University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Any CourseLeaf, Acalog or SmartCatalog users out there?

We put out an RFI for a catalog management solution and recently sat through short demos about these three products. Looking to chat with schools how are using or used any of these products and get some general impressions.

Views: 1489

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We use Acalog at GVSU, but I am not that directly involved. If you wanted to run questions by someone I could probably dig up a contact for you.

Thanks, Ben. Thank would help me out a lot...

Personally, my impression of those three (I've demoed them all previously as well) is that they were solutions built by programmers. Meaning, tons of features without a lot of regard for how they actually need to be used by the people that use them. If memory serves, CourseLeaf stood out as the best of the three, mainly for their PDF conversion abilities.

<vendor>
That said, that's why we worked on CatalogM (http://catalogm.allofe.com/catalogm/home). We built it from the ground up to meet the needs of the registrar at the university I worked at previously. And like our mapping platform, we wanted to make it more than cost competitive with current market alternatives. Our platform was built with university flexibility in mind - dealing with the idea that no two schools build their catalog the same.

If you want to watch the webinar we did on it a while back, it's archived here: http://info.nucloud.com/view-online-catalog-webinar/. Feel free to shoot me any questions if you want.
</vendor> 

Thanks. I'll definitely check CatalogM out. I was actually impressed how far these products have come since we looked five years ago, but none seems the "ideal" fit.

We've dealt with one of these vendors. Our problems are related to our own internal processes, where plan is a four-letter word and lack of accountability means deadlines are missed and life goes on.

Moral of the story: you need to have a handle on your own processes to make any product work for you. If your process is broken, no product will fix it for you.

Good point - even the best tool is worthless if you aren't setup internally to use it properly.

That said, we're wrapping up an installation with one of these vendors and, as Michael said, it definitely looks like it was designed by programmers. I can't even figure out how to work the darn thing. I wish I had been involved in the selection process. (What is it with "enterprise" software companies forgetting to hire interface designers?)

Tatjana, make sure you can take it for a real test drive with the people who will actually be using it. A demo likely won't reveal usability issues.

I agree, internal processes are critical. We have been using a homegrown online catalog CMS for about ten years, so we've worked through a lot of the workflow kinks and have a good idea of what we are looking for to fit with our environment and resources. We're also lucky that we have a good cross section of people involved in the selection process and we're trying to be very thorough. I just recently have been dealing with another hosted "web solution" by a "big name" company that was chosen by a senior administrator (it's what they used at his old school...), and it has been a nightmare, definitely designed for programmers of which none are involved on our side... Even the public facing end has some serious usability issues. :(

Anyhow... It was actually the catalog demos that brought me here to seek out concrete experiences with specific products. During the demo one product looked super techie and not very user-friendly for those entering information. Another seemed geared to developing very structured data, that has a definite appeal for re-purposing  data throughout our institutional site, however, I am concerned that it might be too difficult to implement given the current diversity and complexity of the current catalog content. I'd like to know some first hand of pluses and minuses of these tools in action.

If anyone is willing to share some details of their experiences, please contact me directly.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference - ONLINE

October 19-20, 2020https://2020.highedweb.org/#HEWeb20     Join us ONLINE for HighEdWeb 2020, the conference created by and for higher education professionals across all departments and divisions. Together we explore and find solutions for the unique issues facing digital teams at colleges and universities. In 2020, the Conference will be held completely online, offering multiple tracks of streamed presentations, live…See More
May 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Throughout April, we're hosting webcasts exploring how colleges and universities across North America are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Register for the series today! https://bit.ly/2xsXhK9"
Apr 13
Christelle Lachapelle is now a member of University Web Developers
Apr 6
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Download our latest white paper to learn how the demographics of today’s higher ed learners are shifting, and how schools can adapt to meet the needs of these new learners. https://bit.ly/2wTKdgB"
Mar 31
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Amrit Ahluwalia from The EvoLLLution to learn about the new "modern learner" in higher education. https://bit.ly/2UuDh2I"
Mar 30
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"As we ride out the latest developments and impact of the coronavirus, there's no better time than now to learn the three Bs of crisis planning. http://bit.ly/2ITVkc2"
Mar 16
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Is your college or university prepared to meet the challenges that come with disasters and emergencies like the coronavirus? Learn how your CMS can help. http://bit.ly/2TUZUM8"
Mar 12
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Can’t afford the time and money to launch a comprehensive guided pathways model? Register for our FREE webcast to learn tricks for simulating a digital guided pathways experience."
Feb 21
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"With college enrollment decreasing for the 8th year in a row, boosting your college or university marketing efforts is more important than ever. Here's how to get started. http://bit.ly/2vTQAzz"
Feb 20
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference

October 18-21, 2020 in Little Rock, Arkansas, USAhttps://2020.highedweb.org/#HEWeb20     Join us for HighEdWeb 2020, the conference created by and for higher education professionals across all departments and divisions. Together we explore and find solutions for the unique issues facing digital teams at colleges and universities. With 100+ diverse sessions, an outstanding keynote presentation, intensive workshops, and engaging networking events,…See More
Feb 19
Christine Boehler posted a discussion

HighEdWeb 2020 Call for Proposals is Open!

The 2020 Annual Conference of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association (HighEdWeb) will travel to Little Rock, Arkansas, this October 18-21 — and the call for proposals is now open! As a digital professional in higher education, we know you have great ideas and experiences to share. From developers, marketers and programmers to managers, designers, writers and all team members in-between, HighEdWeb provides valuable professional development for all who want to explore the unique…See More
Feb 14
Christine Boehler shared Sara Clark's discussion on Facebook
Feb 14
Christine Boehler is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 14
Brian Bell joined Kevin Daum's group
Feb 14
Brian Bell joined Mark Greenfield's group
Feb 14
Kenneth George is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 13
John Sterni is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 6
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The early-bird discount for OUTC20 ends today! Don't wait... register NOW and save $100! https://outc20.com/"
Jan 24
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Maxwell Rowe from @mackeycreativelab as he discusses ways to help students reach their educational goals using the guided pathways model on your website. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Jan 22
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Frustrated with student retention efforts and low graduation rates? Maybe it’s time to consider the guided pathways model for your institution's website. Check out our latest white paper for all the details! http://bit.ly/38rNild"
Jan 21

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2020   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service