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January 15, 2016

UChicago’s Academic Blogging Gets a New, Permanent Platform

During the week of December 28, the University moved its blogging platform from its previous temporary domain to a new, permanent home at voices.uchicago.edu. This blogging interface is a new service that premiered in fall 2015 and is intended for what the website calls “academic blogging.”

UChicago Voices, which is managed by the Academic and Scholarly Technology Services and powered by Wordpress, was created last quarter and allows anyone with a CNetID to create a personal webpage for “portfolios, learning activities, blogging, clubs, research groups, courses, and much more,” according to its webpage.

The website’s mission statement characterizes Voices as “a place where we can engage in new forms of scholarship, delight our community, and publish openly.” So far, blogs range from personal and workplace accounts of administrators to photography collections arranged for classes.

According to the site, UChicago Voices is still in its pilot phase. When the program first opened in the fall quarter under the domain “http://blogs.acadpilot.uchicago.edu/,” it was available only to faculty and staff of the University for academic purposes, but now it has the potential to reach a wider audience.

The website includes an outline of goals for implementing and optimizing the blogging platform for classroom use. The primary goal was to reach out to faculty and test the effectiveness of academic blogging. From there, the program hopes to continue growing into a community that explores the potential of blogging in a scholarly context and works together to make the tool effective.

UChicago Voices aims to have 200 people blogging in 15 courses regularly by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

“We can see a blogging tool as something that is much more than what one might think of as a blog—it becomes a place to share, save, and express yourself digitally,” said Associate Vice President for Information Technology Cole Camplese in a January 6 blog post on his Voices-hosted personal blog.

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