A Brand New Online University Calendar

Today we are launching the next version of McGill’s online course and programs calendars, in the form of a new website: www.mcgill.ca/study/. Starting as a pilot project for the Faculty of Law, this site will soon grow to encompass programs and courses, regulations and general information for all of McGill’s faculties and schools.

We call this new site Programs, Courses and University Regulations. This reflects a shift away from the term “calendar”, which, although commonly used in Canada, can be misleading to those who are not already familiar with it.

Our goals in producing this website were to make the calendar information:

  1. More readable and understandable
    By rewriting much of the calendar content, we have been able to make the text less formal, less legalistic, and easier to read. The presentation is also less dense and easier on the eyes.
  2. Easier to find
    A new search engine has been built that allows for a simple, unified search across programs, courses, faculty information, and university information. This search engine will continually be improved to bring forward the most relevant results.
  3. Easier to share
    By making the URLs meaningful and persistent across yearly publication cycles, it should be easier to bookmark pages and share links with others. A major feature coming soon will be the ability to embed a calendar “topic” directly on another www.mcgill.ca web page, such that it always remains up-to-date with the source information. This will eliminate the need for many faculties and departments to copy/paste information onto their own websites, which may then become out-of-date.

What you see today is just the beginning! In March of 2010, the undergraduate calendar will be migrated to www.mcgill.ca/study/, later to be followed by all other calendars. As this is a pilot project, and a proving ground for the new technology and design, we eagerly await to hear your opinions. Any thoughts, suggestions or questions that you have are more than welcome!

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