My course on business information systems ended today with the last presentation. 13 absolutely amazing blog-based student projects, some of them actual learning modules, some info sites, and some community sites, were turned in.
The students’ learning curves were steep throughout the semester. In the course of three months, they had to learn, apply & master
- project management basics in a large team of 4-6 members
- WordPress blogging software – three teams even managed to expand their skills with self-hosted blogs
- research related to topics as wide ranging as job application strategies, green/clean energy, political, gender-related & travel information, Poker, non-violent communication … and many more.
- professional presentation of their topic & themselves on the Internet
- usability checks and audience relationship management
- team dynamics
With the kind of full schedule that we are imposing on these young people (unlike anything that I remember from my years of study), they carried out their tasks completely and professionally – I am very proud of this class of 2009!
In most cases, the blog content is up to date, interesting and unique. Many of these blogs could easily grow if they were attended to and if their authors would reach out to larger communities – which will be the next challenge to those who aspire to it.
Because all students knew the software after creating (equally amazing) individual blogs, the technical challenge of WordPress was not overwhelming. Nevertheless I will move the student projects to the Drupal CMS next term – a number of students would have done even better with the full potential of content management systems, especially with respect to more interactive content objects (like forums) and better tagging possibilities.