Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Online Course Brochures

Online Course Brochures (OCBs) within the Charles Sturt University website Future Students Hub are a key source of course information for prospective students.

The purpose of the OCBs is as a course marketing tool, to provide detailed, engaging information about CSU's courses and encourage students to apply.

The OCBs contain much of the same information available to students through the Charles Sturt University Handbook, However the Handbook, published by Governance Services, is the official handbook of the University's courses and subjects.

There is an individual OCB for each program offered by the university, which means that with over 320 courses offered, over 320 individual OCBs are maintained.

Courses offered as Articulated sets are linked within the brochures to assist students to navigate.

The future students hub (the core hub of CSU's marketing environment) also contains the Course and Career Area Landing Pages that serve as a roadmap to support the potential student's journey to their chosen course.

Who can access them?

Online Course Brochures are publically available - designed to be found by anyone in the world interested in study at CSU.

The OCBs are essentially structured web pages. They can be accessed in a number of ways:

  • from the future students hub within the CSU website - see above for the journey to the OCBs
  • Search anywhere within the CSU website
  • Conduct a search in Google or any other external search engine

OCBs as a complex system

The OCBs are not just a basic web page.

The Content Management System is fed a lot of official and approved information contained within other CSU systems.

In order for an OCB to display correct information, each of these systems must be linked and the data synchronized.

System Descriptions as they relate to OCBs:

CMS

The university's Content Management System (CMS) is the system where the OCB templates are maintained and published from. Think of it as the back end to a web page. The CMS receives the data from authoritative data source systems via the Web Methods integration layer. The CMS is where all the course specific content is added, the standard text, the intelligent scripting and general web functionality

Web Methods

An Integration rule system that watches for changes to authoritative data source systems and sends changes to the CMS to create or update the OCBs

CAL

The Course Availability Listing is the authoritative source for course availability information that is relevant to prospective students that can be displayed in online course brochures.

It is owned by the Office of Strategic Planning and Information (SPI).

The data for the OCB originates from a combination of the Faculties and DSA, and has a number of reviews before being finalised in CAL by SPI.

When data is changed in the CAL, Web Methods applies a set of rules to determine whether the data should be pushed to the CMS.

CASIMS

CASIMS is the authoritative source for course information that is relevant to prospective students that can be displayed in online course brochures.

It is owned by the Office of Academic Governance and managed by Faculty Course Administration.

When data is changed in CASIMS, Web Methods applies a set of rules to determine whether the data should be pushed to the CMS.

CFS

Course Fee System is the authoritative source for course fee figures that are displayed within the Fee and Cost section of the OCBs.

It is owned and managed by the Division of Finance.

When data is changed in the CFS, Web Methods applies a set of rules to determine whether the data should be pushed to the CMS.

Banner

Banner contains the university's authoritative source of program codes, sessions/terms, and application census dates. Whilst Banner information is not necessarily displayed on the OCBs, the information is used in the background to trigger updates and release information from the other authoritative systems.

Top of page

Who is responsible for ensuring OCBs are maintained?

The Executive Director - Division of Marketing and Communication is the owner of the OCBs as a system and product.

Responsibilities

  • Overall responsibility and authoriser of Future Students Hub, Course and Career Area landing pages and OCBs, as this is the core hub of CSU's online marketing environment
  • Sign off on any changes to the OCB template design or functionality
  • Internal communication around OCB changes and improvements
  • Involvement in Projects that will effect OCBs as the decision maker – such as the admissions transparency project

However, the information contained within the OCBs is managed by many different teams across CSU, as outlined in the table below:

DivisionResponsibilities
Division of Marketing and Communication (Content Team)
  • Course specific content
  • Global snippet maintenance
  • Establishing new OCBs
  • Updating Program Code recorded within the OCB
  • Archiving old OCBs
Faculty - Course Administration Team Managers/Course Directors

Maintaining CASIMS information (which is displayed on OCBs)

  • course structure
  • enrolment pattern
  • admission requirements
  • graduation requirements
  • professional accreditation
  • workplace learning subjects
  • residential school subjects
  • credit
Division of Information Technology (Web Office)
  • General display and design e.g. inconsistent appearance across different browsers, devices
  • Template functionality e.g. chat, ask a question, shortlisting
  • URLs, links, search results
  • Performance and technical CMS setup e.g. page loading slowly or displaying errors

OCB System Officer

  • OCB template scripting
  • Monitoring integration notifications
  • requesting manual re-pushes if required
  • Re-publishing OCBs after integration data push / change in data from source systems
Division of Information Technology (Integration)

Correct information feeding into OCBs from the following source systems

Division of Finance

Maintaining Course fee information within the Course Fee System.

Strategic Planning and Information

Maintaining CAL with required offerings for the course:

  • ATAR (Undergraduate)
  • ATAR reports (Undergraduate)
  • Mode
  • Campus
  • CRICOS
  • Session availability
  • Admission entry type
Division of Student Administration - Business Solutions - Masterfiles
  • Maintaining STVTERM term and session dates and web enablement
  • assigning Banner codes to CASIMS documents

What is contained within an OCB?

OCBs are a complex web template containing a number of elements or building blocks:

Behaviour

On top of this is intelligent web scripting to control the display of information based on data related to the course.

For example, the template will read the study mode related to international offerings from the Course Availability List (CAL) and this will affect the display of information in the Campus location section:

Or, a different global snippet of text will show depending on the level of the course.

Undergraduate:

Postgraduate:

Web Functionality

The template also displays web functionality such as:

  • Search
  • Breadcrumbs and 'sticky' navigation bar
  • Chat
  • Ask a question form
  • Other courses to consider
  • Shortlisting (coming soon)

How is a new OCB created?

New OCBs are created when there is a need to market/advertise a new course

The course must go through the University course approval process and be set up in a number of CSU systems before an OCB can be created:

  • Course profile approved in CASIMS
  • Course offerings available in CAL
  • A Program code (PCode) is set up in Banner and assigned to the Course/Award in CASIMS and the offerings in CAL.

The PCode is what links all the information from the different systems together.

When the Web Methods integration system detects that all the pieces are in place, it sends the information to the CMS and automatically creates a new Template OCB containing the data sourced from CASIMS, CAL and the CFS

DoMC are then responsible for adding all the additional information required to complete an OCB (faculty approved content, images and rich media)

The template is reviewed by the faculty/course director before it is published or set live to the public

How is an existing OCB updated with changes to an authoritative data source system?

Each time course data is updated in an authoritative system (CAL, CASIMS, CFS) this will trigger an update to the corresponding data in the CMS.

An email will be sent to ocb@csu.edu.au monitored by an OCB System Officer.

CMS asset will be updated with the new data in 'safe edit'.

Safe edit means that the published OCB remains unchanged and changes can be made in the background 'safely' without the changes being seen.

The System Officer then goes into the CMS and manually sets the OCB to Approved/Live to display the updated data.

This process occurs once per week on a Friday, to align with the handbook update.

If you have an change that needs to be updated urgently after an authoritative system update, log an IT Service Desk ticket to request an out of process approval/set live.

What do I do if want the OCB related to my course updated or I find an issue?

Because of the number of groups involved in monitoring and maintaining the OCBs, any issue related to an OCB should be logged with the DIT Service Desk. The Service Desk will then assist to direct your query to the correct team – refer to the responsibility section above.

There is a specific category set up for OCBs - select the most appropriate sub category for your query:

Log an incident or request > Website / Online > Online Course Brochure (OCB)