Spyder Spyder's Web
Webdesign Portfolio:  Anthropology and Sociology, UBC

The ANSO department at UBC required a method to post course outlines for current courses, which were linked from an external site (Student Information System). The manual and time consuming system that was being used left outdated information online, with no easy way of removing it, or even knowing it was there. A number of different people, in different locations worked on this task which made it slow and error-prone. The department needed a new method of managing course outlines that removed errors, accomodated the shortcomings of the fixed online systems, and decreased time and effort.

The tricky part was that UBC's Student Information System (SIS) held two of the three identifiers of a course; Subject Code, and Course Number. Since the actual courses are "sections" of a particular Course, and course outlines were unique to each section, there was no way for SIS to know which course outline a student was looking for. SIS provides a link to course outlines as recorded by department staff, but only at the general course level, not specific to each section. So, how can the department use this service to list all course outlines?

The following was developed:

  • The link from SIS was modified to send a query to the departmental server, requesting a list of matching course outlines so that the student could choose the correct section and professor they needed.

  • A web based management system was implemented so departmental staff could upload and modify course outlines on the server, eliminating the need for multiple staff, and reducing errors.

  • The online system automatically maintains PDF, DOC and TXT outline files, and allows for routine cleanup at the end of a term.

Update - in 2006, the department was dissolved and separated into two departments: Anthropology Department and the Sociology Department; the domain is now expired.