Colorado School of Mines Trailhead
Tab Administrator’s Policy and Guidelines

Synopsis of Channel Approval Steps
Tab Administrator Responsibilities
Tab Administration Process
Aggregate Layout Management (ALM)
Related Resources

The presentation of the CSM portal, Trailhead, consists of several tabs
with each tab containing one or more channels. The layout of the
channel(s) on each tab is managed by a Tab Administrator who uses
Aggregated Layout Management (“ALM” for short – for more information
see below) to configure channels and the columns that hold them. This
document establishes the expectations for a Tab Administrator as well as
a few guidelines to assist in the administration of a tab.

Synopsis of Channel Approval Steps
1.Channel Request form is filled out and submitted.
2.Tab Administrator notifies requester that request is approved and
provides information as required for requester to begin development of
the channel using “overlook” (the portal test server).
3.Requester develops prototype channel and interacts with Tab
Administrator as necessary.
4.Requester submits URL of channel to Tab Administrator for final
5.If approved, Tab Administrator contacts Portal Administrator to add
channel to production server.
6.Requester or their designee maintains channel.

Tab Administrator Responsibilities
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1.Identify backup administrator(s) to fill in when primary Tab
Administrator is on leave. Notify the portal administrators of who the
backup Tab Administrator is and any dates when the primary Tab
Administrator unavailable.
2.Work with the portal administrators, the Portal Content Committee and
others to determine future direction/content/purpose of the CSM portal
and their tab in particular. Tab Administrators will work with the Portal
Content Committee and others as needed to establish the focus of their
3.Configure and be responsible for the continuing default layout of the
tab. Considerations include:
a. Know, support and enforce (1) The Portal Design Guidelines as
published in the Portal Design Guide and as determined by the
Portal Content Committee and others and (2) The Channel
Development Work Flow as specified in the Channel
Development Overview and as determined by the Portal
Content Committee and others (see Related Resources links at
the end of this document).
b. Monitor the number of CPIP channels that are included on the
default layout of the tab and check the speed of how the tab
loads and displays. CPIP channels should be limited to 3 or less
per tab. (CPIP is an Integration Protocol permitting channels to
perform a Single Sign On to an External System on behalf of
the user. The concern about performance and the suggested
limitation only relates to channels that do such authentication
immediately upon the channel’s Tab being viewed, and not for
channels where the user must click a link, button or icon prior
to an authentication attempt being made.)
c. The number and width of columns.
d. Layout of the default channels presented in the column(s).
e. Changes to the default tab layout are carefully considered,
tested thoroughly on the test server, and implemented with the
approval as needed of the portal administrators and Content
4.The level of user customization allowed (see the Trailhead Design
Guidelines [] in
the Related Resources section below).
5.Determine if other flexibility is permitted on their tab (for example,
Allow/disallow adding/removing columns; allow/disallow configuring
column widths; allow/disallow adding/removing channels, moving
channels, etc.). Content and usage should provide guidance regarding
the level of customization allowed.
6.Oversee and assist the development of channels designed for the tab
by campus constituents:
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a. Evaluate channel proposals for “channel worthiness”:
• A channel should avoid duplicating content provided by
other developers;
• The nature of the channel should preclude having the
information included in an existent channel;
• The channel’s subject should have a wide audience –
channel developers with smaller audiences should consider
using Group Studio;
• A plan to maintain the channel content should be evident.

Tab Administrators should stay up-to-date on other channel
content in the portal. If a Tab Administrator and channel
developer cannot agree if a channel should be placed or
categorized under a given tab, the issue should be referred to
the Portal Content Committee for review.
b. Verify that Channel Development Requirements and
Recommendations are adhered to (style sheets, accessibility,
copyright, “eligibility” etc.), as determined by the Portal Content
Committee and others.
c. Provide technical assistance as needed for channel developers
regarding the nuances of channels, the options available and
current practices (“role” applicability; use of web authoring
tools, height/width constraints of channels; image inclusion;
linking, etc.)
d. Work with channel developers to determine the most ideal
location of their channel within your tab.
e. Work with the portal administrators and others to develop on-
line resources to assist channel developers.

