I know a lot of people are curious how student socializing works during online classes at Salt Lake Community College. I've mentioned the student discussions before, but I thought I would go into more detail.
On average, original posts need to be between 200 and 300 words (but this is determined by each teacher). Discussions are public for everyone in the same class to see.
For example, in week eleven I have a discussion due in GEN1014. The title of this discussion is, "Well Designed Websites." Mrs. Hovorka has asked all of her students to locate three (less known) genealogy websites and name two reasons why each one is well designed.
For this discussion, Mrs. Hovorka doesn't require her students to respond to other student posts (although she has required this in the past). This means I'm technically finished as I've uploaded my assignment earlier this month. I can comment on other student posts if I want to, but I don't have to.
The following (in blue) is a real-life example required for GEN1014. This is what I've uploaded to the "Well Designed Websites" discussion....
- Creative Genealogy at http://creativegenealogy.blogspot.com/ (Links to an external site.)
- Rootsmithing at http://drewsmith-genealogy.blogspot.com/ (Links to an external site.)
- Mackley Genealogy at http://www.mackleygenealogy.com/ (Links to an external site.)
It was hard to pick just two aspects of each website to mention (as all three share many of the same underlining design benefits).
As for Creative Genealogy, they are a great example that (a.) themes and (b.) color schemes matter. Their whole website is cohesive from their blog name and content to their design. When I entered their website nothing conflicted with what I expected to find.
In addition, their color scheme creates interest and an inviting atmosphere before even reading their posts. This is done by having a neutral background and fun script colors. They made sure to pick colors that would not conflict with each other, or be harsh on their readers’ eyes. This helps keep their viewers engaged and reading.
As for Rootsmithing, they have a unique and catchy name. Names are important as they make first impressions on their viewers. They have the ability to create interest before people know what websites are about. When so many blogs sound the same, Rootsmithing shines above the rest.
Also, Rootsmithing has a photograph of its blogger, Drew Smith. I feel this brings the human element back into the blog. Smith is a real person writing real things. For me, seeing Smith makes me more likely to listen to him.
Unlike the other two websites, Mackley Genealogy is not a blog. This website is mainly known for their collection of over 74,500 Missouri obituaries. With this stated, organization is the key to their website. They make it easy to find any obituary they have. Viewers who find what they are looking for quickly and easily are happy viewers. Successful websites have happy customers who return again and again.
Likewise, Mackley Genealogy has a summary of their website. I know exactly what they have and what to expect. Successful websites are not mysterious places where people waste hours of their life searching for things that aren’t there.
In a nut shell, good websites have (a.) cohesive themes, (b.) good color schemes, (c.) unique catchy names, (d.) photographs, (e.) excellent organization, and (f.) summaries of their contents.
Now all of my fellow classmates can see this assignment in the GEN1014 discussion areas online. They can respond to my post with complements, constructive criticism, suggestions, and etc.
Likewise, I can see all my fellow student posts and comment accordingly.