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What is the difference between the Centrenet Portal and the WWW site?

The Centrenet portal and the www site are designed for two different audiences and provide two distinct functions.

The WWW site (www.centre.edu) is primarily focused on prospective students, their families or supporters,  and others who have an interest in learning more about Centre.   The site is managed by the Communications Office and is designed  to have lots of video and high end imagery along with byline-style articles about the College and it's successes.  

It is a public-only site which provides a jumping off point for people who want to apply to the college, apply to work here or get to CenterNet.

Centrenet is designed to provide a working environment for faculty, staff and students.   It is maintained by ITS and the content is managed by your appointed representatives.  This means it is designed to have a more functional look but also one where you are empowered to control your content.   Like the WWW site, the portal has a public face.  It also has a private side where Centre-personnel can share and access protected information.   The key difference between the two is the private side of Centrenet is gateway to our ERP/SIS system: Jenzabar CX.  

Permissions in CentreNet are controlled by access groups created and managed in the CX system.  So content can be open to anyone (ex, the main page), available to Centre-only (Forms and Docs page), restricted to specific functions or even limited to a single person.

There is a strong relationship between the WWW site and the CentreNet portal.  Often the WWW site will contain some key information but it will link to detailed info/data/forms/files on Centrenet.

How do I search for something on the new portal?

The search feature in CentreNet has been greatly expanded to make finding information on CentreNet or the rest of the public websites much easier.    We have moved the feature up to the top of the page, just under the main menu bar and stretched it out to make it more prominent.

Search Box

The search feature is really a few searches happening at the same time.    Search returns results from both the internal search engine indexing Centrenet  and the Google search engine crawling our public facing pages like www, CTL, CentreColonels, etc...     The portal search works in both a public and private mode.  In the public mode, it will only display CenterNet information which we have set up to be publically available. When you are logged in, it will display information you have permission to see.  So if sites are restricted to a few individuals, results will not appear in the search results unless you are authorized to that site.

Search results typically will display three types of results:

  • CentreNet Results at the top of the page
  • Google Results
    • Centre sites first
    • General Google next

 

How do I navigate the new portal?

There are a few ways to navigate through the site:  Top-Level navigation bar, breadcrumbs and in-page links/accordion portlets.  

The top-level navigation bar contains all our main offices, organizations and functions.  It is structured to provide a home for like categories and provide intuitive navigation.   The top level categories are:

  • Academic
  • Offices
  • Campus Life
  • My Services
  • Campus Resources

The top level menu will fly out  to the third level of the directory.  We have limited it to 3 levels because after that it can become confusing and difficult to mouse through.  In this example, Academic is level one, Arts and Humanities is level two and then something like Art History would be level three.

If you navigate to a site you will see two other methods of moving around.   

Breadcrumbs are  links in blue on the top left of the page just below the search bar, they show you where you are at on the site in the current directory structure.  In the example below, the user navigated to the Art History site and the breadcrumbs show the path back up.    Any of the underlined options can be selected and you will navigate to that page.

Individual pages can also have resources or links portlets.  These are usually located on the top right of the page.  These can show you other pages which exist below the third level, links to other pages on the site, or links to external pages.    As a general practice if you are leaving the site your link should open in another window to let you know you are no longer in the same area. 

Selecting a link to another page within a different site structure will result in an updated breadcrumb trail.  This will allow you to navigate up that particular directory tree but it won't be the same as the one you left.

The example below is also from the Art History page and it lists other programs available in the Arts and Humanities area.  These portlets are configurable by the collection owner so there can be some differences.

 

How do I ensure my content is displayed correctly in the search results?

What content in Centrenet is searchable?

Page titles, portlet titles, static html content, document names, document descriptions, links, calendar events, forums and blogs will display in the results.  Also, please note that only the content your account can access is going to display in the search results.

 

What content in Centrenet is not searchable?

The text inside a document cannot be searched.  Dynamic content displayed from the database is not searchable, so items such as specific grades, degree audit progress, and timecard information will not display in the search results.  Only the titles of the pages that display the database content will show up in the results.   

Example:

If a student searches for “CSC 117 grade”, the search results will not display the student’s grade for that particular course.  The student would see a link to the page that contains their grade report.

