Today I was in class and it hit me: I have lost a lot by using WebCT this semester. I have, for instance, some visiting scholars who sit in on my classes, and I always have to give the the URLs to the articles we are reading or I have to tell them to look on with someone else. They have no university ID, so they can’t access WebCT. I have also lost the opportunity for my students to showcase their work to their family and friends back in China.
As I said, this was a startling discovery in the moment when it hit me. How had I missed that? How could I not have known? And then I realized that I wasn’t surprised. I knew this would be the result when I started out. But because I was new on campus and because no one could tell me what university policies, if any, existed to cover use of social media sites, I opted to put the course on WebCT. And in the fact that it is the platform that the students will use throughout their academic careers here, I do not regret the decision.
But last weekend I began working on a wiki for my classes next semester. I was debating having final versions of papers uploaded to WebCT or posted to a blog. I have decided for sure now that they will go on a blog. We already have a delicious account, and I can expand it as we ad more texts for the different course. I am thinking about using Pageflakes to pull it all together, but I haven’t decided for sure yet. The class blog could do the same. Or the wiki.
And another startling but not very surprising discovery… I am really excited by the prospect of doing this again.