For a recent project, I had to design a WebPart for Teachers so they could alert their peers of potential problem (gifted) children. For example, Alerts would be ustilized for students that miss several days of school, skip detention, grade points drop or exhibit behavioural problems.
The WebPart consisted of a GUI with two panels; 1) a datagrid that listed alerts and 2) an alerts entry form. The Datagrid listed the alerts with the Alert type, Date and Sender with a Read button (mark as read / recieved). The alerts entry form consists of an alerts selction Drop Down List, Listbox of recipients, Message box and a Send Button. A basic class was created to deal with CRUD and custom tables and strored proceedures were added to the database.
Overall the WebPart functions well but I believe there is merit in linking realtime chat though I could see this being annoying to some – especially if your in a classroom setting. Another area of thought would be the listbox of recipients due to sheer number of users (2000?), we thought a datagrid with options to browse teachers by last name categorized A through Z.
Should more clients use this WebPart I might explore revising the WebPart to include the datagrid. If your interested in this Webpart contact me.