Giving students their own digital domain is a radical act. It gives them the ability to work on the Web and with the Web, to have their scholarship be meaningful and accessible by others. It allows them to demonstrate their learning to others beyond the classroom walls. To own one’s domain gives students an understanding of how Web technologies work. It puts them in a much better position to control their work, their data, their identity online.(Waters, 2015)
We wish to trial hosting each new Diploma of Arts and Media learner their own personal WordPress blog. This is to give them a space to share the work they have been doing in class and to also put into practice one of the key Graduate Profiles:
Critically evaluate work, communicate to a range of audiences, and present own resolved work in a real-world context.
Not only that, blogged content becomes the basis of the learner’s professional portfolio and allows for a more active showcase within programmes, departments and schools. It is also taught in a variety of NMIT courses.
The standard practice at NMIT has been to either use Moodle forums or have students create their own blogs externally. Both of these methods have yielded unsatisfactory results. By hosting learner material within Moodle, the learner can feel loss of ownership and pride in their work; they also have no audience to impress and the work becomes siloed.
When learners have been given the task of setting up their own free wordpress blogs, they have had a cut-back ad-fuelled experience, not representative of a professional blog. While tutors have faced difficulties with consolidating a large disparate list of blog links.
The solution proposed here is to have learner post work into their NMIT blogs and to categorize them according to course name. These categories are collected, compiled and displayed – allowing the tutor to visit just one place to see all new learner work.
We would also use a standard web address format like blogs.nmit.ac.nz/learner.name to simplify locating and logging in.
The IT department would need to allow us access to a subdomain for the blogs. So that the web addresses mention NMIT but also acknowledge that this isn’t an official NMIT website. Some examples:
When choosing the webhost we need them to do all the backups and security updates. They also need to setup a SSL Certificate, to make sure we are secure (https). They also need to be able to scale up if the trial is successful.
FLiT and Learner Services
There should be no obvious support or training requirements outside of what is currently done.
Alan Proctor-Thomson as “super-administrator” will need to do initial administration and enabling of themes and plugins.
|Host||Details||Monthly cost||Per student per years|
|WPEngine.com||US WordPress specialists||$99 USD||$23.76 USD|
|Pagely.com||US Professional specialists||$449 USD||$107.76 USD|
|WPcharged.nz||NZ WordPress specialists||$200 NZD||$48 NZD|
|Campuspress||US Education WordPress specialists||$167 USD||$40.08 USD|
Watters, A. (2015, July 15). The Web We Need to Give Students. Retrieved February 01, 2018, from https://brightthemag.com/the-web-we-need-to-give-students-311d97713713
Burtis, M. (2016). MAKING AND BREAKING DOMAIN OF ONE’S OWN: RETHINKING THE WEB IN HIGHER ED. Digital Pedagogy Lab. Retrieved 2 February 2018, from http://www.digitalpedagogylab.com/hybridped/making-breaking-rethinking-web-higher-ed/