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EdWeb deployment update May 2017

On Thursday 4 May, we’ll be deploying the next set of updates and features to EdWeb – particularly, the ability to add JavaScript, and improvements to profile functionality.

We’ve recently worked with Communications and Marketing and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to deliver the ability to incorporate JavaScript into EdWeb pages. This will allow them to use interactive features on their pages – specifically, Click4Assistance (LiveChat) and dotmailer (an email marketing tool).

JavaScript in EdWeb

JavaScript is the ‘programming’ language of the web, and allows technical staff to manipulate web pages, including the style, content or attributes of page elements. It’s also a way to embed useful, interactive page elements from other sources.

Enhancing student experience with new functionality for EdWeb

Who can use JavaScript in EdWeb?

Our expectation is that only technical staff within units will need to use these functions, so they will not appear by default. Rather, if you need to apply scripts, you will need to opt in to view these functions by becoming a “Script user“. Until your site has scripts uploaded, you will not be able to add anything through this mechanism, but you can register for their use as soon as the deployment is finished.

Register for tech user role to use scripts (available 16 March 2017)

Click4Assistance (LiveChat)

The College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science sought to bring live chat facilities to their pages following a successful trial on their Summer School website. This will allow them to effectively answer questions instantly from their visitors, and guide their visitors where required.

Screenshot of live chat implementation on Summer School website

Click4Assistance in use on the University Summer School’s site

University of Edinburgh Summer School


The University uses dotmailer as our supplier for email marketing and communications. The service is provided centrally by Communications and Marketing, and administered locally by college and business unit contacts. dotmailer allows you to run marketing campaigns that allow your users to sign up for mail; and you to effectively track the reach of your email marketing.

Screenshot of embedded sign up form

Embedded dotmailer sign up form

If you are running campaigns that require external users to sign up for mailing lists and for you to track the impact of those campaigns, dotmailer could help with those requirements. If you are interested, Communications and Marketing supply details of the service on their wiki pages.

Communication and Marketing’s dotmailer pages (EASE login required)

Requesting new JavaScript in EdWeb

Any new scripts must be requested and assessed before being added to the central system. This is to ensure that they comply with our requirements for accessibility, usability, styling and security.

If you require new scripts, get in touch with us at the earliest possible stage of development so that we can offer advice on requirements:

  • can existing functions meet your business requirements?
  • are there existing scripts that could meet your requirements?
  • who will supply ongoing support for your script?

Our wiki pages detail existing scripts and outline the process for working to get something new added to EdWeb.

JavaScript in EdWeb (EASE login required)

Profile enhancements

Some improvements to EdWeb profiles are also included in this deployment. It’s now possible to bring through Research Activities as well as publications data as a feed from the research explorer, PURE. Student profiles now have the flexibility to add PhD details, and link to their supervisor’s page. There is now a conferences tab for use by students and staff. It’s also possible to add organisational units as a ‘tag’ to your profile, so that EdWeb editors can create profile overview pages dynamically based on these tags. We’ve also made some small changes to the display, accessibility and tagging of profiles.

Celebrating a year of staff and student profiles with another EdWeb update

Modern slavery commitment

You may also notice a change in the University’s global footer, which currently includes links to our privacy, cookie, accessibility and freedom of information statements and information. We will add a further link there to outline the University’s position on modern slavery. Thank you to Social Responsibility and Sustainability for working with us to complete this change.

Modern slavery statement

Standard and module changes

This is the first deployment this year, so this deployment also contains a number of minor bug fixes and security updates. These are detailed in full on the EdWeb Change Advisory Board (CAB) pages, and are mainly of use to technical users, or those who run EdWeb distributions.

Standard EdWeb changes

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