Engaging staff and students in the development and deployment of a departmental website : a review
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Peacock, S., Adamson, S., McKenzie, J. & Williams, K. (2004) Engaging staff and students in the development and deployment of a departmental website : a review, Focus on Health Professional Education: A Multi-disciplinary Journal, vol. 6, , pp. 59-76,
Introduction: This paper discusses the development, deployment and evaluation of a website for an academic department, built around a customised webtemplate. We draw upon a two-year, co-ordinated initiative between the Dietetics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences Department and the Centre for Academic Practice at Queen Margaret University College. Initially we provide a brief overview of the issues involved in using web-based technologies from the student and staff perspective. We then describe the process of setting up the site and present the results of the evaluation. Results and Conclusions: We address the emergent issues raised by the project. For staff these include ease of use and the provision of a variety of support mechanisms. These are critical for long-term engagement and sustainability since they reduce the risk of distancing staff from their materials and encourage ownership of the website. Students use the website for preparation for lectures, as signposts for further research and reflection. Key barriers relate to access, systems stability and commitment of support departments. To address such concerns an institutional approach is proposed to provide long-term support.