UND School of Graduate Studies Blog

Happenings at The School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Dakota

Upgrades add a new level of interaction with Grad Stories

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For the past six months, The Graduate School has been developing a web site using the Omeka platform, as one of the lucky alpha testers. Our web site hosts Grad Stories, a collection of interviews of students and alumni in a variety of graduate programs at the University of North Dakota. Omeka is designed for use in collections and is particularly suited to museums, libraries, archives and educational institutions. It is open source software, is incredibly flexible, easy to learn and have given us one element of The Graduate School’s efforts to build a graduate community here at UND.

Alpha-testing their server hosted software had some limitations, but is a suitable option for those who don’t wish to take on some of the coding and development that is available in the “.org” alternative. Nevertheless, we built our site, learned to use the software and have implemented a marketing initiative that has been sitting on the back burner for the better part of two years, so we are thrilled to have it publicly available and continuing to build.

Alpha testing allowed Omeka to gather valuable feedback from a wide variety of users to allow them to make some very nice software developments for the launch of the beta version. This means that users can now sign up for an Omeka account, build their own sites, and host it on Omeka’s servers from the low, low cost of free, or select from very cost friendly packages that vary according to storage and number of sites.  One of the great new developments allows us to accept contributions from our readers, making it a truly user-generated, dynamic exchange. Our project asks for stories by students of our programs – to share their experiences – so that prospective students will gain a sense of what it’s like to be a graduate student and even learn what paths our graduates have taken.

We are putting the finishing touches on that plugin and hope to be able to accept contributions by the end of the month. So if you have a great story, start thinking about sending us your paragraph or two, and a profile pic. You might end up on our Grad Stories web site! We’ll also continue adding our interviews and some interesting historic stories too, so check in to http://gradstories.omeka.net

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Written by School of Graduate Studies

November 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

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