I've been having a devilishly fun time lately developing Kirsten's english website. I've developed a site for her every year for the past 4 years, but this year is different. Instead of teaching one course this year, she is teaching three different courses. This makes things a little more difficult, because
- Nothing is shared between the three classes
- I don't want to have the same code in three different locations,
- I want it to be easy for her to update
So there lies the challenge -- how to make one site service three very different classes?
I started off with the Administration portal:
As you can see, it works like a dashboard for Kirsten's classes. She can see what's coming up in all of her classes for the next two weeks on the calendar, she can see recent "front page entries" (essentially blog entries for each class), and the next 5 upcoming topics for each class. She can quickly go in and edit any of the items on the page without having to negotiate heading to the specific class' page, finding the content, and editing it in place (though in-place editing worked really well for a single class, when maintaining several classes it falls apart quickly)
From the public side, she only needs to give out one URL to all classes. When the student loads the URL, they're given the choice of which class to view:
The student can then bookmark the page to avoid having to click through each time (I might institute a cookie later, but had to throw this together fairly quick). Once they choose their class, they are taken to a page with information specific to them.
I'm considering having a couple of other instructors try this package out and see how they like it. I plan on including the ability to track grades through the system as well, so it might be a very useful package for a university instructor (I'm thinking of calling it Dr. KEAP).