Yuba College students now have access to two new web sites
called Web Advisor and Campus Cruiser. Both web sites have been
up since December, 2001, and are designed to encourage
communication between students, the administration and the faculty.
Both sites can be accessed directly through links on the Yuba Community College District homepage at www.yuba.cc.ca.us. WebAdvisor can also be accessed at http://webadvisor.yuba.cc.ca.us /datatel/openweb and Campus Cruiser can be accessed at http://prod.campuscruiser.com/yubacc.
Karen Trimble, Director of Information Systems for Yuba College,
encourages first-timers to access both services through the District
homepage (www.yuba.cc.ca.us). That way new users will be given
instructions on how to use Web Advisor and Campus Cruiser for the
first time. She suggests that all students and faculty should
“just get into it and just play with it.”
According to Trimble, Web Advisor is designed as “the students’
personal place to go for student services.” Once students log on,
they can immediately check their grades, access their grades from
previous semesters, and check their current schedule. They can even scan class schedules and register for classes.
Students also have the capability to add or drop courses and print
unofficial transcripts. All class registrations, adds, and drops
are executed instantaneously over the web in real time.
Additionally, instructors have the capability to upload grades
and check class rosters.
Although the Department of Information Systems does not monitor the number of “hits” on each site, Trimble reported that ten students
did use Web Advisor to register for classes this Spring semester.
Students are also using it for purposes other than registration such
as checking transcripts and availability of courses.
Trimble hopes to see even greater number of students using Web
Advisor to register for, add, drop, and eventually pay for courses.
By this summer semester, students will also be able to pay fees over Web Advisor by entering credit card information. This coming payment function will be secure, and all credit card information will be
encrypted according to the highest standards for Internet transactions.
Trimble describes the Campus Cruiser web site as “an online meeting place for students and faculty to create online communities in which
to communicate and share ideas.” Instructors are able to upload
syllabi and homework assignments directly onto a class web page
where students have full access. Students are also able to upload
their own files to share with other classmates and other members
of the community.
Additional pages on the site have been set up for campus
organizations and clubs. Moreover, the web site incorporates chat
and discussion group functions allowing for the possibility of
instructors having “virtual” office hours.
Already, some instructors are inviting students to access class web
pages and relevant materials on Campus Cruiser. Professors Lauren Syda and John Flaherty are encouraging students to use Campus Cruiser to access homework assignments and class materials.
Another feature of Campus Cruiser is an e-mail address for all
enrolled students and faculty. Each student has an e-mail address
consisting of the lower-case first letter of the student’s last name
followed by the student’s seven digit ID number followed by “at” (@) and finally go.yuba.cc.ca.us.
For example, Joe Average, who has a student ID number of 0000001, has an e-mail address of email@example.com. Once they log on, students and faculty can access their web-based e-mail through the
mail link on the Campus Cruiser web site. Users are able to change
their e-mail address from the letter and ID number format to
whatever they choose.
The release of both services has not been without minor setbacks.
Initially there were problems logging onto Web Advisor with
Microsoft Internet Explorer. Students using Explorer were instantly
timed-out of Web Advisor. However, Trimble wishes to assure students
that may have had difficulties that there are “no more bugs or
time-out issues. Everything is cool.”
However, if students or faculty experience problems with either
service, they are encouraged to notify Information Systems by
e-mailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Furthermore, if students are interested in pursuing potential internships to train Yuba
College students on Web Advisor and Campus Cruiser, they can also
contact Information Systems at the same e-mail address.