Google Sites links

World Wide Web

The Google sites app, available with CCSFmail, provides the opportunity for CCSF Faculty and Staff to create a personal web site. For teachers, this is an invaluable way to:

  • Provide content and course information, including syllabi, teaching philosophy and expectations to students even before registration
  • Post a course calendar, support documents and convenient-to-access web links that students can access from any web-connected computer

For Staff, a web site can provide:

  • Schedule info
  • Services provided
  • Department, project and resource links

The TLC regularly provides training in CCSFmail, Docs and Sites directed specifically at CCSF employees. The Calendar provides dates and time. And you can pre-register here.

Google provides a wealth of online help for sites, and user forums and independent hlpe sites supplement official support.

CCSF/TLC Google sites help - Sample sites and help resources here and here.

What's not in Google Sites

Privacy

Google mines everything on its site. Although its privacy policies are pretty tight right now, who knows what they will be in a year? And restrictions on CCSF Google sites won't satisfy textbook vendors, for example, who provide materials that it might be advantageous for students to access conveniently.

Interactive Forums

Although you can make an entire Google site (not individual pages) into a Wiki-like object that students can modify, there is no provision for moderated post-and-response areas where people can discuss, reply, add topics.

Monitoring and Grading features

Google Forms provide a quick and easy way to create polls and short quizzes - but they are not integrated with any grading capabilities. And there is no easy way to tell who has looked at your site.

What's the answer?

Google sites provides you with a great tool to get information out - information, documents, schedules. If you want the features that sites lack, you have an option: CCSF's online teaching tool, called Insight (Powered by Moodle, a well-know open-source learning management system.

Features comparison: Google Sites vs Insight

You can request a "shell" - a place for you to put information, documents, and provide forums and online grading (if you want). It requires students to:

  • Be registered in your course (so it's not a good place to put information for prospective students)
  • Have an account with a password to login. This means that you can post material that would otherwise not be accessible (like textbook extras).

To use a shell you must apply for one at the TMI department and go through training for the Insight tool.

Google Sites Help Links