Profile: University of Washington's MyUWClass Web Portal
The University of Washington (UW) has built a Web portal, MyUWClass, for its faculty and instructors, creating a central place for instructors to manage their courses and access the latest Web-based teaching tools. The portal also makes it easier for faculty to keep track of their classes, contact students and produce Web pages. MyUWClass gives instructors a customized set of tools and resources for each of their classes, from descriptions to lists of enrolled students. It also provides a way to look up information about equipment used in their classroom or to check on reserves with the university's libraries. In addition, faculty can set up e-mail lists for their students, post Web pages for a class with ease or use any of the other Web-based teaching tools from Catalyst, a UW initiative to improve teaching through the use of technology.
Though most of these resources were already available to faculty, MyUWClass brings all of the services together in a personalized Web portal that d'esn't require them to know Web design, computer programming or database management. This makes the portal easier to maintain and scale. MyUWClass was put together entirely with in-house talent consisting of administrators and student labor, using HTML tools, and without hiring an outside vendor or having to rely on proprietary technology. A version of MyUWClass has also been created for UW's distance learning offerings, with the help of UW Educational Outreach.
For an example of what MyUWClass looks like, visit www.washington.edu/students/myclass/MyClass.htm. For more information on Catalyst, visit http://catalyst.washington.edu.
This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2002 issue of THE Journal.