As part of the complex Moscow State University of Civil Engineering (MGSU) information system and IT infrastructure modernization project a single university information resource is unrolled — MGSU portal. This solution was developed on the basis of subsystem I.T.-University: Information Support for Learning Process and great potential for development and application in a university.
The wide-scale complex education IT infrastructure development project for MGSU, one of the winners of the contest for participation in the priority national ‘Education’ project, began in 2007. Along with development of the university information portal, I.T. Co. has modernized the library using RFID labeling system for accounting and storage of books, built basic telecommunication infrastructure, implemented electronic documents management and administration processes automation systems.
The main goal for this portal is to have a universal service enabling cooperation of teaching staff, post-graduate students, students, enrollees and MGSU employees. The portal will become an access point to the university educational, administrative, and scientific information: internal and external news, class schedules, assignments for students, exam results, resolutions, orders, etc. In order to protect the information the administrator provides for each user certain access rights to information and documents published on the portal.
The portal users can get information about the university, specializations, get access to the electronic library, personal pages, general university and user sites, etc.
The MGSU information and education portal provides for creation of different sections on certain subjects, and offer all those interested to participate in them. The general university sites of the MGSU portal correspond to the university organization units — ‘Rector's Office’, ‘Institutes’, ‘MGSU Lecturers, Research Workers and Employees’, ‘Post-graduate’, etc. Also, this Web space can serve as the space to communicate and exchange information between users.
The portal offers many possibilities to all categories of users. Thus, lecturers can use their sites to publish learning materials for their courses, course descriptions, information about upcoming classes, test and exam results, various files, video and photo materials. For students it is a service enabling them to receive the necessary information, discuss various questions, including ones not related to learning. For graduates the portal can become a link with classmates and lecturers. Experience gained from foreign universities shows that creation of similar services in universities significantly improves the quality of the learning process. For MGSU, thanks to the single information resource the university can enhance the efficiency of the system for accumulation of information and materials on education, scientific and administrative work, and simply the university employees and department heads access to the information required for analysis, planning, and online control over main areas of the university's activities.
Andrey Volkov, MGSU Vice-Principal for Information and IT, says: ‘We plan to use the portal to organize efficient interaction between teachers, students, post-graduates, graduates, offering them a single information environment for communication. The portal project will further develop depending on the users' wishes and needs. We, in turn, will track the trends in its development and offer new services to improve the education quality: form conditions for live informal communication between all participants of the learning process.’