Designing the digital knowledge gateway
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Designing the Digital Knowledge Gateway. Summer Course L385T School of Information Instructors: Andrew Dillon Dan Updegrove Liz Aebersold + guests. Course logistics. June 4th - Aug 13th, Wed 1.30-3.00pm 11 meetings + others as needed

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Designing the Digital Knowledge Gateway

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Designing the Digital Knowledge Gateway

  • Summer Course L385T

  • School of Information

  • Instructors:

    • Andrew Dillon

    • Dan Updegrove

    • Liz Aebersold + guests

Course logistics

  • June 4th - Aug 13th, Wed 1.30-3.00pm

  • 11 meetings + others as needed

  • No fixed readings, guest speakers, discussion issues

  • Goal: deliver output for use in the KG


  • June 4th Week 1 Overview

  • June 11th Week 2 Core concerns for the UT KG team

  • June 18th Week 3 The user experience issues

  • June 25th Week 4 Personalization and portals

  • July 2nd Week 5 Metadata and multiple related matters!

  • July 9th Week 6 Project review

  • July 16th, 23rd & 30th

    • Weeks 7 to 9 will involve a mix of guest lecture, discussion and exploration of the emerging projects.

  • Aug 6th & Aug 13th Project presentations

What is the Knowledge Gateway?

  • A means of providing ‘all Texans with access to the University's wealth of knowledge and cultural assets’.

  • "The great treasures of this institution belong to all citizens of the state. We want all to use them….Also, we intend to be a leader in the new realm where research, learning and scholarly discourse are not limited by the walls of classrooms and laboratories."

    • President Faulkner, 2002.

The grand vision:

“The goal is to push the University’s value out to all citizens in new and imaginative ways”

  • Retaking the internet!

  • Shaping global cyberspace

  • Break down barriers between access and location

  • Information as the C21st currency

  • Check out the video

Not just another web site!

  • Rich content

    • UT branding

    • Authortitative

  • Multimedia

  • Transparent interactivity

  • Dynamic, configurable

  • Explorable at many levels

    • Assistants? Guides?

Major (practical) goals

  • To greatly accelerate ongoing efforts to digitize and make available online UT-owned resources held in its libraries, museums, collections and other areas.

  • To deliver this content and related service online via an innovative, personalized online gateway, which customizes access for each user.


  • User side:

    • Multilingual audiences

    • Levels of technical support

    • Levels of technical abilities

  • Technical side:

    • Creating personalizable options

    • Implementing seamless interactions

  • Management side:

    • Managing the immense materials

    • Politics of collections

    • Maintaining the KG

  • And then some……


  • Liz will provide list of needs in week 2

  • Goal is to develop ‘a contribution’ to the KG

    • Demo

    • Paper

    • Model

    • Data

  • If we are to product a Gateway for all citizens, how might we best handle the design of information for multi-lingual access and for optimal accessibility by users with varying capabilities.

  • How will we operationalize the grand portal vision of allowing personalizable access? How will we know who is a citizen of Texas as they connect from schools, public libraries, Internet cafes, and homes?

  • How will KG serve students, their families, and other citizens who do not have access to computers in their homes? In particular, how can KG engage effectively with Texas public libraries as sources of access and support?

  • What current and future delivery systems should the Gateway target? What other emerging technologies should we be tracking

  • How might the KG be designed to leverage our citizens' interests, expertise, concerns, and propensity to communicate?

  • What unintended consequences might follow from specific design choices made for the Gateway?

  • If the Gateway is a huge success, what resources will be required to support such an unprecedented networked constituency? What can be learned, about server requirements, network bandwidth, technical architecture, 24x7 support, et al., from the experiences of, say, AOL, MSN,, eBay, and Dell?

  • How can we evaluate usability and acceptability for a product that has no obvious competitor or comparisons? What range of interface designs might be needed to cover the diverse user communities? How can we design customization into the Gateway?

Original issues/

Suggestion only


  • Based on project delivered (80%) and participation (20%)

    • Class

    • Blackboard

  • Can work alone or in teams


For next week

  • Who else is offering a KG?

    • What are they doing well?

    • What are they doing badly?

  • What lessons have been learned so far?


  • Instructor emails:




  • TA: Libby Peterek


  • Website:


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