1000 E. University, Dept 3334, Coe Library 510B
Laramie, WY 82070
Course websites, the main online supplemental course options that we offer from this office, are described in option 3 below.
Faculty who wish to provide course or research materials to students or colleagues via web pages need a web server, that is, a computer with lots of storage space, available through some URL such as http://www.uwyo.edu/path-to-my-class-materials. (The URL is mapped to the IP address, such as 184.108.40.206, which users shouldn't need to know). A website is a set of pages written in HTML (plain text with tags), but often created with some authoring tool that presents a user-friendly graphical interface.
Note that a file server might meet your needs instead. You can store documents on the file servers "arthur" and "warehouse" and make them accessible by students and colleagues who are logged into the UWYO network on campus. Ask your user consultant, and see the AskIT "How-To" page on storage, http://uwadmnweb.uwyo.edu/askit/howto/default.htm#store, for details. These are not websites, however; they are not available over the World-Wide Web, but only for upload and download over the campus network. The alternatives listed below are web services using the HTTP protocol, hence, they are available over the web to anyone, anywhere, using a browser.
1. Your own dedicated website space on the UW servers
For an academic site, such as for a class, ask your department's user consultant for space on uwacadweb.uwyo.edu. Some faculty have long-term websites here, which only display materials. Listed first because it's obvious, this is NOT the best choice; the online course platforms described in option 3 are recommended.
>>>> Your department probably has its own server space, however...
2. Your own server space
You have your own faculty web page, available to you as a UWyo account holder; your department page can link to it. See your department's User Consultant for more information on this option. These permanent websites are for display only, and usually not suitable for semester-long classes.
>>>> So where CAN you put a website?
3. For teaching purposes, in a course website -- eCompanion or Course Studio
You can request an eCompanion course website at the Ellbogen CTL website (go to "Online Courses" and then "Faculty Resources"). This option will use our general online education platform, eCompanion, to make materials, discussions, quizzes, and grades available to your students. Course Studio offers similar tools for materials distribution and communication, but no assignment submission, quizzes or grading. All pages are private to the course members, not accessible to the world at large, which presumably allows for distribution of materials under the educational "Fair Use" provision of copyright law. For more information on Course Studio, see the documention at Supplemental Course Websites and the workshop schedule, on the Technology Workshops link.
4. In a WyoWeb portal group
All UW students, faculty, and staff have WyoWeb accounts. You can request creation of a group, with membership and options determined by you, which functions as a shared website. A group is similar to a course, with file space and communication tools, so if the group consists of your students in a class, this is redundant to the Course Studio shell described in option 3 above. Membership is limited to UWYO domain account holders, however, so external research partners or guest instructors cannot join in.
5. A specialized website for math
For mathematical work, with interactive capability, you can use WebWork (http://webwork.maa.org), to set up homework exercises that your students can answer online, with answer evaluation far more sophisticated than an online course. Contact us for more information.
>>>> What if you just want everybody to see the materials easily and you don't need a private website?
6. Cloud computing: free collaborative sites external to UW
Cloud computing, in which organizations offer web services on their own servers to anyone who registers for a user account, offers such things as easy event scheduling (doodle.com), group collaboration toolkits (wiggio.com), website development (wordpress,org), and myriad collaborative options through Google, such as Google Docs, and Forms, and Google+.
You can try a free wiki site or some variation offered by a company or organization. A wiki is a set of web pages open to authoring by anyone, or by a restricted set of users. UW provides no general-access wiki server, but some organizations do, some for free, at least on a trial basis. Some that work well for your colleagues PBWorks, Google Docs, and TitanPad, all offering suites of free web services that are easy to use. Each participant, instructor or student, needs a PBworks or Google account, from www.google.com/accounts or pbworks.com. For titanpad.com, no account is required, concurrent participants are identified by color, and a chat channel is provided.
Because this institution does not control non-negotiated cloud services, UW can provide no guarantee of stability, persistence, or security. Please see our Cloud Computing Advisory statement.
>>>> What if neither students nor instructors need authoring privileges -- you just want to distrubute readings to your class?
7. Electronic reserves at the library
The UW Library provides to students not full-blown websites with URLs, but PDF versions of documents, or links to the full text database, grouped by instructor. See "Reserves" listed in the services for faculty at http://www-lib.uwyo.edu/find/forms/reserverq.cfm.
>>>> What if colleagues outside the University of Wyoming need authoring privileges?
Cloud computing (option 6) will allow arbitrary membership. No other alternative described here gives write access (editing privileges) to non-UW personnel. See us for more information.
>>>> Password Protection: How can I require password authentication on course web pages?
If your page is on the academic server (scenario 1 above), your IT user consultant can help you. Or consider an online courses, using either eCompanion or WyoSakai, or Course Studio, which provides exactly what you want -- a controlled-access repository of course materials.
>>>> And where can I go if I need help?
This office, Instructional Computing Services, would be happy to help you try out and use these facilities, in person, here in the lab.
Last update: 13 May 2013; RKH