I’ve built self-hosted websites in WordPress for two courses I teach regularly, and this semester, I added a new plugin: Anthologize. It’s a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily create PDF or ebook collections of your blog posts.
Here’s the PDF that Anthologize created for my Introduction to Mass Communication (MSCM 150) course. It’s not beautiful, but it’s functional, with links to everything I linked or embedded on the class site. (I’d have it here in a nice Scribd embed for you, but it’s not cooperating.)
I could also have selected ePub format, which is a free, open ebook format, but I don’t have too many students using e-readers yet.
Because each semester of my courses is slightly different with a new set of resources and links each time, I create a new set of posts every semester. I usually post a weekly overview or summary for the two courses I currently teach, with occasional posts in between for something important.
I like the idea of having a document that’s easy to flip through to see all my class materials and topics. I also shared the PDF with students so they’d have a record of what we’d explored together, even if the class website changes next semester.
If I had students all working on one unified class blog, instead of individual blogs (which I might in future), I’d also create Anthologize files of those so they could keep them as references and feel like they contributed to something just a wee bit more concrete than an ephemeral class site.
Anthologize is an easy-to-use tool that’s going to be really useful for my course WordPress sites, especially for writing classes.