Getting Started with a Qwriting Course Site

Some of you might not know that Qwriting is available to all members of the Queens College community (faculty, students and staff) who may create as many sites as they want and for any purpose that does not violate Queens College and/or CUNY Policies. In this tip, we will focus on getting you started creating your own Qwriting Course Site.  But first, why would you want to in the first place?  Let’s take a deeper look!

Qwriting is a website creation platform that uses WordPress as its underlying framework.  It contains the tools for creating and publishing many different kinds of websites for a variety of purposes including course-related sites, departmental websites, personal journals for students and faculty, research sharing and collaboration… the list goes on and on.

Some great reasons for using Qwriting sites in your courses include:

Individual Work:

  • encouraging self-exploration
  • sharing thoughts on readings and the arts
  • publishing one’s innermost feelings
  • practicing writing — both casual and formal
  • exploring the boundaries between the public and the private self

 Group Work:

  • collaborating on or organizing research
  • discussing coursework
  • engaging the public at large from within a course or about a research project
  • gathering many views of a single subject
  • broadcasting student work to a larger community
  • working with and responding to contemporary events
  • promoting student action around an event or set of events (like Occupy Wall Street or Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath)

First,  you will need to create an account with your Queens College email address.  When registering, make sure the create a site option is set to yes.  If you miss this option, don’t worry, you can create a site after you log in the first time.

You will want to tailor your new site during the creation process to get you started.  Take a look:

The key elements to focus on are the site’s domain (which cannot be changed after creation), the site name (which can) and the site template.  You will want the site’s URL to be easily understandable and identifiable to your students as their course site.  Convention is to use the course number for both site name and URL, but this is not a requirement.  The Site Template also cannot be changed after creation.  If you are just starting with WordPress, we highly recommend using the “Course Site” template which will give you a head start on architecting your course.  If you are a WordPress veteran and know how you want to structure things, feel free to use the “Standard Site” template.

Once you hit the submit button, you will be ready to start!

This is just the beginning, of course.  We will be diving deeper into course site considerations in subsequent tips.  In the meantime, you can read up on how to use WordPress and get more specific Qwriting tutorials and general help from the Qwriting Help Site.

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