WordPress in the Liberal Arts

Last week I attended a Nercomp event on WordPress in the Liberal Arts in Norwood, MA and participated in a panel on WordPress themes and plugins with colleagues from the College of Wooster and Abilene Christian University.   About 45 people attended, most from institutions that were already using WordPress.  Many of these same institutions were also using Moodle and Drupal.

WordPress is used by many for course sites.  Abilene Christian University has integrated it with Banner making it easy for their faculty to create class blogs that automatically include students.  The College of Wooster has an instance of WordPress referred to as Voices, that includes BuddyPress and bbPress, popular WordPress plugins and associated platforms that add functionality for creating groups and forums and aggregating activity streams across various sites.   Mark Frydenberg from Bentley University teaches his students how to maintain a WordPress site, requiring each student to take on the role of site administrator and tasking them with changing the site theme, adding plugins and managing roles.

Some institutions are using WordPress for e-portfolios.  Macaulay Honors College has over 1,500 sites in EPorfolios@Macaulay, which also makes use of BuddyPress to create various groups that they plan to include in their upcoming WordPress student portal, My.Macaulay.  Some institutions even use WordPress for the college website including Bates, Lafayette and Wheaton.

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