Economics Network CHEER Virtual Edition

Volume 11, Issue 2, 1997

CTI Economics logo *

The CTI Economics Web Site Redesign

Martin Poulter
University of Bristol
The web site of the CTI Centre for Economics is currently going through a thorough overhaul. The look, organisation and content are being revised, with the most visible changes in place by the time you read this. This article describes the latest changes and the plans for future development.

Over the last few months, I have been working with Ros O'Leary and a graphic designer to reorganise the site, update the content and make it much easier to find what you want. The most visible change is to the front page. The diagonal line of buttons connects you to the site's five main sections:


Including the guide to Economics courseware, CTI-organised events and the cti-econ mailing list, with its searchable archive

News and Events

Containing the CTI Economics/CHEER newsletter and our list of conferences and workshops related to Economics and/or learning technology


The hypertext archive of CHEER and the newsletter, software reviews from various sources and the Blackwell Index of Economics Abstracts


Links to useful web resources, a list of Economics mailing lists and a page of demonstration versions and free downloads of Economics courseware

TLTP/ WinEcon

Pages for the TLTP Economics Consortium and for the Introductory Economics program WinEcon

The index pages for each section are now accessible from every page on the site. You can also return to the front page from any page by clicking on the CTI logo in the top or bottom left corner.

Another change to the front page is that, from now on, it will state the latest change which has been made to the site, so that you will be able to see straight away if the site has been updated since your last visit.

On the each page (including, of course, this one) you can see two new buttons; Search CTI Economics and Contact CTI Economics. With the former, you can search the whole site, or indeed the whole internet, for a key word or phrase. The latter takes you to a page of feedback forms which you can fill in through your web browser- a convenient way for our readership to give us comments or suggestions on any aspect of the work of CTI Economics.

The forms allow you to:

  1. Recommend a web resource for our listing
  2. Tell us about a forthcoming conference or other event
  3. Subscribe to our mailing list
  4. Send comments to the editor of CHEER
  5. Send general comments about the site or about CTI Economics

Invisible changes

In addition to the changes that are immediately visible as you use the site, a lot of other work has been done "behind the scenes". Files have been sorted into a sensible directory structure, and the site has been organised so that future changes of style can be implemented very quickly and easily. One side-effect of these changes is that, if you have bookmarked or linked to a particular file other than the front page, it may have changed location.

Another invisible change is the addition of meta-data. These are pieces of information in machine-readable form, for the benefit of the next generation of web search engines and information gateways. For example, the hypertext version of each article in the latest issues of CHEER codes for the name and affiliation of the author, as well as a short abstract.

Finally, a change that will be invisible to all but a fraction of the site's users is that the pages have been formatted so as to make them readable in text-only browsers.

Future developments

The next phase of the site's development is a closer integration with databases: the courseware guide and list of Internet resources will be generated in response to specific queries by users, rather than static pages.

The web is advancing very quickly, and so even now we are thinking about future changes to the look and content of the site. Already there are new standards emerging which allow web sites to be given a more professional, magazine-like, look. These will be implemented on the site once the browser software to view these features is in more common use.

As for the site's content, we are hoping to make it broader, so that the CTI Economics site becomes a site that teachers of Economics visit not only for infomation on learning technology, but on most aspects of their work. We are looking into the inclusio n of:

I'm happy to hear any comments on our new direction, or any further ideas about what we should be including.
I can be e-mailed at <>.

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