Doing their own thing—
The University of Northern Colorado leads the way in customizations
The University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) began their work with SmartCatalog with a typical implementation: two catalogs and Curriculum Management. However, over the course of time, they took off with the system and started doing their own thing!
Initially, the scope of the project included a graduate and undergraduate Catalog and Curriculum Management. The IQ implementation took approximately 6 weeks for each catalog. During implementation, SmartCatalog set up over 100 users in the system to accommodate the broad contributor base. The University uses IQ’s integrated import tool to bring in course descriptions from its Student Information System (SIS).
What we didn’t know, and what makes UNCO such a great client, is what would happen after implementation. Once their non-technical but savvy staff got into the system, they started using it in ways we hadn’t even dreamed of. On their own, and with very little additional training, UNCO administrators have created several additional workflows and six additional forms! Of course, we provided the unlimited support that every client receives as part of their annual contract, but they conceived of these projects and carried them out independently.
The new items UNCO created are the first to include electronic student forms. We helped them implement Secure Socket Layer (SSL) security for forms that include student ids, and they were off to the races. Just when we thought they’d shown us everything, they decided they wanted to make a significant change to the data structure, and they simply did it. No extra charge. No hassle. Just a system they can use and modify as needs change.
Not every client will want to roll up their sleeves and dig into the system like UNCO did, but isn’t it nice to know that you can without paying a fee for every small change or new form? Today, SmartCatalog provides advanced administrator training so that anyone can take on the kind of project that UNCO pioneered.
Thank you UNCO for making IQ a better system.
The International Monetary Fund—
A complex implementation and an automated PeopleSoft feed
When the IMF first contacted us, we thought it was spam. After all, why would the International Monetary Fund need Academic Content Management?
It turns out that the IMF Institute is responsible for a lot of professional education in financial management and policy for a global student base. They deliver education at centers located around the world. Each center teaches only a select number of their many classes, and a learner qualifies for education at a center depending upon their home country. They needed a system which could integrate with PeopleSoft and deliver an online catalog which took all of those variables into consideration when presenting course material.
SmartCatalog IQ was the perfect fit. The Institute imports almost all data from PeopleSoft to IQ. IQ is able to recognize course descriptions in three languages (more to come), and present them in tabs on each course description page. Here’s the kicker—we did the initial implementation in just 6 weeks.
IQ delivers am advanced filtering feature to help viewers understand the courses offered at multiple centers. A student’s eligibility is limited by the location of instruction. When a student searches for a course they may filter results by the language it’s offered in, the location of instruction, and the dates the course is offered. The filter tool helps the student understand what is available to them and directs them to the appropriate course at the correct location.
You may never need to import courses from PeopleSoft in multiple languages, but you may need to present admissions requirements in Spanish, filter search results by campus, or publish offering dates for each program. We can help you get there with tested technology and expert services.
Thank you IMF for making IQ a better system.
Pushing boundaries and adding value
Creating a nightly course synch with Banner and single sign-on create efficiencies
Like a lot of colleges, Wellesley had specific requirements for their catalog system. An off-the-shelf product without customization just wouldn’t answer their needs. They needed a solution and a vendor with the technical resources to fit their existing technologies and processes. After a systematic evaluation process, they chose SmartCatalog IQ.
One of the first customizations was an automated course synchronization between Banner and SmartCatalog IQ. Like many institutions, Wellesley imported courses from Banner into the catalog system. However, they wished to optimize their ease of use of IQ by having courses edited in IQ and then pushed back into Banner. In short, they wished to reverse the usual process.
SmartCatalog developers created a daily XML course export from IQ which is fed into Banner on a nightly basis. This allows editors to use a single-source for revisions in the catalog management system, while keeping the Student Information System updated every day.
Getting buy-in from campus users is often half the battle of implementing any new technology. A key to that is making the system as accessible as possible. The Wellesley technology team recognized that minimizing clicks and logins would go a long way to maximizing adoption. They worked with the SmartCatalog team to create a direct route from a secure page on wellesley.edu direct to the IQ workbox for editors. Now once their users log into the College’s secure web area, they can go directly to their personalized IQ workbox without any additional login. IQ recognizes their users and presents them with the content they are allowed to edit and organizes it by its current level of approval.
Thank you Wellesley College for making IQ a better system.