To my mind, the design of a website is as much an act of pedagogy as the design of a course: the goal, in both cases, is to present information, encourage interaction, and foster an experience in a way that facilitates learning. Because of this, I tend to keep an eye open for web apps that can enhance the CTE website, and for layout ideas (from other university websites) that might further improve the navigation or presentation of our own site. I’ve cobbled together some of these potential enhancements in a version of our home page that can be previewed here, and which can be compared with our current home page here. As you’ll see, the “new” version makes use of a triple column “newspaper” layout, in an effort to succinctly display important information, and to maximize the real estate of the screen; as well, the RSS widget that appears below the three vertical columns now spans the entire width of the main content area. That RSS widget also now makes use of “tabs,” in order to pull in dynamic data from three (rather than one) sources: namely, the RSS of this very blog; the RSS of the CTE Diigo Group; and the RSS of a Twitter feed (which will pull in any “tweet” that contains “#uwcte” as a hash tag. If you have a moment, please compare the current home page with the potentially new one, and let me know what you think. You can do so via the comment feature of this blog posting, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Senior Instructional Developer, Mark Morton helps instructors implement new educational technologies such as clickers, wikis, concept mapping tools, question facilitation tools, screencasting, and more. Prior to joining the Centre for Teaching Excellence, Mark taught for twelve years in the English Department at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD in 1992 from the University of Toronto, and is the author of four books: Cupboard Love; The End; The Lover's Tongue; and Cooking with Shakespeare. View all posts by Mark Morton