WordPress in Higher Education
I am at the Apple Digital Campus conference that is currently being hosted at the University of Missouri-Columbia. The conference itself is using WordPress for their blog. Penn State is also telling all of the participants (about 200 leaders in higher education) about how they use WordPress for courses, portfolios, content mangement and about everything else. Great stuff. Anyone else know of how WordPress is being used for learning in higher education?
I’ve been hosting blogs for a Lit class at The University of Texas at Dallas and Richland Community College for the last four semeseters. It’s used to post assignments and hold class discussions, the professors are very happy with it. Here is the link to this semesters blogs. They are not hosted on the school’s server because we don’t have MySQL, so I am hosting them myself. It is also a slightly modified version of WordPress.
Off topic a little bit, but it’s amazing how backwards some university web systems are. At UAF they don’t support mySQL or php!
At UTD we just got PHP only because a co-worker and I asked. (I work for Information Resources.) But we only have Microsoft SQL (yuck), and we can’t use it for stuff other than staff related. And we are a school that focuses on technology… hah. 🙁
I think my school would use WordPress more if they actually knew about it. I was insturmental in that class using WordPress, the first semester we used MoveableType (before new liscening scheme), and I had to manually add everyone, plus we got shut down at the end of the semester for using to much processing power. 3 semesters running WP, most times 3 sepearate installs, and no shut downs. WordPress is a much cleaner and easier system to use.
I teach some adult classes in local communities and would be interested in whether there is a design or best practices in developing such an online class. Or is it just free-wheeling?
We are using WordPress at Western Washington University to support our first-year programs. Three first-year students will be posting to a weblog as they progress throughout their first quarter during fall 2005. Known as Real, this project also interviews the same three students 6 times throughout their first quarter–the videos are played in first-year seminars to spark discussion about adjustment and transition issues and to promote academic engagement.
As far as technical issues are concerned, we have had no support from our academic technology group to do php 0n an on-campus server, so we have placed our WordPress weblog on an off-campus server that supports php and MySql. That has worked well for us.
We have been using WordPress at Auburn University for some time. Classes have group blogs and individual blogs and there are numerous other individual uses on campus in various departments.
Plus, if you look in the sidebar under Associated Sites, you will see some experimental uses of the platform and various hacks/plugins to create RSS blogs. Those are used to steer students towards various readings all in one place. Most of them are actually hidden behind password protection.
Some of our blogs are hosted on-campus and others off-campus. The reason for the off-campus hosting is not because of the lack of support, but because the server configurations are quite different. It is my experience that many schools take greater security steps than most ISPs. If our students are going to implement a blog in their professional life, it is advantageous to expose them to the real world hosting environments they will find when seeking a service provider.
After flirting with Expression Engine and pMachine, the School of Education at my campus uses WordPress to power its website. It’s been the most reliable, functional tool we’ve found after two years of searching.
Alas, we haven’t yet harnessed its power for blogging in classes or by instructors, but I’m working on warming up the faculty. 🙂
I wonder how your campus website could migrate to WordPress? I mean how to convert all the posts and comments from pMachine 2.4 into WordPress? I had 850 entries and 198 comments so far and I need to migrate it into WordPress since I think WordPress is more reliable. I already use WordPress for my other blog.
Thanks for sharing.
I know pmachine is not listed here: Importing_Content, but maybe the RSS importing would work.
There was a script http://wordpress.org/support/topic/3315?replies=33 I don’t know if it ever grew out the testing phase.
It’s not higher education (well, OK, some of my students might be), be we use it for all of our high school web site.
Each department has it’s own blog, some faculty have their own blogs, a few clubs, etc. To make managing a bit easier, the custom theme uses a number of imports from a universal includes directory so that I can change the look and feel of all of the blogs by editing just a small number (3-4) central files.
hi moshu, thanks for the help. i will look into it. if i can’t solve that perharps i should stick to pMachine :).
We too are migrating our existing school sites over to WordPress. We host it internally on Windows machines (per University’s standard). On the site that is about 70% migrated, the start page functions primarily as a blog on which the school head posts daily. Static content is served via a menu, using WordPress as a CMS. The site is here: http://www.cadc.auburn.edu/soa. We have two other wordpress sites that should come online within the next week or so that will feature a lot of student interaction. The switch from user levels to roles in WordPress 2.0 is instrumental in allowing for this this possibility.
It is interesting to see that the Department of Communication and Journalism at our College (Auburn University) is also using WordPress to serve up part of their presence as well. Must be something in the water down here on the plains.
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