Feb 012012
 

My Spring 2012 course is well underway (into the second week), and going well. But, as I was putting up the latest assignments and resources for the class, it struck me: I’m defaulting to CLOSED!

Many of the materials that I’m using are coming from Heidi Ellis‘ course at Western New England University, and from other open, online sources. Yet, here I am, posting them in our Blackboard CMS, where only my students have access to them! And this really is a default action — it’s just what I’m used to doing, so I’ve done it without thinking.

This is a somewhat minor at this point, since Heidi has already made these materials available. But, I’m starting to develop new exercises and assignments that others may want to use. And, just as I borrowed some of the course organization from Heidi’s course, someone else might find my “remix” of her organization useful or inspiring.

So, I’m starting to think about where I want to post my course materials to make them open. (Licensing is not the issue, as I’ve been CC-licensing my course materials for years.) Unfortunately, our school is not good about giving faculty web space that they can easily edit for themselves (our default is Microsoft SharePoint.) But, we have our own departmental server, where we are hosting our departmental blog (acting as a planet), our Git and Subversion servers, and our Wiki. I have a vestigial web site there (that just redirects to my Sharepoint page), so I can probably press that into service as the home for the course.

It may take a bit more work, because it won’t be the default. I’ll have to move all the materials I’ve already posted and remember to post the new ones I’m writing to this more open location.

And, I’ll have to work on making open my new default.

Nov 302011
 

The Worcester State University CS Department now has its own blog at http://cs.worcester.edu/blog. It was set up to act as an aggregator, so that faculty and students in the department can contribute posts.

I had it set up primarily for the students in my CS 401 class to blog about their Open Source project work, but anyone in the department can submit posts about their classes, projects, or research. It is my hope that it will serve to build a community within the department, so that we can all learn about the cool and interesting things that the members of the department are doing.

The blog is running as a WordPress instance, with the FeedWordPress plugin doing the aggregation. Erin McLaughlin, who is helping me with preparation for my Spring 2011 CS 401 class, did the grunt work of the WordPress install. Thanks Erin!