Currently the Continuing Education course listings provide a mailto:
link alongside of an instructor's name in the course description pages.
That info is being pulled from Banner. In the past, we've thought about
pulling information from an anonymous LDAP bind to grab additional
instructor info, and link to a new page that displays that info.
A more recent idea I had was to link to uvm.edu/directory.
Unfortunately, uvm.edu/directory has several limitations.
* The focus of the directory is on search capabilities, not on the
information it provides.
e.g. "Search results for: Any Name in department: All Departments"
wouldn't be relevant to users being linked to a directory page.
* The labels aren't always intuitive. E.g. EduCause Affiliations, what
* The fields aren't always relevant to the context the user is coming from.
* The function of the directory pages are to pull from LDAP sources, and
not much else. As such there is no scalable manner of augmenting the
directory data with external data/media, like a photograph of the
From this reasoning, I've decided I should probably query data from
LDAP and present it on my own. However, I'm wondering what the preferred
way to go about that is. Since I can't pull everyone at once, I'm pretty
much limited to pulling by netid. If multiple query overhead is a
concern, I could probably combine multiple netids into a single query.
My options are:
1. Pull all the data at once alongside of my course list queries and
cache it with that.
2. Pull an individual instructor's directory info when its needed, and
cache it independently.
3. Pull an individual instructor's directory info when its needed, and
never use old data.
Personally, I'm leaning toward option 3, but wouldn't mind
input/feedback on my thought process (hence my posting to the it-discuss
Thanks for your thoughts!