Starting a site

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The LU Web team can set up and maintain a Splash or ESP Web site. These sites provide static (informational) pages as well as registration and administration functions for programs. Please keep us updated on your general progress and needs; we may be able to save you a great deal of time running your program, because the Web sites can automate a lot of tasks (more information on this is forthcoming). We will try to help you strike an appropriate balance between using the Web site, performing tasks manually, and finding workarounds.

Checklist

The information below is sufficient for us to set up a basic ESP Web site on your behalf.

  • Your desired URL (one you provide if you control a domain, or something.learningu.org).
  • Desired colors to use and/or avoid.
  • Choice of login system (standard, by school or by birthday).
  • Default contact email for the group.

The information below is necessary in order for students to register

  • Schedule for when teachers will be allowed to register their classes
  • Schedule for class blocks on each day of your event.
  • Schedule for when students will be allowed to sign up.
  • Will students be able to apply for financial aid through the Web site, or should they just be told to e-mail you?
  • Cost of program, and each possible item (incl. meals, photos, etc.) that students can reserve; prices specified for normal and financial aid students if applicable
  • Lunch options
  • Schedule constraints (limitations on classes during lunch, grade eligibility for time slots, etc.)

Things to think about

These are some issues that may be worth considering in the design of your group's site. However, you may not want to spend too much time worrying about a Web site when you're getting off the ground.

Appearance of pages: You can work with us to design a new layout, but it's easier to base your site layout on an existing design. Luke Joyner, our graphic design expert, can help adapt one of the existing site designs (especially Chicago's). Try to pick out a set of colors that represent your school or simply look good together. Think about what you'd like your logo to look like.

Content of pages: You don't need a lot of text to get started. You can structure the site any way you want; this is something to discuss if you are especially. However, this simple guide may be a good starting point.

  • Home page: provides an extremely brief overview of your organization's mission, a statement about the upcoming program including links to currently active registration, and disambiguation for the remaining pages.
  • Teachers page: explains what teaching for your group is like in the context of other student activities; provides schedule and links for the active teaching opportunity; provides examples and/or suggestions for class subjects
  • Students page: provides context, schedule and directions for upcoming event; links to registration and previous catalogs/program pages; links to commonly requested documents like liability waivers
  • Volunteers page: links to volunteer signup form and mailing list; explains tasks that invite involvement
  • General information page: explains group history and structure; links to commonly requested pages/documents; links to related groups' sites

Example: Splash! Chicago at http://splashchicago.learningu.org

"Workflow": What sequence of pages should someone use for each common task after arriving at your site? Should teachers, students and others be separated right away, or should it be easy to see what everyone is doing? Should the informational pages or program-specific pages be more obvious? What information should each teacher or student enter in order to register?