Ways to Improve the Class & Other Projects

1. Travel altogether to each site, that way students can talk about the readings and also the museums before and after all together.

2. Depending on the state, visit a new site each class.

3. Build the map first, instead of last.

4. Have a good camera at the ready always and take many more photographs than you think you will need.

5. More focus on discussion led by readings and field trips, with a conversation that stays more on topic, and less repetitive comments. 

6. Perhaps a strong introduction into the philosophical nature of museums and museum ethics in the first weeks. 

7. More audacious commentary overall. 

8. Over-organize, because with a class like this you never know what will happen, and you need to be able to take advantage of happy co-incidences.


9. Keep track of miles covered.

10. Set up a website style sheet to establish visual uniformity throughout the website.

11.  Make a clearer distinction, and a clearer link between university art museums and university art galleries.

12. 1/3 of the work building the website constituted editing everything at the very end. Accordingly, all assignments should be completed 2/3 way through the class so students can be a more substantive part of the editing process. Leave lots and lots of time, and keep the assignments short.

13. Include community colleges to make the local and national listings complete.

14. I was not completely new to Google sites, but I learned a lot during the course. I used the site as sort of a huge blackboard, that never got erased. Students were encouraged to give comments on every page, and I thought at the end of it, that all I had to do was hide them. In fact everything on the site is searchable, both the pages that are hidden along with those that are accessible. So if you want to keep comments private, and all those rough outlines private, you have to remove them all, one by one, before you make it public. It is painstaking work, and yet it is important, mostly because it makes the searches sharper, but it also keeps the comments under wraps. That said, the comments, and the comment function was one of my favorite parts of the site so I also archived everything in a separate file. The same goes for attachments, if there is an attachment on any page on the site they are searchable, and so if you do not want them to appear, they also have to be completely removed from the site.

15. Include museums of anthropology on the list.