Integration, Integration, Integration: Issues Involved in Providing Web Access Across Institutional Systems [A2]


Institutions provide access to information through a multitude of different systems that have often been developed in isolation. Many of these are nowadays delivered via the Web. With staff and students requiring access to different types of information for their work and study, this approach can lead to a lot of wasted or duplicated effort. Integrating such systems enhances the flow of information and can support the learning, teaching, and research roles of the institution. But how far should integration go and how will this affect the delivery of information via the Web? Can the Web be used as the means for integration or should it remain a window onto integration performed at a different level? The advent of institutional portals and managed learning environments offer solutions to these questions, but there appear to be pros and cons to all of these. This workshop session will provide a forum for the discussion of how the Web can best be used in integrating previously distinct information systems.

Different perspectives will be presented to set out the ground, followed by an open discussion on the different paths being followed by institutions and the options and issues involved in deciding which path is most appropriate.