University Business November/December 2019 - 22

BEY

ND

THE

4

ways to make digital course
catalogs more robust-connecting
to other systems and providing a
user-friendly experience

I

n an age of highly connected campuses and smart
devices, an essential campus document has been
one of the last remnants of an earlier time. The
academic course catalog, used regularly by every
student and advisor to select courses and chart academic pathways, hasn't changed much over the years-even
as the courses and the registration process have been
completely transformed by technology.
Most colleges and universities offer an online versions of their catalogs, but few are putting to use the
connectivity and smart technology available. For instance, Bakersfield College in California had been
posting its catalog online for several years "in a static
PDF format," says Bill Moseley, dean of academic technology. "This has the advantage of making the catalog
more widely available, but it is roughly the equivalent

By Nancy Mann Jackson

of a printed document in terms of its functionality."
This year, for the first time, Bakersfield administrators have produced a "truly web-native" catalog, providing an immersive, interactive experience that helps
give students the information they need to succeed,
Moseley says.
Other higher ed institutions are increasingly looking to ramp up their online course catalogs, harnessing the capabilities of the web to connect course information with other campus systems and providing
improved service for students and faculty. Following
are four ways to make it happen.

1

Harness online capabilities
Traditional paper-based course catalogs and the
static online documents that followed usually provide

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