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The School of Social Work to create course Web sites for every class.

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June 29, 2001. Beginning Fall 2001, syllabi, reading lists (with links to library databases), bulletin boards, and other course materials will be available online to Social Work students for every class taught at the School of Social Work (SSW).

The SSW's Office of Computing and Instructional Technology is working with faculty to compile, digitize and publish course materials using the Course Web Site Template developed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.

In addition, each course will have a bulletin board that allows students and instructors to share information throughout the life of the class. According to Ann McCann Oakley, Director of the school's Office of Computing and Instructional Technology, "bulletin boards encourage a higher level of discourse," removing the limitations of the traditional classroom environment. "We think it is important for all courses to make good use of one and we have learned best practices through our work with CCNMTL," she concluded.

The CCNMTL Course Web Site format has proven popular with SSW students, who have come to expect the high level of interaction with classmates and instructors it affords them. The consistent, easy-to-navigate interface is appreciated by faculty, as well, since it helps them maintain course materials and encourages students to become more fully engaged with the subject. Says Ms. Oakley, "getting readings online is a great advantage for faculty," since materials that have been digitized once are easily accessible in the future and student have access to them at any time.

A number of SSW classes have been online in the last few years, but with this new effort, students will benefit from a consistent digital environment in all classes. This initiative at SSW is the continuation of a multi-year collaboration with CCNMTL, which includes the development of Third Space, a method of referencing and including video snippets within a bulletin board message and will continue as the School finds new ways to bridge the gaps between class work, fieldwork and professional practice.

Course Web Site Template

Third Space