The public program search functionality in Terra Dotta software offers applicants seven different options, or program listings, for locating and exploring a site's programs.
This article covers the following topics related to program listings in Terra Dotta's public program search:
- Program Listings Configurations
- List All
- Simple Search
- Advanced Search
- Featured Programs
- Course Search
- Map Search
- Program Discovery
- Alternate Program Search Results: Look here for instructions on how to enable and utilize this feature.
Important Note: Client sites are loaded with functionality to support the broad range of Terra Dotta enterprise solutions, including ISSS and Study Abroad. Slight variances in terminology may occur depending on the Terra Dotta solution referenced. For example, this articles refers to both "applicants" and "users" which are synonymous. Your site will display the term relevant to your office.
Program Listings Configurations
The Program Listings options are the available methods by which an applicant can conduct a public program search in Terra Dotta software. You can determine which program listings will appear in a public program search by configuring settings as follows:
1) Navigate to Settings > System Features and click on the "Programs" tab.
2) Locate the "Program Listings" section. Here you will see a list of seven possible options available to enable on your site. By checking the "enabled" box next to a program listings option and clicking "Update" at the bottom of the page, a tab for that option will appear when an applicant clicks on Site Home Icon > Programs when visiting your Terra Dotta site.
From the "Program Listings section, you can also set the default option that appears when an applicant lands on the public program search page. Simply use the drop-down menu next to "Default" to make your selection. Then click "Update" at the bottom of the page.
Each of the program listings is discussed in further detail below.
When the List All option is enabled, a "List All" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking on this tab will take the applicant to a full list of all active programs. The list is organized into the following columns:
- Program Name: Click on a name to be taken to the program's brochure page.
- Save/Share: Applicants can save a program to their profile page, creating a direct link to the program's brochure page for future quick access. The share feature allows the applicant to share the program via social media.
A "Program Type" drop-down menu sits atop the "Programs" header. Use this feature to filter your view to display only those active programs in a specific program type, such as Outgoing or Incoming.
By default, each column is sorted alphabetically. Change the order that information is displayed by clicking on the column headers.
Example: If an applicant wants to search programs by region, they can click on "Regions". The programs would then be grouped by region, displaying all programs in Africa first, followed by Asia, Central America, etc.
When the Simple Search option is enabled, a "Simple Search" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking this tab allows applicants to quickly locate programs based on limited criteria, including keywords in the program title/name as well as the terms, cities, regions, and countries for which you have programs. The more criteria used, the more an applicant will narrow down their search.
Applicants can change which type of program will be displayed by clicking the "Show" drop-down menu and selecting the desired program type.
After the desired search criteria have been selected, click "Search" to return a listing of programs meeting that criteria. These programs are displayed on a program search results page that is organized into columns that function in the same way as described above for the "List All" display. This includes the options to sort columns alphabetically, save a program, and share a program.
A "Request Info" button rests atop the search results page. Clicking this allows an applicant to email your office and include a link to the same search results that their criteria returned.
When the Advanced Search option is enabled, an "Advanced Search" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking this tab allows applicants to search for programs based on more criteria than what is available in a simple search.
The Advanced Search page is organized into the following sections:
- Program Search: Enter keywords for the program name. Use the "Show" drop-down menu to change what program type is displayed.
- Location/Term: All cities, regions, countries, and terms for which you have an associated program are listed and can be used as filters.
- Parameters: All program parameters configured under Settings > Program Params are listed and can be used as search filters. A site can create custom program parameters which applicants can use to search available programs.
- Sort Options: A series of radio buttons allow applicants to modify how the results list will be displayed.
A series of pick-list boxes allow an applicant to select more than one value related to Location/Terms and Parameters to include in the advanced search. To select more than one value in a pick-list box, hold the "Ctrl/Cmd" key while clicking on the desired values.
When values are selected from more than one pick-list box, programs are returned that match the criteria from all the list boxes selected. However, multiple selections from within a single pick-list box will return results that fit any of the selections within that pick-list box. If searches are not yielding enough results, reduce the number of pick-list boxes from which an applicant is selecting values.
After the desired search criteria have been selected, click "Search" to return a listing of programs meeting that criteria. These programs are displayed on a program search results page that is organized into columns with options to sort columns alphabetically, save a program, share a program, and request info (as seen with the Simple Search results page).
When the Featured Programs option is enabled, a "Featured Programs" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking this tab allows applicants to search for only those programs that have been added to the program group marked as "Featured". These are often the programs to which an office wishes to draw special attention.
The Featured Programs page is organized by columns containing the following information:
- Featured Program: Displays program name, available program terms, and program location.
