The Research and Instructional Design team has several new options for web and social software course projects. These options include podcasts, blogs, wikis and web sites. Podcasts are audio "shows" that are delivered through the Internet. Blogs are web journals that allow viewers to discuss the main topics by writing comments. Wikis are simply web pages that any visitor can edit, allowing a more collaborative web experience. Google Docs is an example of a wiki.
Static websites can be created using SiteManager. Photos, audio, and video can be added using built-in modules. SiteManager allows individuals with little to no coding experience to learn how to apply basic design and information organization skills to a website that can be made publicly accessible through the courses.hamilton.edu web server. SiteManager is a good choice for sites that have a multimedia emphasis and may be updated after the final site is created. Websites can also be created using WordPress. WordPress sites are useful when a site has multiple authors, and/or needs to be maintained by individuals after they leave Hamilton College.
Blogs are online public forums where one or more administrators post entries to which others may contribute comments. They are good discussion tools when it is desired to preserve a sense of authority for the original topic posting. If you would like to create a blog using WordPress, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Blogs can work well for discussions where divergent thinking is desired. Blogs are also supported within the Blackboard course management system when it is desired to restrict access to the blog to the students in a particular class.
Wikis are designed to decentralize authority over content by providing anyone who had edit-level access to the wiki with the ability to add, modify and even delete any text on the wiki. Wikis can work well for collaborative writing assignments where convergent thinking is desired. The content generated in a shared web-based document, when complete, can then be presented to a larger intended audience in a website.