 

Document search tips

The names of documents added through the handout portlet are searchable, but the document description is included in the search index as well.  If you would like your document to be returned for certain key words that are not in the document name, then you can include these key phrases in the document description.

Example:

Adding “P2P Networks” as a document description to the ITS 2017-18 Student Guide document allows this document to return as a result for this particular word query.

 

When does new content display in the search results?

New Centrenet content is added to the search index once a day at 1:00pm.

 

What can I do if my content exists outside of Centrenet?

External content can be included in the Centrenet search only if the page that contains the information is publically accessible and Centre College’s Custom Google Search Engine is setup to index the site.  Please contact ITS if you would like to setup your web site to be indexed by the Centre College Google Search Engine.

What is the MyServices page?

Our site analytics indicated that most Center users logged into the portal to go to either the Faculty, Staff, or Student profile areas.   There they would access a variety of information.  

Upon login now the portal will take you to the MyServices area associated with your role Faculty, Staff, Admitted Student, Applied Student, Student, Board Member, Contractor.  The goal of this change is to get you to your work area as quickly as possible.  The example below shows a Student MyServices page.

 

These page contains multiple types of portlets and information.  

  • Some like Course Schedule pull information directly from the SIS so that it is displayed on the page as soon as you log in.
  • Other portlets, like the PayStub will contain a link to query the system and display results in another window.

The portlets on the right-hand side of the page are links to other information repositories which are often used by the respective functional area.   Some of these pages can be access as a whole and will display all the results shown.  Individual links can also be selected.   

When scrolling over an menu title and the black bar turns yellow, you can select it and it will bring up the entire submenu.  For example, scrolling over Class Info would result in this change:

Selecting it would bring up the Class Info page:

Finally, if you have more than one role you will be authorized multiple My Services pages.    Your default page will be the first one in the priority list above.  So if you are both Faculty and Staff, you will land on the Faculty page and can navigate to the Staff page from the top level menu.

 

Why didn't I go to the my MyServices page?

If you have already navigated away from the home page, you will not be taken to your MyServices page upon log in.  Instead you will remain on your current location but will now have access to all the non-public information on that page that you are authorized to see.

Why do menu bars change color when I scroll over them?

When scrolling over an menu title and the black bar turns yellow, you will sometime see it change from black with yellow text to yellow with black text.  This is done to indicate to you that you can select it and it will bring up the entire submenu show below.  For example, scrolling over Class Info would result in this change:

Selecting it would bring up the Class Info page:

Individual items can still be selected from either option and they will bring you directly to that portlet.

 

Why am I logged off automatically?

Logging into the portal starts an activity timer.  This is set to 60 minutes and the system will prompt you 5 minutes before your session expires to determine if you want to remain logged on.

The activity timer goes off whether you are active or inactive in the system.   If you do not respond to the warning pop up, you will be logged off and any information you haven't saved will be lost.

If you indicated you are going to remain on the system, the counter is reset to 60 minutes and the countdown starts again.

Is the new portal mobile friendly?

Yes, the new portal is build using a version of software which incorporates responsive design features.    What this means is the window will resize to the size of the display you are using.   

There are a few important points to remember:

  • Not all the portlets are built with responsive features, we are working with our vendor to get to 100% but you will still see some views which are not optimized for smaller devices
  • Moving to a smaller screen changes the look of the portal page
    • Menus on mobile devices will shrink down and be replaced with a 'burger' icon you will need to select to display
    • Page information will move to more of a vertical view with individual portlets display by scrolling down the page
      • Typically they the portlet on the top left will be displayed first and the one on the bottom right last
    • The left hand menu option is also replaced by a large yellow arrow which displays the menu when selected

The examples below show the Student MyServices page in a full and mobile view.

Desktop View:

Desktop view of Centrenet

Mobile View with portlets displayed vertically (You would scroll down the screen to view all the portlets):

Mobile view of Centrenet

The bottom of the mobile view:

Bottom of the mobile view

The expanded top level menu and search made available by selecting the 'burger' icon on the header:

Burger icon button

The left hand side menu bar is also replaced by a large yellow button, which will display the menu when selected:

Mobile sidebar button


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