This site represents the first major redesign of CLAMP’s web presence since the organization began in 2008, and shifts the emphasis away from functional updates — new code, upcoming hack/docs — and toward CLAMP’s culture of collaboration.
The redesigned site is the work of an ad hoc communications committee, comprised of Sarah Ryder (Hampshire College), Jason Bennett (Kenyon College), Charles Fulton (Lafayette College), Ken Newquist (Lafayette College), and Daniel Landau (Reed College). The group formulated four major goals for the redesign project:
- expand CLAMP’s outreach to member schools who don’t attend Hack/Doc or MUGs
- promote CLAMP’s collaboration efforts
- showcase best practices
- raise the profile of CLAMP as a unique liberal arts collaboration community
The importance of collaboration — of getting together, talking through problems, and then working together to create solutions — was something we kept coming back to. As we evaluated the old site, we realized while this collaboration was a key component of our own involvement in CLAMP, it wasn’t something we as an organization did a great job of explaining.
For example, one of the historical outcomes of this collaboration has been the Moodle: Liberal Arts Edition. The LAE is a distribution of Moodle that incorporates a small, hand-picked selection of modules and code fixes of particular interest to the cohort. While an important part of CLAMP, the prior website’s blog-like nature put a disproportionate emphasis on LAE releases because it was frequently updated. At the same time the old site didn’t adequately explain what the LAE was, leading some to conclude that the entire purpose of CLAMP was to promote and support the distribution. The new LAE page better explains the philosophy behind the distribution, what it includes, and how folks can contribute to it.
Another example is Moodle Hack/Doc Fest. Held twice a year, this free event offers three days of exceptional work and conversation around Moodle, but our event announcements didn’t capture that. To address this we created a new Hack/Doc page that discusses the spirit of the event and provides an overview of its un-conference nature.
Finally, Moodle Hack/Doc Fest isn’t the beginning and end of collaboration within CLAMP. Much of our communication happens online through the CLAMP Moodle Exchange and our dedicated Slack instance. The new online collaboration page explains these tools and how to get started using them.
Best practices with Moodle are regularly discussed in the CME and at Hack/Doc. The website incorporates a few of these — for example, “Recommendations for Grade Settings“ and “Switching to Natural Waiting” but we’d like to see more. Our intention is to work with Hack/Doc attendees and CME participants to craft content that promote these best practices within our community.
To help promote this new content we are resurrecting the CLAMP Twitter account — @ClampHQ — as an official channel for organization news and updates. We hope to evolve the Twitter account into another opportunity for conversation centered on the liberal arts and Moodle.
Going forward, CLAMP will create a standing communications committee to manage the organization’s web and social media presence. If you are interested in participating in the committee or would like to contribute to the website, email email@example.com.