A quick word from our Digital Programme Producer…
So why has this all happened? Well, our existing website was coming up to its sixth birthday, which is practically ancient in digital dog years, and as good a reason as any to give the site a fresh look.
More importantly, both CAMPUS and everything else the Poetry School offers will now be brought under one roof. Anyone with a Poetry School or CAMPUS profile will be able to both book courses and workshops, receive our newsletter, and interact on CAMPUS, without having to switch sites and hopscotch about with various usernames and passwords.
We have been so encouraged by the success of CAMPUS we felt it should be embedded more directly within the Poetry School’s our organisational structure and general way of working. CAMPUS has grown to become much more than just a place where our online courses happen – it is its own, fully-fledged poetry community, and has created significant opportunities for us to connect with poets and new audiences. It has become significant part of how we operate as a complete poetry entity, from running courses, to marketing, audience development, and collaborating with other organisations.
We’ve also tried to correct the many design and technical snags to CAMPUS and our old site, and to improve areas where we though the user experience was lacking. Many of these improvements have been made with real, hard data to back them. With help from independent evaluators, student surveys, and a Bible-thick stack of data analyses, we have be able to discover important insights into how CAMPUS works, who CAMPUS reaches, patterns of learning and interaction, &tc – that have allowed us to make a site that more closely resembles what our students and poets want to use.
I’ve put together a handy list of some of the new, innovations and fixes we’ve brought to the site, which you can read over here: http://www.poetryschool.com/blog-2/woah-look-new-stuff/
There will also be a user guide to the new look CAMPUS, which we will launch shortly.
In the coming weeks I’m also going to write in more detail about some of the interesting research findings from the first couple of years of working on CAMPUS. I trust you all like bar graphs!
So here we have it. Almost a year’s worth of wrestling with code, plugins, loop queries and other techno-trickery. It’s been a very ambitious project rationalising too quite different websites, as well as developing a new CRM system, database and a design that is both mobile and PC friendly. I really hope we have created something that both retains our existing strengths and removes some of our existing weaknesses.
It is a brand new site so please tread a little carefully – the paintwork will be a little wet in a few areas – but with a little wearing in, it should make a fetching new home for us all.
Gut-shot feedback most welcome in the comments section!