New website in the works for BC

Graham C Wheat, Reporter

Bakersfield College is working on major changes to its website, featuring a new overall look and new content.

A complete overhaul and redesign is currently being undertaken for the entire Kern Community College District and the respective schools.

Shannon Musser, BC’s web content editor, is the presence for the website at our school.

“The problem with the current website is that it isn’t utilizing newer technologies,” said Musser. “We’ve decided that the website is kind of out of date, a little clunky, and hard for people to use. It is not featuring our school as well as it could. We were using outdated programs.”

The new website is tentatively scheduled to be completely up and running in spring semester 2013.

Musser gave some details about her role in the project.

“There is a group at the district level that is doing the web development part,” she said.

“I am in charge of wrangling all the content, finding what we have on the website and what is out of date. I will be getting that information and putting it into the new system and help manage it, so that our website is as up to date as possible.

‘The plan for unveiling all of this is next spring semester, in that lull between summer and spring,” said Musser. “That is the goal right now.”

Although the new website is slated for spring 2013, Musser stated that some changes are already being implemented.

The InsideBC portal is already using the new content management system Drupal, which will eventually be the main content editing system for the entire website.

“The old system that ran InsideBC is completely gone,” she said. “There were a few hiccups about a week ago when that changed, but we have that all sorted out now.”

With all the changes happening to BC’s website, Musser stated that BanWeb would remain unchanged.

The InsideBC portal is getting considerable attention. Musser gave emphasis on students using it more and getting professors comfortable working with it.

There are hopes that these changes will save time and money for BC.

Concerning the general redesign, Musser said, “We are working with a new content management system, Drupal, which a lot of colleges are using. It takes developers less time, which should save some money. It’s a free system, so hopefully that will cut back the cost of operating the website.”

Much work is being done across the KCCD, with communication about the changes being discussed between all three colleges.  Musser assured that each school would retain and improve its “branding.”

Musser alluded to the amount of work that has been done already, she has combed over the current site, including teachers’ websites.

“That was my first job, seeing what we have and what we need,” she said.

Ideas for the website redesign are being looked over at the moment before implementation.

“When we start to get things finalized, in the spring semester we will be doing some user testing,” said Musser.

“We don’t want students to one day come to the site and not know what’s going on.”

She stated that, at the moment, the ideas are being well received and even more input is welcome.

“If anyone has questions or comments, or any input, especially what they want from it [BC’s Website] I am open to that,” she said.

Students questiones seem to be responsive to the proposal of the overhaul, citing a few problems that need to be addressed such as Moodle, although they did like the simplicity of the current email system.

Gabe Arellanl, 19, uses InsideBC often and would like to see it more utilized.

“I only have one class that I use it for,” said Arellanl. “I think it would be beneficial to students if it were used more.”