University Calendar Important Dates – How to do it Right

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Why is it that the things that people tend to check more often than anything, including the list of important dates, are so devilishly hard to find on most university websites.

University Websites: Things On The Front Page vs. Things People (Actually) Look For, Andy Camper


I mean, REALLY. This is the modern world – how hard is it to add an obvious link somewhere?

I have lost track of how often I have gone to a university site trying to find the list of important dates and ended up spending 5-15 minutes just clicking around, getting more and more frustrated.

Next term, I will be associated with 4 (count ’em: FOUR) different universities spread over two provinces and two countries. I need to know when classes start and end, when the holidays, are, etc.

Only ONE ( MSU ) has an obvious link to this information on the front page: Academics->Academic Calendar

One (USask) also has a link from the main pages, but it’s called events: Activities-> Events Calendar

Neither the U of Calgary nor Mount Royal University make it easy, and even a search results in you having to try several pages before you are likely to stumble on the right one.

ONE (USask) actually gets it right. Not only do they give you an honest to god calendar that you can navigate, they ALSO offer you a downloadable iCal file that you can add to your OWN calendar.

Now, if only they would let me leave out the schools that don’t relate to me (like dentistry, medicine, vet med, …). Oh well, it’s still a great idea.

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University Calendar Important Dates – How to do it Right — 3 Comments

  1. I’ve totally given up on the navigation links on the UCSC web sites. The webmasters are great believers in scrambling the web site every couple of years (and with so many web masters, that means some part is scrambled every couple of months), so bookmarks are useless also.

    The ONLY way to find things on the UCSC web site is with Google or other external search engines. And then you need to know the magic keywords.

    It also helps to be familiar with the Wayback Machine, since they often throw away essential information in their desperate web scrambling.

  2. Mount Royal has a singularly annoying way to post its course timetable. Mount Royal’s timetable is a PDF.

    They create this pdf by SCANNING the printed pages. That means it is NOT searchable. Your only way of finding your class is to page through it.

    Now, there’s NO WAY anyone can tell me that this information doesn’t exist in digital (and searchable) form. For the life of me, I can’t understand why they would make someone print this document only to scan it back in again and turn into a different digital form that is much less useful.

  3. Hey, I teach at the University of Gotland and I have no idea what all the classes are in my own department’s curriculum. I’m sure people would say, “paper catalogs are SO last millennium,” but if it’s not on paper and not on the web site either, that’s a problem.

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