CS 388 – Week 1 – First Idea

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  • Name of Your Project

A Forum Site to Improve Student Access to Administrative Information

  • What research topic/question your project is going to address?

How do we improve communication between students and Earlham administration? Currently, when students have an administrative question, information is not easily found on Earlham’s website, and it is difficult to find the right person to talk to.

  • What technology will be used in your project?

Open source forum code such as Reddit or Discourse.

  • What software and hardware will be needed for your project?

HTML, CSS, and Javascript, and the dependencies for the forum code I choose.

  • How are you planning to implement?

Using an open source forum code, I will create a site for Earlham student to post questions about certain departments or offices. Members of the Earlham community can post replies, and administrators can moderate the categories of questions that apply to them. There also may be an automatically generated reply found by searching Earlham’s website. When a question has a lot of upvotes, it may generate an email to the relevant administrator.

  • How is your project different from others? What’s new in your project?

This site would provide a single space for student questions, improving student access to campus information. This would also ease the burden on administrators answering the same questions from many students. While the site is built upon an existing forum model, it would be formalized for usage by Earlham students and administrators.

  • What’s the difficulties of your project? What problems you might encounter during your project?

Finding the best existing forum source code to use will take time. Using the chosen forum basis, and being able to build upon it to work for both students and administrators is key. As with any software project, the project could run into problems of feasibility, so planning the minimum and most important features is also important.

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