048: How do I obtain a website for a course I am teaching?

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048: How do I obtain a website for a course I am teaching?

There are multiple options available to faculty for creating a course website:

  • Canvas: Canvas (http://canvas.mines.edu or http://inside.mines.edu/eLearning-Resources) is a learning-management system that makes it relatively easy to set up and maintain a class website. Canvas allows easy posting of documents and course information, a course calendar, exams and surveys -- among many other functions. Canvas also allows the instructor to strictly control access to course content. This system requires only basic computer knowledge on the part of the instructor and no added software beyond a web browser.
  • Personal Website: All faculty may create a personal website on which to post research details, vita information, or (in this case) course materials. Faculty are then allocated space on a Linux web server, where they may create class web pages manually. This option requires knowledge of web-page creation, HTML coding, web-processing tools such as Dreamweaver, and other web-specific computer skills. This option is best for those who are comfortable with traditional web-page-creation methods. If you do not yet have a personal web page, you may create one yourself (https://inside.mines.edu/cgi-bin/create-home-page). Note that this process requires a MultiPass account. Note: Use this web-page-creation tool only once to initialize your home page for later customization. If you run it again, your index.html file in your personal web space will be overwritten. For more on setting up a personal web site, see FAQfinder FAQ #114 (http://inside.mines.edu/faq114), "How do I get a Mines personal website?).
  • Shared Course Website: This option is similar to maintaining a course website within a personal website, but can be configured to allow access for more than one person to maintain it, whether multiple individuals during the same school term or different individuals from one term to the next. (Canvas courses can also be maintained by more than one person.) This is also a good option if an instructor prefers a course website area separate from their personal website, or if a course is taught by a number of people over the course of the year. For more information, see FAQfinder FAQ #49 "How do I request a shared course website?" (http://ccit.mines.edu/faq049).
  • Course website within department websites or on department web servers: For information about your department website or web server, ask others in your department or the people who maintain the website. Some departments prefer to host some or all course websites within the department website or on the department web server. Some reasons a department may choose these options are to maintain common content for core, large, or multi-section courses, or to maintain a common look and feel among the different course websites within the department.

In addition to the options listed above, a faculty member can also choose to use a combination of these options. For example, if an instructor has large data sets or images that the students need to access for assignments, they could be served via a personal or shared website with links from web pages presented in a Canvas course.

If you are unsure as to which option bests fits your needs and situation, you can submit a support request to the Mines Help Center "Helpdesk" (http://helpdesk.mines.edu) for advice.


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