Fool-Proofing Your Course Catalog

January 8, 2024

Digitizing your course catalog opens up a whole world of possibilities that a print catalog could never offer. However, these new features and capabilities of digital catalogs could also bring more errors and confusion for your staff if it is not set up properly. At Clean Catalog, we pride ourselves on creating fool-proof catalogs that are easy to manage and impossible for your staff to mess up (looking at you, Matt in Accounting). Long gone are the days of accidentally deleted content, course inconsistencies, and time-consuming revisions. Check out several features we’ve launched to eliminate these blunders and to ensure your staff feels extra confident in managing your catalog.

Sync with your SIS

To ensure course catalog content is consistent with other publications, we can sync your catalog with your Student Information System (SIS). Whether you use Banner, Jenzabar, or another platform, we’ll be able to push/pull the exact content you’d like synced, and at whatever cadence you prefer. This sync can either be automated using our API integration, or manually imported and exported if you’d like greater control over each sync. Whichever method you choose, syncing content will ensure your staff never has to do double data entry between your catalog and SIS. It will also guarantee that your catalog is always accurate, consistent, and up-to-date,

Sync with your LMS

Similar to syncing with SIS, we can also sync with your Learning Management System (LMS). No matter whether you use a popular LMS such as Blackboard or Canvas, a homegrown system, or something in-between, we can set-up an API integration to sync content. Content from your LMS can be pushed/pulled not only to your course catalog, but also to your syllabi management or curriculum software. As a result, your staff will be able to edit content in one place and have it updated universally across other publications.

Utilize your Revisions Portal

Our Revisions Portal is a tool we build into all published catalogs, and it essentially provides a safety net for your staff as they make edits to your catalog. Within the revisions portal, you can easily view past iterations of catalog pages, see which user made updates, when those updates were made, and revert back to past versions. This ensures that no version of your catalog can be fully overwritten or lost, which will give your team greater peace of mind when pushing new catalog edits.

Build Efficient Editorial Workflows

Taking the time to set-up efficient, logical editorial workflows will save your staff countless admin hours over the years to come. Our catalog software allows catalog revisions to be made digitally and then pushed through the appropriate approval workflow to be published. For example, if an accounting professor makes updates to the ACCT 101 course listing, those changes may be routed to the Math Department chair for review, and then to the registrar for final approval and publishing. This eliminates the need for back-and-forth emails regarding catalog changes, endless redlines, and hard copy edits. When built correctly, editorial workflows will allow your staff to make catalog updates much more easily and for new content to be published much more quickly.

Use SSO and Two-Factor Authentication

Single-Sign-On and Two-Factor Authentication go hand-in-hand to ensure account security for your catalog. By enabling [SSO](/blog/catalog-sso/, staff members will be able to login to the backend of your catalog using pre-existing login credentials. For example, a staff member will be able to login using the same user ID and password for their catalog that they already use for the LMS. Two-factor authentication complements SSO by adding an extra layer of security to staff logins. This feature simply requires admin to verify their identity using a second method of authentication, such as a code sent to their email or phone number. While both SSO and 2FA are optional with Clean Catalog, we highly recommend capitalizing on the extra layer of protection they’ll give your catalog.

Choose the Right Software Provider

Doing your due diligence when selecting a catalog provider will go a long way in setting your catalog up for success. You should vet potential providers on a variety of capabilities, especially around accessibility and security. Since accessibility standards are always evolving, a provider should ensure that regular updates will keep your catalog in-step with WCAG accessibility standards. They should also regularly release security updates so that your catalog site is protected against evolving threats online. You should also ensure the backend of the software is intuitive and simple to use. Keep in mind that even the least tech-savvy staff members will need to feel comfortable and confident using the software. If you’d like to learn more about how you should vet potential software providers, our Buyer’s Guide is an excellent resource.

Want to learn more about our software features and how we fool-proof digital catalogs? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!