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Case Studies

MCHCOM Communications Portal

To communicate optimally, data-rich web sites must target their audiences through current information tailored to the individual user’s interests and navigation history. This development strategy was at the root of CADE’s redesign of MCHCOM.com, the online communications portal for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), part of the Health Resources and Services Administration. This is a dynamic, database-driven web site that provides access to a wealth of live webcasts, webcast archives, conference archives and training resources. All of these online offerings are created by CADE and are provided for free.

Feeding the site from an administrative database ensures that online content is accurate and instantly changes to reflect new webcasts, time and date changes, and other logistical entries. This guarantees that visitors are provided with clear, time-sensitive choices which, in certain contexts, are based upon their recent navigation through the site. The site was programmed in .ASP and ASP.NET, fed from a SQL server database. Since the site’s content is driven from the administrative database, content changes can be made through an easy-to-use browser interface, without the need for specialist HTML coding and file uploading.

The site is completely integrated with the CADEmedia webcasting system. Registration and webcast access through the web site is connected with CADEmedia’s event administration and reporting functionality. Upcoming webcasts can be triggered to appear on the MCHCOM.com home page, and archives can be instantly added to the “Recent Events” sidebar.

The streamlined approach has improved usability and taken the guesswork out of signing up for and joining a webcast. Past events are easier to identify and access. Technical checks are conducted “behind the scenes” when the user registers for a webcast, and automatically alerts the user with a remedy when a technical deficiency is identified. This method of hiding the technical component essential to all live webcasting reduces the potential for confusion for users and provides easy steps to solutions if there is a client-side problem. Technical alerts are connected to an online troubleshooting library and help utility.

“We needed a way to convert MCHCOM.com from a web site hosting occasional webcasts to a portal supporting a rapidly growing repository of live webcasts and archived events,” says Matthew Murray, CADE’s project coordinator on the new site development.

“Switching to a dynamic, scalable, database-driven .ASP site allowed us to automate administrative processes, account for future growth, and seamlessly integrate event planning and production with the CADEmedia webcasting system. As a result, the site has developed into a centralized online resource for maternal and child health training and communications.”

First-time visitors quickly realize the breadth of learning opportunities available at MCHCOM.com and return to participate in activities outside their initial scope of interest. Traffic to the site has increased sixfold since the site transformation: evidence of the synergy across its various online activities that the MCHB is now enjoying.

Features

  • Database-driven content
  • Direct webcasting integration
  • Content management and automation
  • Easy navigation through a standardized template
  • Automated site section traffic tracking
  • .ASP, CSS, DHTML features
  • Advanced resource database search functionality
  • Restricted administration/reporting section
  • Rapid download, appropriate for dial-up users
  • Section 508 compliant

For more information on how CADE can design and develop a web site for your organization, contact Jack Neuner at jneuner@uic.edu or (312) 413-2932.

MCHCOM.com home page

MCHCOM.com webcast login page

MCHCOM Distance Learning Inventory

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