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Boccaccio 700: Reading the "Decameron" in 2013

Julie Van Peteghem (Romance Languages)


Project Goals
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  • Create a class website that functions both as a study guide and a research tool.
Technologies Used: WordPress

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Decameron, the text we're studying in this course, consists of 100 very diverse stories, told by 10 storytellers with distinct personalities. By using tags and categories to organize the stories by storytellers, topics, and locations, the students can then use the site to make connections between the stories."

What did you accomplish over the summer?
I considered the following platforms for the site: ePortfolios, an Omeka site, a Google Site, and a WordPress blog (final choice). In the end, I chose WordPress for the following reasons: my familiarity with WordPress; the ability to tag posts and create a tag cloud; the ability to easily check individual students' contributions; and the ability to customize the lay-out and the menu of the site. My website is almost ready and performs all the functions I wanted to include.

How did your thinking about your project evolve?
Originally, I wanted the site to be mainly an online study guide to complement the lectures and class discussions. While researching different platforms and writing the content for the first weeks of class, I realized that technology could also make it possible to use the site as a research tool. The Decameron, the text we're studying in this course, consists of 100 very diverse stories, told by 10 storytellers with distinct personalities. By using tags and categories to organize the stories by storytellers, topics, and locations, the students can then use the site to make connections between the stories. For instance, they can very easily access a list of all the stories about the theme of clergy, or all the stories told by the storyteller Dioneo, or all the stories set in Venice. The Decameron isn't a loose collection of stories; the stories build on each other, comment on each other, contradict each other, etc. This is an important feature of the text, and one the website will illustrate very well.