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Insight-Google Sites Comparison

Insight and Google Sites: A Comparison



Google Sites

Student Access

1.   Password protected

2.    Requires students to be registered in a specific course. No access until course starts. All documents and course materials reside behind the password.

1.       Open to anyone browsing the web. Can be restricted to anyone with a CCSFmail account, or to specific  individuals (by email address).

2.       Individual PDFs can be password-protected, document by document.

3.       Great for giving students a way to get a look at you, the instructor, and (for example) your course syllabi.

4.       All online teachers MUST have an open web site.  Google sites are a CCSF-sanctioned way to fill the bill.

Privacy/Copyright Protection

You can opt to use Insight’s Walled Garden mail, which is a closed system, free from spam and under our control

Posting textbook publishers’ materials behind Insight’s login satisfies their privacy requirements.

Google mines everything on its site. Although its privacy policies are pretty tight right now, who knows what they will be in a year?

Restrictions on CCSF Google sites won't satisfy textbook vendor requirements for posting proprietary materials (quizzes, etc).


Forums: Discussion boards allow communication among students as well as with teachers

Dropbox: Students can submit documents online

Teachers can post documents for download, but also can create:

Books: Linked pages for viewing online (can be printed)

Announcements: Can be integrated with student emails or not. Can be visible whenever student logs in or contained in individual weeks or course topics.

Although you can make an entire Google site (not individual pages) into a Wiki-like object that students can modify, there is no provision for moderated post-and-response areas where people can discuss, reply, add topics.

In Sites you can post files up to 1 MB as attachments or on a File Cabinet page.

Announcements pages provide an easy way of drawing attention to new information.

You can share Documents with students and Vice-versa.

Monitoring and Grading features

You can monitor each student’s time on site.

Quizzes can be fully integrated into an online gradebook with grading, data tracking and analysis capabilities.

Google Forms provide a quick and easy way to create polls and short quizzes–great for self-evaluation. But they are not integrated with any grading capabilities. And there is no easy way to tell who has looked at your site.


Carol Reitan,
Feb 17, 2011, 1:57 PM