Interactive Webpublishing - an evolving syllabus

Week 1 - Introduction Part I

Our goals for Week 1:

  • Gaining a better understanding of what weblogs are and what the term 'interactive webpublishing' means
  • Becoming familiar with the main features of our software, Manila, and exploring ways these features can intitially be used
  • Thinking about how an interactive website can be used to support one's learning this semester
  • Discussing the course requirements

Our reading assignments Week 1:

Our tasks for week 1:

  • Making, editing, and deleting a news item on your personal Manila site (weblog)
  • Completing the reading assignments and preparing questions for f2f discussion
  • Formulating a list of ways you would like to use your website this semester and preparing to discuss with the group

Class notes 1.1


Week 2 - Introduction Part II: Manila and Blogging

Our goals for week 2:

  • Discuss the readings from Week 1. 
  • Share and discuss as a group the plans for each individual learner's website.  Prepare for writing a formal learning plan.
  • Continue to familiarize ourselves the features of Manila.  This will involve, learning how to create and link to Manila news items and stories, upload and link to pictures, edit news items and stories, make permanent links on the homepage, edit the template,
  • Learn to recognize and avoid the most common problems when using Manila.
  • Learn simple HTML and CSS editing techniques.

Our reading assignments for week 2:


Our tasks for week 2:

  • Prepare personal websites for introduction to the community.
  • Write a formal learning plan for how our websites will be used to support our learning at the Center this semester.
  • Begin to construct site content and make weblog entries.
  • Practice making a comment on another learner's site.
  • Complete the reading assignment and make a list of questions for discussion.

Class notes 2.1

Class notes 2.2


Week 3 - Quality in Interactive Webpublishing

Our goals for week 3:

  • Discuss the reading from week 2 and begin to discuss ideas of quality in webpublishing
  • Visit each students' websites and discuss their approaches in light of the previous readings
  • Introduce trackback, discuss it's purpose, and show how to enable it
  • Introduce our new wiki and think about how it might be used
  • Distribute and discuss midterm peer review criteria
  • Troubleshoot HTML and CSS template and other Manila issues

Our readings for week 3:

Our tasks for week 3:

  • Add a comment window and enable trackback on our websites
  • Practice the use of trackback by commenting on other learners' postings on our own site
  • Continue posting entries to our sites (minimum of 3 to 4 per week) and constructing relevant story pages if necessary
  • Practice editing on our new wiki by adding at least one vocabulary term relevant to Behind the Mask
  • Complete the reading assignments and prepare questions for discussion

Class notes 3.1

Class notes 3.2

Week 4 - Ethics in Interactive Webpublishing

Our goals for week 4:

  • Discuss pertinent issues from the week 3 readings.  Reflect upon our current writing styles and personal publishing practices in light of these issues. 
  • Examine the ethical and legal implications of personal webpublishing.  This includes how to reference, quote, and attribute content to other sources.  We will also look at using Creative Commons licenses as a convenient way of setting legal guidelines for distributing our work. 
  • Examine reflective weblogs outside of our learning community and compare them with what we have already learned about what makes a good weblog.
  • Review posting and commenting procedures, as well as when and how to use news item postings and stories.

Our readings for Week 4:


Our Tasks for Week 4:

  • Do the readings and reflect upon the importance of ethical personal publishing practices.  Prepare questions for classroom discussion.
  • Find a 'reflective weblog' outside of our center and evaluate it with what we have already learned about what makes a good weblog.  Introduce that weblog to the rest of us in a news item posting or in class.
  • Quote another weblog or online article in a news item posting and attribute the source correctly.
  • Study the creative commons organization's website.  Decide whether or not it is necessary or beneficial for what we'd like to accomplish on our websites.  Think about the fundamental meaning of copyright and whether or not each of us agrees with it.  Is there such a thing as 'intellectual property'?  How do each of us feel about that?

Class notes 4.1

Class notes 4.2

Week 5 - Review of Weeks 1 ~ 4
Our Goals for Week 5:
  • Raise doubts and difficulties for discussion. 
  • Review main points from Weeks 1 ~ 4, especially concerning the different ways to engage in the meduim.
  • Examine weblogs outside of our learning community and compare them with what we've learned about what makes a good weblog.
  • Review Midterm Peer and Self Evaluation Criteria
Our Readings for Week 5:
  • Each other's weblogs!
  • The list of ten weblogs provided by the course facilitator (to be emailed).
Our Tasks for Week 5:
  • Meeting the minimum requirements for adding content and commenting on each other's posts.
  • Practice the use of trackback by commenting on other learners' posts on our own websites.
  • Examine the list of weblogs provided by the course facilitator and compare them with what we've learned about what makes a good weblog.
  • Introduce at least one weblog of our choice to the community on our own sites. 

Weeks 6 and 7 - Midterm Break and Field Trips

We're on a bit of a two-week f2f hiatus at the moment, as students are in the midst of a week long independent study field trip and a one week mid-semester break.  When we meet again in Week 8, it will be time for mid-term self, peer, and tutor evaluations.  From there, we'll introduce aggregators and RSS, which should hopefully make it easier for us to develop our own personal learning communities that span outside the formal confines of our school itself, i.e. learning in the "real world".


Week 8 - Introduction to RSS and Aggregators

Our goals for Week 8:

  • Finish self and peer midterm evaluations according to the suggested criteria
  • Develop a basic understanding of what RSS is and how it works
  • Choose an aggregator (RSS reader) and familiarize ourselves with its features
  • Explore the concept of 'personal learning community' and begin to think about strategies for bringing such an entity into being

Our Resources and Links for Week 8:

Our Tasks for Week 8:

  • Complete peer and self evaluations and email them to all participants
  • Place an RSS button (link) on our sites
  • Find an aggregator, learn its features, and subscribe to each other's RSS feeds
  • Continue posting to our sites and responding to each other's ideas
Class notes 8.1

Week 9 - Introduction to RSS and Aggregators - Part 2

Our goals for Week 9:

  • Reflect upon and discuss results of midterm self, peer, and tutor evaluations
  • Brainstorm ways of making the most of RSS and aggregation toward meeting our learning needs
  • Discuss strategies and introduce tools for finding RSS feeds of relevance to our studies
Our resources and links for Week 9:
  • Technorati - search and notification service for the World Live Web
  • Feedster - an RSS search engine
  • Waypath - weblog post analysis
Our tasks for Week 9:
  • Find and subscribe to at least 10 new RSS feeds from outside the Center that are relevant to our interests and/or that are related to our academic studies.
  • Notify readers on our weblogs about some or all of new feeds to which we've subscribed.
  • Make at least one attempt to reference a posting from one of our new feeds on our weblogs.  In what way does it relate to our learning at the Center?

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