Have you received exemplary student work that you wished to share beyond your classroom? Do you want your students to create projects for public audiences? Showcasing student work online has become a popular option to demonstrate the types of learning and knowledge production happening in the classroom. Many faculty at Middlebury have created websites that showcase their students’ work and DLINQ is happy to support these types of projects. Below you’ll find information about possible tools, examples from other faculty, and some important considerations when posting student work online. If you have questions or would like to explore these options further, you can request a consult with us.
WordPress is a personal publishing platform and blogging application with a focus on aesthetics, web standards, and usability.
Omeka is a free, flexible, and open source web-publishing platform for the display of library, museum, archives, and scholarly collections and exhibitions.
Scalar is a free, open source authoring and publishing platform that’s designed to make it easy for authors to write long-form, born-digital scholarship online. Scalar enables users to assemble media from multiple sources and juxtapose them with their own writing in a variety of ways, with minimal technical expertise required.
StoryMaps is a flexible, easy-to-use tool that allows you to weave your content together (videos, photos, and more) into a compelling and interactive narrative that’s easy to publish and share.
Pressbooks is simple book production software. You can use Pressbooks to publish textbooks, scholarly monographs, syllabi, fiction and non-fiction books, white papers, and more in multiple formats.
Below are a few examples from the Middlebury community. Please note that some of these examples are created using RStudio tools, which DLINQ does not support. However, you can find support for these tools by contacting Data Services Librarian, Ryan Clement.
Jonathan Kemp, Telescope and Scientific Computing Specialist
Alex Lyford, Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Tool: RStudio Shiny Apps
Erick Gong, Associate Professor of Economics
Tool: RStudio RPubs
Things to Consider
Producing work for public audiences can be a powerful motivator for student engagement, and helps students develop critical skills in thinking about and communicating with diverse groups. However, these projects bring a special set of considerations.
Students should be made aware from the outset that their work will be publicly available, in what forms, and for how long. Consider also the adage that “Google never forgets” – work on the web can be discovered, indexed, archived, and surfaced by search engines in ways that cannot be controlled. You might give students the option to present their work to more limited audiences, publish without their name or identifying details, or otherwise limit the circulation of their work. Bear in mind that some students may be wary of sharing personal experiences or work that could be considered controversial, and some may have already had negative experiences with internet audiences.
Grading and other assessments should never be public, and you will want to have clearly separated processes for evaluation.
Process and Assessment
Work intended for public audiences will benefit greatly from thoughtful instructional design that allows sufficient time for composition, thoughtful peer and instructor feedback, and revision. You may find that multiple rounds of revision are required, and that more attention to copy editing is required. In assessing this work, you will want to balance the instruction and engagement with these processes and the work that is produced.
DLINQ is happy to provide consultation and support on instructional design for multi-stage assignments such as these.
Project Lifecycle and Maintenance
Consider the time horizon for your project – how long does it need to be accessible, will it be an ongoing publication, is there a clear end date, etc. Projects such as web publications can require maintenance if they are going to persist, and you will want to build that support in from the beginning. For many projects, a clear end or “sunset” date is fine, after which the work will no longer be available, or the site will enter benign neglect.