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Web Services Information

Course Pages

If you are creating and maintaining your own course page(s), please send your URLs to when your pages are up and available for viewing at the start of each semester. We maintain a departmental course page registry on which all of our course URLs are listed for easy reference. At the end of the semester the registry is archived as an historical resource.

If you have assigned course page creation and maintenance to qualified staff assistants, please remind the assistants to send in the URLs to when the pages are available for viewing. If you run into problems or have any questions, please send e-mail to .

See http://econ.berkeley.edu/courses.shtml if you are not familiar with this web resource.

There is no requirement for a course home page in the Economics Department, and no official procedure for creating and maintaining a course home page. This activity is left to the discretion of the instructor.

There are several ways to manage course home pages.

  1. An instructor who wishes to have creative control over design and content can use the following:
    • bSpace, a highly recommended option, is an online collaboration and learning environment supported by Educational Technology Services (ETS). This system provides the campus with a set of tools that support teaching and learning activities, as well as cross-campus collaboration. For course websites, it uses the official information from the Schedule of Classes allowing instructors to view the class roster and send email to the class.
    • The Open Computing Facility (OCF) is an all-volunteer, student-run, student-initiated service group that offers free webspace (400 MB) among other services.
    • "free" commercial account on googlepages, yahoo, etc., all of which offer free web pages.
    • For regular faculty only, if you have a personal mirror site on 'elsa', you can create and manage course home pages from your personal mirror. This would be inaccessible to any GSR/GSIs or untrained staff assistants, because you would have to share your userid and password, which is forbidden.
    • The campus requires us to comply with ADA guidelines, so if you are maintaining your own pages, please make an effort to learn about these requirements. The Economics Department complies with campus web guidelines and applicable federal and state laws. The campus is also encouraging web authors to conform to XML, the new standard in markup language. For most of us, it means adhering to the XHTML transitional markup rules. Please visit http://www.w3.org (the WWW consortium's web site, where standards are developed, tested, and posted) for information on XHTML.

  2. An instructor who is willing to waive creative control over design and some content can ask a qualified staff person to create and maintain the course home page. Administrative Services Unit assistants have been trained to update course websites based on a basic course website template.

    Designated departmental web team members are sometimes available to maintain course pages if a staff assistant is not available. Visiting instructors can ask their staff assistants to create and maintain a course page for them on a shared visitor's mirror site. What is required:
    • Course number and title, instructor(s) name(s), GSI(s) name(s), office location and office hours, and lecture meeting location and day(s) and time(s).
    • What you want uploaded to the course home page should be emailed as PDF, backwardly compatible to Acrobat 3. Staff do not do file conversions, and will not upload proprietary format source files (such as Word or WordPerfect). Qualified PC systems in the department have access to the departmental Acrobat license and documentation on how to do file conversions, so with a little effort, anyone can learn how to do PDF quickly and easily.
      (For uploading data for assignments, we recommend plain columnar ascii files, as long as they are small. For large datasets, we can put them in the class data area on the server, if you have EML class accounts, or we can put them on 'elsa', our ftp/web server, for browser ftp downloads.)
      Staff should receive electronic files for upload a minimum of one day in advance of posting.
    • The department uses a simple course template, easy to navigate, and functional, without any bells and whistles, accommodate downloads by students with slow modems or older systems with old browser releases.
    • All files for web pages are maintained on a "mirror" site on the EML's production fileserver , and are "pushed" across to the 'elsa' web/ftp server at every even-numbered hour (except for 2am, 4am, and 8am), so updates to the course home pages are not immediate ('socrates' permits direct writes, so updates on 'socs' are immediate). Our 2-hour delay is designed to enable local previewing and proofing of materials before being made publicly accessible.
    • If staff assistants are out of the office, your course home pages may not be updated in a timely manner. Please remember the built-in delays and the mirror's "push" schedule.

  3. Reminder: if you recycle problem sets and exams, you may wish to remove your answer sets after the semester is over.

Faculty Home Pages

Faculty are welcome to maintain a personal home page similarly to that described above for course home pages. If a non-EML service is used, please send the URL to so that the proper link can be created on the department's faculty web site. The faculty directory of personal home pages is accessible from the Faculty link on the department's home page at http://www.econ.berkeley.edu/.

If a faculty member would like to maintain a personal home page on the EML's web server (elsa.berkeley.edu), s/he is welcome to do so:

  • Open an Econometrics Laboratory account and sign a copyright compliance agreement. Forms are downloadable from http://emlab.berkeley.edu/eml/index.shtml . Return the forms to the department's IT Manager in 643 Evans Hall.
  • A mirror site will be created for you, accessible via your personal EML account, on the production fileserver.
  • You may use your own design, or you may wish to use the department's template.

The departmental web team is available for advice. Please send e-email to if you have a question or are seeking assistance with your web-related tasks.