|Fig.1.0 UPNG outdated Website|
The next step is to establish a well designed Intranet that will provide other important services for both staff and students. The Intranet should consist of tools that allow staff and students to create and disseminate information in an efficient and timely manner. The intranet should provide opportunities for staff and students to collaborate on wide range of activities.This would include online bulletin boards, discussion boards for subjects and courses. This would allow lecturers to respond to queries about courses and subjects from their students without having to resort to traditional notice boards and telephones.Second, the Intranet should provide a system of Assessment Submission for students to submit their Assignments electronically (Electronic Assessment and Tracking System)This system should have important information such as assignment due dates, date submitted, automated response to students informing them of the status of their submitted assignments. The students should be able to track the progress of their submitted assignments and should know exactly when the marked papers will be returned. This is a more comprehensive tool that is different from emails. Lecturers will receive the electronic copies of the students assignments, mark them and return the assignments back via the same system to the students. The University also needs to establish an effective Student Assessment Processing system that will allow lecturers to submit students raw marks electronically rather than having to print out the marks and submit them manually. The system processes the students marks and automatically award grades based on the University's Assessment Policy. The students' transcripts should instantly be updated when new data is received.
The Michael Somare Library also needs to be effectively integrated into the University's Computer Network. The important collections such as Papua New Guinea Collection and the University's own research articles and Journals should be in electronic format and should be accessible through the Institution's Computer Network via the Intranet. The Academic Staff and Students can access the Michael Somare Library anywhere on campus via the Intranet. The Staff and Students in Open Campuses in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands can also access the Michael Somare Library via the University's website.The Library should go further by subscribing to various refutable electronic scholarly Journals world wide to provide alternative and quality research publications to support the needs of both academic staff and students of UPNG.
The University's website is poorly designed and lacks creativity. The user experience while using this website is very poor and does not even promote the University. The University's Website is very important and plays an important role in providing vital services for the University once it is properly developed and integrated into the University's Computer Network.The University's Website not only provides services for the University but it also promotes the status of the University to the outside world. The following services are missing and should be addressed by the University as soon as possible. Firstly, the website should be updated regularly. The last update carried out by the webmaster was on March, 2007. Second, there should be a login screen or dialog box where staff and students can be able to login to use the University's various services such as discussion boards, journal databases and so on. This will enable the University's other campuses in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands to have easy access to all these services.Third, there should be options provided to submit on-line application forms for various courses. The application forms should also be made available for download from the website rather than having to write to the University to send printed application forms which can take ages to reach a potential student. The various electronic bulletins, newsletters and hand books meant to promote the University and the marketing of various courses should be made available on the website for viewing and downloading. With the Website fully developed and supported, the various Schools within the University can then offer some of their degree programs on-line for those students who wish to study at home.
To top it all the University's Information Technology Services should ensure both staff and students have access to quality Internet Services.
The University of Papua New Guinea Administration should support the Information Technology Services Unit to address some of the areas mentioned above if it wants to achieve its goal as a premier University of the South Pacific (Sadly this is not the case). It can achieve this by seeking expert technical assistance from partner Universities in Australia and Asia. The University can also send a team to these Institutions to study their systems and then incorporate some of these ideas into the Universities Information Technology services.
Links to Papua New Guinea Universities Websites
Check these Institutions' Websites and compare them. Which University website has some of the features or standards mentioned above?
1. University of Papua New Guinea- (http://www.upng.ac.pg)
2. Papua New Guinea University of Technology- (http://www.unitech.ac.pg)
3. University of Goroka- (http://www.uog.ac.pg)
4. Divine Word University- (http://www.dwu.ac.pg)
5. Pacific Adventist University- (http://www.pau.ac.pg)