7.When appropriate, Tab Administrators should work with the channel
developer and the portal administrators to find appropriate methods for
announcing the new channel.
8.If a channel appears to be out of date the Tab Administrator should
contact the channel owner and proceed as necessary, using whatever
resources are required, to resolve problems related to the continued
maintenance and viability of the channel. This directive is not meant to
replace the usual regularly scheduled reviews of channel content as
provided for in the “Portal Content Review Policy” document.
Occasional harmless bits of out-of-date content can remain for short
periods of time pending such a review, although ideally Tab
Administrators and Content Owners will be vigilant in keeping this
material up to date as it presents a fresher, more attractive and
professional appearance. However, there will from time to time arise
situations where out of date content is seriously misleading,
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distracting, harmful or simply too old, and in such cases it is imperative
that it be updated promptly even prior to the scheduled review.
9.If a channel appears to have changed to provide inappropriate or
unacceptable content, the Tab Administration should contact the portal
10.The Tab Administrator shall responsibly use judgment concerning the
frequency and degree of changes they permit to the number,
placement and structure of the channels on the Tab they administrate.
Members of the Colorado School of Mines community will be visiting the
Tab to receive useful, interesting and up to date information, services
and links. Therefore this material should change frequently enough to
address these needs, but not so frequently that users become
disoriented and unable to easily find material of interest that they had
previously located. The structure should change less frequently than
the content inside that structure. Review the newspaper analogy in the
“Trailhead Design Guidelines”
[] document in
section 4B.

Tab Administration Process
To configure the layout of a tab as needed or as directed by the Portal
Content Committee or others (overlook should be used to do all testing):
1. Login as ADM “-lo: user.
2. Configure the default layout of the tab for the user logged in – DO NOT
a. Set the number of columns.
b. Add channels to the view.
c. Configure customization options.
d. Set customization parameters for columns and channels.
3. Logout.

Note: a user with the correct role will be able to view changes at their
next login.

Aggregate Layout Management (ALM)
ALM is the name given to the process of creating a default view and
pushing content to end users of the portal. CSM’s implementation of ALM
is such that an ALM user has been created for each role (allusers, student,
employee, faculty, and research). Each role in turn has specific tabs
assigned to it. That account is in turn used to control the default layout of
the tab including such things as the number of columns presented and the
channels on those columns. The ALM user for a tab also has the ability to
“lock” one or more columns and/or channels so that a user will always be
presented with that particular content and depending upon the amount of
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locking specified, may not be able to change some of parameters for the
column or channel.

The items below summarize some of the behaviors of ALM that a Tab
Administrator should be aware of:

Columns and Channels
• Columns and Channels added by the ALM user “belong” to ALM and
can be changed via the ALM user’s settings.
• Columns and channels added by the end user “belong” to the end
user and can only be changed by that user. In other words, if a user
completely deletes all channels and columns on a tab and then
recreates the layout of the tab exactly as it was originally, changes
made via ALM will not be reflected on the tab for that user’s account.

Channel Location
• If a channel is added through ALM and moved by a user, the
channel “belongs” to ALM, but its location “belongs” to the user. That
is, the channel may be deleted, resized, etc. via ALM, but its location
cannot be changed by anyone except that user.

Column Width
• User can modify column widths (regardless of settings made in the
default layout for the tab). If he/she does, the column width “belongs”
to that user. The column can still be modified via ALM, but changes to
the column widths in ALM will not be reflected on that user’s layout.

Channel Height
• Users cannot modify the height of channels added via ALM. Users
are able to get to the form that allows them to change the height, but
the height is automatically reset back to the height specified by the
ALM user for the tab. Changes to channel height for user-added
channels (as opposed to channels added to tabs using ALM) act as you
would expect.

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CSM Trailhead Tab Admin Policy

6 of 6
Related Resources

Document or
Trailhead Mission
Trailhead Design
Channel Development
Request Form
Channel Development
Trailhead Content
Review Policy
List of Tab
Tab Administrators'
CSM Groups Policy
Announcements Policy

Default Portal

24 September 2008