Web Support Team Newsletter


August 2018

Here we aim to keep you up to date with what we've been doing - recent highlights, latest initiatives and general information worth knowing about.



We are the main web support team within Queen's University.  We run the University's Content Management System (CMS), as well as supporting Adobe Connect, Questionmark, MediaSite, TurningPoint and Video Production.

One of our key roles is developing new digital functionality across the whole of the Queen's website and ensuring that Queen's web presence is running smoothly.

We liaise closely with Units throughout the University to deliver digital projects on time and to the highest standards. 

There are 9 of us in the team, led by David Robinson, our Development Group Manager:

  • Caitriona Brannigan
  • Patrick Breen
  • Peter Crowther
  • Tony Furnell
  • Michael Kelly
  • Liam Maguire
  • Michael McCullough
  • Stephen Mullan

Our services span a range of key digital Queen's services, including:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Building new web styles, layouts & navigation functionality
  • ELearning
  • Coursefinder
  • CMS Training
  • MediaSite Support & Training
  • Adobe Connect Support & Training
  • Video Production
  • Questionmark
  • TurningPoint 
  • Podcasts
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Summer Graduation Week 2018


During Graduation Week, 28 June – 4 July 2018, we successfully live streamed all 12 graduation ceremonies from the Whitla hall.

On average, each graduation was watched by over 175 people live and downloaded 400 times after the event. 

50 per cent of the graduation live streams were watched on mobile devices this year, in an almost exact split between Apple and Android devices. The remainder were viewed via a traditional computer.

We live stream each ceremony using our Mediasite software, from a live visual and audio mix.

Each stream is broadcast in a variety of resolutions. Users visiting the broadcast over a good connection can enjoy the graduation streamed in full HD (1080p resolution at 25 FPS), providing a high quality sound and clean image of each graduand crossing the stage to collect their degree.

A list of the Graduations and their downloads can be found here

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On the 25 May 2018, the new GDPR law came into force throughout the UK. One of the big things we've been working on is preparing Queen's digital presence for this new legislation. It has been a significant piece of work for us, due to both the legal implications of getting it wrong and the volume of things we needed to audit and update across sites by the given deadline.

We have implemented 2 key pieces of work:

  • Removal of eForm submissions
  • New Cookie Control

Removal of eForm Data Submissions

We audited all sites within the Content Management System and identified those which contained eForm data. We subsequently contacted each data owner to confirm removal of all redundant eform submissions.  This means that we are no longer holding any outdated personal data within the CMS.

Don't forget that for any forms on your live sites that are collecting any type of personal data, you need to make sure you are communicating your reasons for collecting this personal data with your potential data subjects, prior to them filling out and submitting the form online.

If you have any questions about GDPR for your own area, contact the experts in Legal Services at Queen's

There is also lots of information and further links on a dedicated GDPR page within the Registrar's Office site

Cookie Compliance

We have had to re-assess the University’s current website cookie compliance solution, so that it conforms with the new GDPR guidelines on the use of website cookies and acceptable user consent models. 

We are currently in the final phase of development and testing of the new Queen's cookie compliance solution, in association with our key partners within the University. We anticipate that roll out across Queen's websites will begin in September 2018.

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The Web Support Team recently completed the successful new Clearing 2018 website, featuring an all new design and improved functionality. 

We collaborated closely on the design with our colleagues in the Marketing team. We built the design in the system and developed the new additional site functionality. This is the first year that the Clearing website has been fully integrated with Coursefinder content in the Content Management System, making it much easier for visitors hoping to join the University, to find available courses.

We hope to build on this success in Clearing 2019 by streamlining the process even more for prospective students hoping to join University.

View the Clearing 2018 site and see the improvements

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The Web Support Team are delighted to have gained the Green Impact Bronze Award 2018 for our building here at 50 Elmwood Avenue. 

Green Impact is an environmental accreditation scheme with an awards element designed for university departments. The scheme aims to empower individuals and departments to reduce their environmental impact by encouraging, rewarding and celebrating practical environmental improvements. University staff take part each academic year.

We had 25 different criteria to achieve and we had to pass an on-site building audit to demonstrate the criteria in practice. 

We collected our award at the Green Impact 2018 event in Riddell Hall.

We're currently working towards the Green Impact Silver Award for 2019.  Lots more criteria to achieve!

You can find out more about Green Impact at Queen's through the Carbon Team's website

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Recently, we have been looking at ways to make creating forms easier for our CMS users.  We're now recommending that all forms should be created using Microsoft Forms within Office 365. 

When you have built your form, send us the embed code which is generated within the MS Forms app and we will embed it on the relevant page within your website. 

There are lots of advantages to using MS Forms:

  • Ease of Use - you don't need to know any web code.  You just need to follow the steps in Office 365 and you can create a substantial form which can include compulsory fields, different methods of data input and so on.
  • GDPR Legislation - the data is controlled by you, the Office 365 account owner.

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Need a Podcast?


The popularity of podcasts has grown over the years with downloads outstripping those of music sales. Our Video Production Unit within the Web Support Team, is now offering a full podcast service to departments and schools within the University.

Not only do we provide a professional recording studio but we also provide technical support and advice on how to produce a podcast.

For further information please contact our Video Resources Producer, Stephen Mullan on ext 6156 or stephen.mullan@qub.ac.uk

CMS Service Desk


We are delighted so many of our user queries are now coming through our self service Sitehelpdesk.  We introduced this facility to our users in April 2017 and we have resolved over 1000 queries that have come through to us via the Sitehelpdesk. By far the majority of these queries are support-based, for example, how do I get CMS access to edit my site?  Where are the online CMS training resources?  Can you help me to make a podcast? How do I get a login for MediaSite? and so on.

As always, no query is too small, don't be afraid to ask!

Our Sitehelpdesk service is part of a wider Information Services Directorate initiative, enabling staff and students across the university to log their IT queries and track their progress through to resolution.

We are continuing to actively encourage everyone to make Sitehelpdesk their first stop for asking us a question. Response times are quicker, you can view the history of all the actions taken within your query ticket and read how we resolved your query.

Don't forget about our FAQs and training videos which should help to answer most of your questions.

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We recently actioned a major sites and content cleanup project within the CMS.  This involves going through each CMS channel and identifying sites which are no longer being published live and are no longer required in an archive capacity. So far we have purged over 11,000 sections and 96,000 pieces of associated content from the system.  

Have a look at your site structure and if you still have access to an old site that is no longer needed, let us know and we can remove it. Your site structure will be cleaner and system performance enhanced.



Here is the list of the latest training courses we're running:


  • 26 Sept 2018

Content Management System

  • 18 Sept 2018
  • 16 Oct 2018
  • 13 Nov 2018
  • 11 Dec 2018

Registration for these courses is via the iTrent system.

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For more information please read our Equality and Diversity Policy.

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