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March 6, 2006 | by  | in News |
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Luminis: The Way Forward ‘Super-Blackboard’ portal coming soon

Vic staff were last week given a brief glance at the ‘digital campus’ of the future, with a demonstration of a new web portal known as ‘Luminis’.

From a single login, Luminis will provide students and staff with access to email, student records, blackboard, club events and VUWSA and faculty announcements – in the form of a ‘super-Blackboard’.

Victoria will be the first of New Zealand’s universities to institute a computer programme of this type, described by VUWSA Vice-President Miri Duffield as “really exciting”.

Students will be able to customise their homepage, including the addition of tabs to external links, customised layouts and POP email servers. It will also enable students to choose clubs and groups from which they would like to receive updates and information. From within Luminis, groups can operate message boards, email lists, photo walls, chat, file-sharing, calendars and news.

Each course can have its own webpage within Luminis and courses can be taught online – realising the idea of a ‘digital campus’.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor David Mackay declined to reveal the cost of introducing Luminis, citing commercial sensitivity. However he assured Salient that Victoria is getting a “great deal” compared to American universities, at “way less that a million [dollars]”. However, as the technology is developed, costs of upgrading and maintaining this “invigorating project” will be ongoing.

Both Waikato and Otago universities are said to be investigating the integration of similar software into their own systems, though they are behind in implementation, and the cost to those universities will be much larger, based on their present computer systems.

Trials will be held later this year, with the portal aspect being up-and-running around September and the finished product, including students, alumni, staff and “other stakeholders”, complete in the next two years.

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About the Author ()

With her take-no-prisoners, kick-ass attitude, former News Editor Laura McQuillan adequately makes up for her lack of stature. Roaming the corridors (and underground tunnels) of the University by day, and hunting vampires and Nazi war criminals by night, McQuillan will stop at nothing to bring you the freshest news.

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