So after a lengthy discussion with Vince today I have decided to change my mind on a few of the things that I seemed so certain about just a day ago.
So here is the deal:
I wrote that we would allow professors who so wished to republish all of the student’s blogs into a class blog using wp-o-matic. I’m not sure if we should do that anymore. My reservations come from that fact that if it is republished in the Professor’s blog then I feel that the students loose ownership and that rings strange to my sense of morality.
Let’s consider a few hypothetical situations where a student writes for a class and his blog entries are republished in a class blog :
- A year down the road the student realized that what he wrote does not represent him and he wants to get rid of it. He can delete the entries in his blog, but they will still be saved in the class blog. He could of course ask the professor to take his posts off, but what if it is 10 years down the line? What if there were a lot of other students who feel the same way?
- The student decides to delete his blog. If the professor decides to publish the class posts (without attribution), the student has no way of claiming authorship over the post.
There are also hangups for the professor:
- If the professor accidentally resets wp-o-matic It will recreate all of the entries. WordPress doesn’t have automatic mass deleting of entries (I mean we could write a plugin for it… but plugins take time).
- If the student updates their blog then those updates are not automatically reflected on the class blog.
- If a student adds a strange feed (one with say 150 items regarding unsavoury topics) then if those are republished, it is a nightmare to get rid of them. If we just use BDP RSS, all it takes to undo the damage is delete the feed in the BDP RSS options menu
There are probably many more reasons why actually republishing would not be a good idea.
So it comes down to figuring out why we wanted to republish the posts and finding alternatives.
- Creating a repository: I don’t think at this point we are wanting to create a repository, this isn’t eduglu (as I may have wrongly alluded to in my previous post), it is a blog based course platform where student input is used. A repository of teacher resources should be done in an entirely a slightly different way.
- Keeping examples of what students did previously: Why not just leave the blog active and create a new blog for every year that links back to previous years. Not only would this give the students an opportunity of pulling out if they don’t want their work published anymore, but it would also allow them to continually update what they have and allows the course to have a history. Using templates and import/export It would be much easier to create a new blog than to get rid of everything from the old blog.
I’m wondering does this make sense? Or are we missing something? We will probably change our minds a hundred times between now and October, but for now I think this model is the most sustainable and easy to implement approach, for us and for the professors.