Forestry Commission Scotland Originally, there was only one Forestry Commission website that covered the UK. In order to improve the user experience and to provide the user with the most relevant information, Forestry Commission Scotland decided to create its own separate website with a new design and a modern and flexible IT solution. Aims and Objectives The main aims and objectives of the project were to:
- Implement a new, modern website system with flexible development options; Joomla!
- Create custom features to integrate into the Joomla content management system and meet FCS’s specific requirements
- Create a clear structure, helpful search facility and user friendly navigation options to help users to find the information they are looking for
- Provide a fit-for-purpose platform for meeting current and emerging business and end user needs over the medium term
- Maximise site usability, meet accessibility standards and FCS brand guidelines
- Cater for mobile users by building a website with a responsive design that alters depending on the size of the user’s screen
FCS was looking to engage with an IT partner who could redevelop the existing website onto a new flexible web platform, with an new front-end design and improved user experience. It would be vital for the chosen partner to work closely with Forestry Commission Scotland so to fully understand both the technical and branding requirements. A key deliverable of the project was also to provide site administration training to FCS publishing staff. FCS invited several companies within the Public Sector framework to tender for the project which resulted in Pulsion Technology being awarded the contract. A Tailored Solution Utilising the Joomla! content management system, version 2.5 with a MySQL database and custom PHP components,
Pulsion built FCS a flexible web platform with custom features so to meet with all the requirements. Having a flexible publishing system allows FCS’s publishing team to be more productive and focused on giving the user a fulfilling experience. The website is more structured, usable, and accessible for the FCS’s end users. Pulsion has built the system with the future in mind, ensuring that, as the FCS grows and needs change, the system is flexible enough to change with it.
Visit the new Forestry Commission Scotland Website at scotland. http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/
European Centre of Technology
Based in Edinburgh, the European Centre of Technology (ECT) www.theECT.org is an approved professional body for education in Engineering, Management and Finance. Formed in 1975, they have access to 36 years of experience in training courses and have helped thousands of professionals and technicians to enter and succeed in the fields of Engineering, Management and Finance. ECT operate an online booking system for distance learning courses and examinations and after a number of years of operation, they were keen to offer an enhanced online experience to the market.
Ultimately, this would mean upgrading their existing Moodle platform to take advantage of enriched online features, such as:
- Greater flexibility in booking courses and examinations online.
- Automatic reminders for course participation and examinations.
- Automatic dispatch of course certificates upon completion.
Pulsion Technology was approached directly by ECT to assist with this important project and after a short scoping exercise to understand ECT’s objectives, Pulsion was successfully appointed to deliver the upgrade project. The project team responsible initially set up and configured the new online booking system using the open-source learning management software, Moodle. All of the original course content was migrated from the previous system to the newly developed system and the Moodle system was then customised to suit their needs, including;
- Adding custom profile field notes that can only be seen by administrators.
- Creating a custom authentication plugin so that fields that are not required by default can be made optional.
- Heavy customisation on ‘booking’ and ‘certificate’ Moodle third-party plugins in order to adhere to ECT’s requirements.
Additionally, functionality to facilitate automatic recording while students sit exams was introduced via a third party plugin. The project team kept in regular contact with ECT, deploying user acceptance testing on an ongoing basis. In partnership with ECT, Pulsion Technology developed an automatic online exam booking system, where students can book their exams and access them only in the time slot they have booked. After completing the exam, the student receives an email advising them of their results. The system allows ECT to choose whether to send the results email immediately or delay for a short period. If the student has been successful, the email will contain a custom created certificate. The new online booking system benefits ECT in a number of ways:
- As the system was developed in open-source web framework Bootstrap 3 and the latest version of Moodle, it takes advantage of the built-in security systems and coding standards already available within Moodle and PHP. The new system also has a more dynamic and up to-date look and feel.
- ECT can publish multiple slots for exams however the student can only book 1 slot and can only sit their exam in the slot booked. ECT can choose which students receive the results email right away and who shouldn’t receive it at all.
- ECT will have a recording of the student taking the exam which is saved in the system.
- The issuing of certificates is automatic – there is no need for ECT to send the certificates to the student themselves. Automating online exam booking.