Image courtesy of WP Learner

Making websites: a quick start guide for students and teachers

This is part of a short series of guides about ways for students to digitally showcase their work.

Making a website can be a great way for students to widely showcase their work and archive it for future students. Your students don’t have to create a fancy website — simple is best, and a one-page site can be perfect for your students’ project.

Selecting your medium

Tumblr, WordPress, Wix, and Weebly are all excellent, free website makers. Each serves a slightly different purpose, so check out the options with your students and decide which option seems most fitting. Below are a few existing guides for getting started with each type of site builder:

Sample student teams and roles associated with making a website

You can use these roles to ensure to give students specific tasks associated with creating and maintaining their website.

  • Website Administrators: manage the overall status of the website (the teacher should also be an administrator of the website)
  • Content Producers: write the text content for the website
  • Content Editors: edit the content that the Content Producers create
  • Media Leads: gather, select, and edit photos, videos, and other media to post onto the website
  • Creative Directors: curate the overall aesthetics and visual design of the website
  • Communications/Public Relations Directors: Manage all incoming inquiries and contacts from site viewers
  • IT/Tech Support: troubleshoot any technical issues, such as broken links, spam, forgotten passwords, and slow loading speed; make sure that website features stay up to date
  • Site Architects: Design the overall structure and layout of the site; determine site headers, sections, and page layouts

Consider including the following information on your site:

  • An “About” section or paragraph to give some basic information about your project
  • A “Project” section (we suggest calling it the name of your project) that goes into depth about your project
  • A “Contact Us” section for viewers to get in touch with your group
  • A few good photos of the project — the more, the merrier! You check out Flickr Creative Commons and Unsplash for free, high-resolution stock photos that are available for public use.

Content: the main attraction

Are your students stuck on what information to include in their digital platform? Your students can use some of these questions to guide the content development. Many of these questions are geared towards students engaging in hands-on, experiential learning projects, so adapt them as you and your students see fit.

  • What is the project about?
  • Why did you choose this issue?
  • Who does this issue impact? Who has power over this issue?
  • What was your goal?
  • What kind of evidence and/or research informed your project?
  • What was the solution you proposed or action you led?
  • Did you collaborate with anyone in your project? Who? How?
  • What was the outcome of the project? How did your project positively impact your school/community?
  • Your reflection on the process and result.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments about this guide! I’d love to hear from you on how to make this more useful and relevant to you and your students.