First National Congress
6-7 December 2004, Cebu City, Philippines


Implementing a Campus Portal in PSHS
by Gene Andres
Computer Science and Technology Unit, Philippine Science High School - Diliman

Portals are personalized and customized user interfaces that give users access to both internal and external information. A campus portal is a single integrated website for useful and comprehensive access to information, people, and processes. Campus portals differ from university home pages. Home pages are static and are the same for everyone who goes to that site. A campus portal, on the other hand, varies according to who looks at it and the information provided to it. It changes for each viewer and is dynamic, not static.

In this demonstration session, we will present the strategies used to design and implement a campus portal in the Philippine Science High School (PSHS) main campus in Diliman, Quezon City. Several constraints had to be taken into consideration. First, PSHS does not have a software development team, or the budget for software development. Second, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is pushing for open-source implementation to minimize cost. Thus, open source applications were studied and selected according to their relevance and usefulness to the campus. These applications include a Course Management System, a Calendar system, and an Announcement board. These applications, called channels, are integrated into the portal. Selection and maintenance of these channels requires consideration of management strategies for the IT resources of the campus.

Students, faculty and staff may use the portal and the channels at home, in their classes, and in their offices. However, several classes will use some channels regularly. In particular, moodle, an open-source course management system, is to be used by the English 2, Journalism, Research and the sciences. The software allows the creation of online classes whereby the teacher and the students may extend their class beyond their regular class hour and regular classroom. In this way, fast learners may be given advanced access to lessons while slow learners will have access to remedial lessons. Forums, calendars, submission boxes also provide a way for the class to communicate and collaborate on projects.

The portal and the available channels may be accessed through at http://202.90.128.167:8080/uPortal using guest as username and password. The various tasks that are required by this kind of technology-curriculum integration are presented in this demo session. These include content selection and management, customization, course creation and maintenance, and account creation, among others. Also discussed are issues such as methods of authentication and access to the Internet.