Developing Online Learning Portals in Low Bandwidth Communities

Developing Online Learning Portals in Low Bandwidth Communities

Mae van der Merwe (University of South Africa, South Africa) and Lorna Uden (Staffordshire University, UK)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-989-2.ch040
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University portals are emerging all over the world. Portals have been perceived by many people as the technologies that are designed to enhance work and learning processes at university by making workflows simpler and information more readily available in a form in which it can be processed (Franklin, 2004). There are many benefits for having a portal in a university. First, the portal makes it easy for people to find university information targeted specifically at them. Instead of the user searching the Web for information, a person identifies himself or herself to the portal, and the portal brings all relevant information to that person. Secondly, the portal uses a single consistent Web-based front end to present information from a variety of back-end data sources. Although information about people is stored in many different databases at a university, the role of a portal is to put a consistent face to this information so that visitors do not have to deal with dozens of different Web interfaces to get their information. Usability is an important issue when designing the university portal. Principles from human computer interaction must be included in the design of portals.

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