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Use Google Drive to Keep Your Online Class Schedule Up-to-Date

Early last year I wrote about using Scholarpress Courseware + WordPress to manage class websites. While I’m still a big fan of WordPress Multisite for my class websites, I have in recent semesters moved away from using Courseware. For one, Courseware hasn’t been updated in awhile, and doesn’t seem to work as smoothly with recent versions of WordPress. More practically, however, I found myself getting frustrated when making changes to a class schedule in Courseware.

In a perfect semester, the schedule for a course laid out in the weeks and months before would see instructor and students through to its end. As we all know, however, accidents and other detours nearly always require us to move material around, re-adjust due dates, and otherwise change the plan for a semester. Because of how Courseware segmented each day into a separate box, I found the process for making these sorts of changes more laborious than necessary.

This semester, then, I’ve turned to Google Drive, adapting Jason Mittell’s process for using Google Docs to publish his CV to the web to instead publish a live, easily-updatable course schedule to my course websites (you can see an example on my “Deep Maps” class site). Just as Jason describes, I use Google Drive’s settings to publish the course schedule document as a website, and then I use the provided embed code on the WordPress “Schedule” page. Voila! Whenever I update the doc—which I can do with quick, easy cutting and pasting—the schedule on the course website updates immediately. As an added bonus, the Google Drive document is easily printed for students who prefer keeping a hard copy.

Have you adjusted the way you keep your class schedules updated on course websites? Do you use Google Docs or WordPress for this purpose? Tell us about it in the comments.

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user wiennat.]

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