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WPMU as OCW Platform

We’ve been using WPMU to power our OCW project in the David O. McKay School of Education for a year now. It’s been extremely straightforward and simple to run – every course has its own blog on the WPMU instance. Tons of plugins, drop dead simple migration… I love it.

However, as we ramp up to include more participants this year I’ve started wondering about the URL structure of having multiple departments participate. What I would love to do is still assign one blog per course, but be able to organize these under “subdirectories” as follows:

http://open.byu.edu/ipt/692/
http://open.byu.edu/comd/411/
http://open.byu.edu/eime/515/

&c. You get the idea. I haven’t been able to spend a ton of brain power on it, but I can’t figure out how to get the /ipt/ or the /comd/ in the middle there. Any thoughts?

Also, I’m wondering what to do URL-wise about courses like IPT 692. This is an Advanced Issues seminar and is taught multiple times each year by different faculty. Multiple times each semester, in many cases. How should I proceed? /ipt/692/wiley/? And how should I archive these? /ipt/692/wiley/2009/fall/?

2 replies on “WPMU as OCW Platform”

Hmmm… I left one thought for a solution on Jim’s post, but I just thought of something else. What if you just created one blog for each department. Then, instead of making a new blog for each course, simply have each course be in its own category. You can then use the hierarchical nature of categories to separate things much more cleanly. (this will also help with the /math/math101/wiley problem).

There are then three things you will have to do:
1) Come up with a good taxonomy and workflow that is as flexible as possible.
2) Create a theme that displays entries in categories as if they were separate sites. This is the hard part, but easier and cheaper than writing custom plugins.
3) Finally you may want to deal with permissions. I believe there is a plugin out there that allows you to assign per-category permissions to a user (I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called), which would give your profs the illusion of living in separate blogs.

As for archiving, you could just tag everything with the current year and then filter by year to have a “current” site and an “archives” site.

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