Building the Killer Course Finder
In 2009, the University of Leeds embarked on the development of a new 'Killer CourseFinder Application' for managing the content of hundreds of academic courses using the Jadu web content management system.
Paul Stanton from the University of Leeds gave a presentation about this project at the Online Information Conference in November 2010.
This now provides an intuitive, flexible and powerful system and a key student recruitment tool for the University of Leeds. Faculties can now take ownership of their course information, whilst prospective students can easily navigate the myriad of course options available to them using an elegant User Interface.
The 'Killer CourseFinder' - harnessing the power of content management
The CourseFinder application now being used by the University of Leeds, was built by the University's web team as a module for the Jadu Content Management system, which is also used to drive the University's corporate site. Paul Stanton, web developer at the University of Leeds identified the potential to develop the CourseFinder module whilst working on the corporate project.
It became clear to me that we could build CourseFinder as a custom module within the CMS and offload the burden of content management to the corporate CMS without reinventing the wheel by building yet another standalone corporate system. One of the main reasons why we chose Jadu was the workflow facilities.Paul Stanton, Web Developer
The University of Leeds has nine faculties and a number of departments and schools. The University selected the Jadu and the Jadu CMS system because of its strong focus on core content management principles, in particular workflow, versioning and user access control. Each faculty has its own profile of course information that requires management and updating. This means that a customised approach needs to be taken to workflow to suit particular needs. This approach is supported by Jadu CMS which is also used to control access to the CourseFinder system and provide content versioning.
As well as utilising the Jadu CMS built-in functionality, Leeds also made use of the powerful Jadu API. The Jadu API allows developers to access all CMS data and add standard CMS features such as versioning and categorisation to
new modules. Jadu also provide a RESTful interface, the MyJadu API, to the CMS which allows developers, even those unfamiliar with Jadu and CMS in general, to access and use web site content.