Course websites are used for posting handouts, announcements, links to websites of interest, images, and other items. They can also incorporate discussions and other interactive elements. There are many ways to create a web presence for your course. The choice of tool depends on your requirements, privacy concerns, level of instructor involvement, and other factors.
We recommend three ways to build a course website. A word of caution, though, your choice will probably provide only two of these benefits:
- Easy to build
- Does everything
The “Power Tools” — gradebook, tests & quizzes, and assignments — offer capabilities that are hard to beat. If you need one of them, Sakai may be the best option for your course website. These sites are also automatically restricted to your students, which may be good or bad, depending on your needs.
Building a traditional website from a template may be easier than you expect. The two programs listed below are very popular and receive great reviews.
- iWeb (Apple, for Mac) – part of the iLife suite, lets you add a blog, image gallery, and other options
- Sitespinner Pro (Virtual Mechanics, for Windows) – even makes mobile-compatible sites
- From scratch, using Dreamweaver or another tool – much more difficult, but you will have complete control
- Google Sites – provides the convenience of working within Google, but it can be clunky and may not provide the features you want
- Wiki – a great way to collaboratively build content, but again, may not provide features you need