For years, English professor Kim Segall has used WordPress as a conduit for supporting the growth of her students during study abroad programs in Spain/Morocco and South Africa. Designed to provide a space for reflection on experience-based learning, the sites for both study abroad programs provide not only a space for current student reflection, but an opportunity to engage the artifacts of former students as a digital living history. In the spirit of furthering the potential for engaged learning, Dr. Segall’s new venture is to incorporate these blogs into a greater confluence of teaching, learning and scholarship by further engaging her own personal web space through ETM’s ownership initiative.
Through Dr. Segall’s site in the SPU Academic Commons (note: the space remains in beta testing until later in the Fall 2015 quarter; stay tuned for more information), students in the Study Abroad programs have a pathway to understand the rationale for the programs in greater dimension. The site includes the hallmarks of faculty websites of the past (a CV, a space for syllabi), but through the dynamic potential of WordPress sites, information that previously was static and had to be edited in every format can now be dynamic, edited from a single location and syndicated to other spaces. The CV remains, but with it are spaces for her publishings, scholastic projects, and space for her courses.
Dr. Segall is most excited to be able to use her site as a supplement to her classroom teaching. One example is to supplement her syllabi and readings with short contextual videos connecting the course to the SPU community and the historic works curated by Dr. Segall through research, teaching and travel.