- Description: Provides a brief program summary used to encourage applicants to click into the brochure page for more details. This description is set in the "Program Notes" section on the "General" tab of the program builder for each program.
- Save/Share: An applicant can save the program to their profile or share it via social media.
The options do not exist to resort the listing (it is sorted alphabetically by default) or to request information from this page.
When the Course Search option is enabled, a "Course Search" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking this tab allows applicants to perform a program course equivalency search.
A form is provided from which applicants can search the institution's course database by the following criteria:
- Credit Hours
- Approved By: This is the name of the individual who approved the course.
- Multi-Select Field 1: This is a custom field that has been configured as "Major" in the example below.
- Multi-Select Field 2: This is a custom field that has been configured as "Department" in the example below.
- Keywords: A drop-down menu allows applicants to choose if keywords are to return results with "All Words", "Any Words", or "Exact Match".
Click "Search" to view the results which are organized by columns within a table.
Applicants can use the search results to select a course and find programs with foreign course equivalents. Under the "Actions" column, click the magnifying glass icon to view the list of programs that offer foreign course equivalents. This list is displayed based on the specified search criteria.
When the Map Search option is enabled, a "Map Search" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking this tab allows applicants to search for programs geographically.
To conduct a search:
1) Select the continent of interest. The map will resize and reveal countries with active programs.
2) Select a country with active programs. A pop-up panel will appear, listing links to all the active programs in that location.
3) Select an active program to go to its brochure page.
At any time, an applicant can restart their search by clicking the house icon located on the map search page.
When the Program Discovery option is enabled, a "Program Discovery" tab will appear to applicants on the public program search page of your site. Clicking this tab allows applicants to search for programs in an expansive search using Program Discovery's machine-learning technology and redesigned interface. Program Discovery searches pull program-related data for active Outgoing, Outgoing with Side Trips, and OneStep program types.
Refer to our full article on Program Discovery for a comprehensive overview of this feature.
Alternate Program Search Results
When an applicant searches for a program on your site, the results list displays all programs that meet the search criteria in alphabetical order by program name. This is the site's default setting.
If alphabetical order by program name is not your preferred way to view program search results, an alternate program search results feature can be enabled. The alternate program search results feature allows equal opportunity for all providers to appear at the top of the search results list instead of solely those programs that begin with the letter "A". Once this feature has been turned on, an admin will be able to designate a specific set of programs as "recommended" on your site. These "recommended" programs will then appear at the top of a search results list followed by all other programs run by the institution and then affiliate programs.
Enabling the Alternate Program Search Results Feature
To enable the alternate program search results feature on your site, follow these steps:
1) Navigate to Settings > System Features and click on the "Programs" tab.
2) Locate the "Program Listings" section. Check the box next to "Alternate Sponsored/Recommended Program Search Results Page".
3) Click "Update" to preserve your changes.
Important Note: For installed clients, your server administrator can activate the alternate program search results feature by adding the following line to the site's stub file:
<cfset REQUEST.CurrentAccount.setAlternateProgramSearchResultsEnabled(true) />
Using the Alternate Listing
After the feature has been enabled on your site, you will need to create a "Yes or No" program parameter on your site called "Recommended Program". Follow these steps:
1) Navigate to Settings > Program Params and click on "New Parameter".
2) Use "Recommended Program" as the parameter name.
3) Select "Yes or No" as the parameter type.
4) Click "Save" to preserve your changes.
To flag a program as "recommended" to appear at the top of search results, follow these steps:
1) Open the program builder of a program that you would like to set as "Recommended". Click on the "Parameters" tab.
2) Click on the edit pencil next to the "Recommended Program" parameter.
3) From the new window that has opened, select the "Yes" option next to "Recommended Program".
4) Click the arrow next to "Apply Parameter Values to Multiple Programs". This will expand the display to list other programs and program groups, giving you the option to batch apply the "Recommended Program" parameter to other programs.
5) Click "Add" to save your changes.
After you have assigned the "Recommended Programs" parameter to programs, search results will appear to applicants in the following order:
1) Recommended Programs
If there are multiple recommended programs, then they will be ordered alphabetically within this section.
Note: Study Abroad Directory-sponsored programs will not appear in this section.
2) Institution Programs
This section is labeled with your institution's abbreviation and lists your "in-house" programs or those that have been created on your site. If there are multiple institution programs, then they will be listed alphabetically within this section.
3) Affiliate Programs
This section lists the programs that have a program provider associated with them. The program providers in this section are listed randomly. The applicant can click on the title of the provider to expand the group and see the full list of programs from that provider.