 
Interactivity through use of appropriate learning & study skills diagnostic instruments and student feedback. 

For every unchecked box, consider modifying your site to include the feature described and think about entering the 2002 LSC Web Site Excellence program. Details will be announce in the Spring. 

 
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