Courseware offers web publishing
Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 15 - December 10, 1998
Faculty members can now publish course materials or supplemental class materials on the World Wide Web using VT Courseware (http://courseware.vt.edu). Courseware is integrated with the Intranet web site (http://intra.vt.edu), as well as with VT Online (http://vto.vt.edu).
VT Online is the central catalog of a wide range of courses with an on-line component. No documents are actually stored on VT Online; however, they are catalogued there. All faculty members with on-line courses are encouraged to register all those classes with VT Online so that students can more easily find them on the web.
VT Courseware can be used alone, or combined with other servers such as filebox, department servers, or personal workstations. It features Java servlet technology to provide a graphical site-management tool. In addition to providing storage space for course materials, the courseware server can also be used to mirror existing course sites, provide searches for course materials stored on courseware, support class chats, and restrict access to materials as needed.
Courseware comes with many features that make publishing on-line class materials easier for faculty members: no pre-set disk quotas, web-based site management, support for both FTP and Netscape Composer, links to web authoring tools and services, and more.
With Courseware, faculty members can manage their own files and class sites, while DIS handles system administration tasks, including backups. Without a way to back up files off-site, that is, outside the same building, users risk catastrophic losses amounting to hours of effort. With the Courseware server, e.g., site mirroring, course materials are backed up, secure, and available continuously.
For a detailed article describing courseware, see the DIS Information Newsletter, Number 3, Summer 1998 at http://www.vt.edu/dis/disinformation3.html. To request an account on VT Courseware, use the form at http://courseware.vt.edu/forms/account-request.html.
VT Courseware is a collaboration between the Computer Science Department, Distributed Information Systems, Systems Operations, and the University Libraries.