News and Updates: Summer and Fall 2012

Over the summer and into the fall of 2012, the Writing@CSU site underwent a significant upgrade that allowed it to work across mobile devices and adapt to mulltiple screen sizes. The site shifted from a set-width approach to one that adapts to the width of the browser. This means that the site works well with mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, and adapts to fit the screen more effectively than it had in the past. Along with these changes came a number of improvements behind the scenes: the site is more accessible and is now making use of the semantic tags available through HTML 5.

In a new partnership with the Colorado State University Writing Center, we have moved our writing guides (and, soon, our teaching guides) to a wiki-based content management system. This allows us to make edits to the guides more easily and should result in better, more up-to-date guides. Special thanks for work on this project goes to Carrie Lamanna, Patricia Lincoln, Aubrey Johnson, Christina Shane, Jennifer Lawson, Karen Buntinas, and Ellen Palmquist, who worked on migrating, editing, and updating the guides.

As you look at the site, you'll see a number of new interface changes. The blogs and ePortfolios are more fully integrated into the site. You'll find, thanks to David Hernandez of the University of California at Irvine, several new color schemes and a number of new preset class page designs. You'll also see improvements to the class page layouts in the Writing Studio. In addition, you can now add blogs, wikis, and ePortfolios from tools outside this site to your class pages.

We continue to work on the new and improved help pages and hope to release those in the near future.

We have moved closer to an open-access, locally installabe version of the Writing Studio and hope to begin testing that with our colleagues at the University of California at Irvine. And we are nearly ready, thanks to the development of the guides tool, to relaunch the Open Textbooks Project. Look for more news on this in a future update.

Some good news about visits to the site: In the twelve months prior to October 2012, the Writing@CSU site received 7.4 million visits from more than 3 million individuals. This is an increase of more than 50 percent over the previous twelve months. Our average log ins per year for people with Writing Studio accounts continues to hover above 40 visits per year.