The Seminar 2 web project is one of the landmark course concepts at MHC. It has been part of the course since its founding, and has evolved alongside technology. In its early years–way back in 2001–the project was completed using DreamWeaver and required significant HTML coding knowledge. While classes completed great work, the technological burden on students and faculty–along with the heroic time input required of ITFs–could sometimes be in competition with the course material. As more user-friendly Web 2.0 applications have been developed, much of the technological onus of the project has been shifted, so that everyone is more free to think about content, organization, and research presentation. We moved from DreamWeaver to iWeb, which was more user-friendly, but still presented a significant challenge to truly collaborative projects, because work would need to be funneled through one or two students in order to be placed on the site. Still in search of a better solution, we turned to wikis, which provided a chance for a truly multi-authored site–a huge advance!–but still had some limitations in organization and presentation. The most widely used software for the sites is now WordPress, which is well-suited to collaborative work, gives robust and flexible design and organizational options, and allows for the easy integration of numerous third-party web apps, like YouTube, Dippity, and GoogleMaps, among others. (If you feel strongly about a different system, such as MediaWiki or Drupal, talk to your ITF. WordPress might suit your needs after all, but if it doesn’t, we can accommodate other choices.) Talk to your ITF about what you would like your site to accomplish, how to develop an organization scheme, and discuss how to stage the project in your course.
Please visit the Seminar 2 Encyclopedia to see examples from past years.
We also have discussed (and will continue to discuss) IRB implications of this project.