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end of term for the third time (and a question for on-line instructors)

… and I think I’m worse at it than ever!

Hello, my neglected blog!  How are you?  I’ve been, well, seemingly underwater all semester.  I took on a few new projects — an upcoming European field school, a new blogging gig, a really interesting curriculum review process — and it all amounted to be something quite beleaguering.  On the plus side, of course, Christmas is almost upon us — I’m committing to a lot of sitting, and maybe some staring at a blank wall.

My big project for the winter term is to move my hybrid course (1/2 in-class instruction, 1/2 on-line) off my most loathed Blackboard platform (Blackboard 9: Now Even More Confounding!) and onto my own WordPress install.  I need thoughts from those who have done it before.  Getting permission to move outside the walled garden was tricky in and of itself, so I really want to make it work.  The parameters are that everything has to be hosted in Canada (we can’t make our students’ work subject to your lovely Patriot Act, my American chums) and I have to back up to the College servers regularly — all totally reasonable and doable.

Here’s what I’ve come up with for necessary plugins:

  • BuddyPress for forums, assigning groups, private messaging, etc.
  • Big Door‘s gamification platform for badges and “prizes”
  • a good plugin for quizzes — this one has me stumped, so suggestions are welcome, but right now I’m considering Quizzin or Formidable Forms
I’m missing stuff, I have no doubt, but when I get closer to the final cut I’ll post the site for approval and feedback.  Any suggestions from those of you who have done this before, however, would as always be greatly appreciated.

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