hall-developmentofhigh-2005.pdf (886.21 kB)
Development of high quality university web sites: benefits to users and the learning organisation
journal contributionposted on 2005-01-01, 00:00 authored by J Hall, Wendy Kennedy
In recent years, the online delivery of educational material has received much attention by researchers. University web sites are being used to supplement the delivery of knowledge in traditional bricks and mortar environments or as stand-alone external courses. The function of a university web site also has broader applications that can provide strategic benefits to the organisation as a whole. An Internet presence based on a high quality, easy to use web site can provide universities with a credible, professional image. This is particularly important as students and other users of university web sites expect the same high level of quality in these sites as they do from the sites of commercial organisations. This paper explores the various roles that a web site can provide to benefit higher education organisations and their customers. In addition, the paper outlines the results of a study of university web site users that identifies specific web site design features that are considered essential for a high quality university site that will meet the needs of students and other stakeholders in a university environment. By adopting these design principles, universities will be able to improve the quality of their web sites and ultimately, increase user satisfaction. Moreover, an understanding of the various roles that a web site can perform will allow universities to fully utilise the benefits of developing and maintaining an online presence while retaining their traditional role as knowledge managers.