For this course, you will create a personalized, individual website where you will post all of your assignments for this class. Think of your website as a professional portfolio that showcases the research and writing that you will be doing throughout the semester. You will be updating and posting your assignments to the website when they are due, and at the end of the semester you will be graded on the finalized version of your website (10% of your final grade). The overall assessment of your finalized website will include consideration of its cohesive, appealing, professional appearance, organization, and design. Click on the button below for the finalized website rubrics and be sure to review guidelines for each section of the website by clicking on the corresponding tabs under “Assignments.” Always communicate if you have questions or need advice about how to approach any component of your website.
Choosing A Platform By the end of Week 4, when the first assignment is due, you will need to have your website set up with a clear template/design and homepage that includes a brief bio and introduction to your website. You may choose to host your website through any platform of your preference. If you already have a personal website or a website created for a different class, please do not use this for the Eco-Narratives assignments. You will need to create a separate website for this class, though you may certainly use the same platform. No one platform is better suited to a specific discipline. Mostly the choice depends on your comfort level and personal preference when trying out each platform. We recommendWeebly, a free web-hosting platform that does not require any coding, provides multiple templates or design themes, and generally functions through drag-and-drop components. This is the platform that we use for use for the course website. It’s a good option for students, especially beginner students who have little to no experience with creating websites, and with a basic free account you should be given enough space for creating the main pages/sections required for this class. Here are links to the Weebly Beginners Guide and Weebly Tutorials.
Other free platforms include Blogger,WordPress, andWix. Helpful WSU Resources for Creating Websites and Digital Media Projects WSU STAC:http://guides.libraries.wright.edu/stac WSU New Media Incubator (Inc): https://liberal-arts.wright.edu/about/new-media-incubator Creating your Homepage and Website Sections Once you’ve chosen your platform, you will need to create a homepage for your website and set up the additional pages for each of the assignments. Each page should be clearly titled with the assignment name: 1) Eco-Postcards; 2) Nonhuman Narrative; 3) Place History; and 4) Encounter Narrative. Content for these sections will be created as you complete each assignment. On your homepage include a brief bio and introduction of the website. You may write about yourself in whatever way that suits your personality, though your intro/bio should include three main components: who you are, why you’ve created this website, and what your interests are as they relate to the website. Keep in mind that at the end of the semester you will later revise/expand upon this to include a reflection on the overall content of your website—its aims, interests, approaches—as well as any thoughts on writing eco-narratives in general or how your work connects to major themes and topics explored in this class. As for design components, most platforms provide templates and themes and you may choose a template design that reflects your personality/personal tastes. Viewers should get a sense of who you are (or at least a sense of your media presence and style) through visual aspects such as design/layout, images, and color choices, though don’t overload your site by making it too “busy” or chaotic. You can also go back and change the design if you prefer something else. Overall, the main thing that we want to see in your initial website set-up--due Sunday, Sep 20—is that you are using a clear, coherent template or design theme, that you’ve created your homepage, and the first assignment, “Eco-Postcards,” is posted on its corresponding page. Privacy and Sharing Your URL Remember, this is going to be a public website so you will want to make sure that it remains professional and focused on the academic objectives; you are not required to share personal details of your life, only to the extent that is comfortable/safe for you. We also encourage you to make sure you set up your website with whatever privacy settings that are made available by the platform. For example, you should enable the privacy tool so that your personal contact details are not openly visible or attainable and visitors can only contact you through leaving comments or a message on the “Contact” page (if you have one). In your bio, you might leave out details that identify where you live or family names/pictures. In other words, you can be personal but in a way that protects your privacy. If there are extenuating legal/personal safety circumstances where your online identity needs to remain protected or anonymous, then there is no need for you to use your “real” name; you are more than welcome to use a pseudonym or just your first name and no identifying pictures (and any student has the option to do this). Once you’ve created your homepage, you’ll need to submit a link to your website (and don’t forget to publish your site—now or anytime you make updates). You can include the website link in the Pilot dropbox when you submit the first assignment or email the link to Dr. Jennings (preferred). Once we have everyone’s URL, we’ll provide links for these on our class website so we can all easily access each other’s work. Links will be listed by first name only and we encourage everyone to visit each other’s websites and leave comments if possible. Exploring other students’ approaches to the assignments will help foster a more engaged classroom community. If you do leave comments, please ensure these are positive and provide constructive feedback, and in all instances you should respect the privacy of your peers—refrain from revealing personal details or retweeting/reposting links to other students’ websites without their permission.