ABOUT

What is Coventry.Domains?

Coventry.Domains is an initiative at Coventry University that offers students and staff the opportunity to take more control over their online presence and to develop important digital competences. It provides students and staff with web-hosting space, a personalised sub-domain name and capacity-building opportunities, enabling them to build their own websites and experiment with a wide range of applications for web publishing, information management and other purposes. Coventry.Domains is led by the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) and started as a pilot in 2016-17. In 2017-18 it is still at pilotting stage and the number of accounts available is limited. You can find here further details on the process for requesting an account.

Developing Digital Fluency

Coventry University is committed to embedding digital fluency into the curriculum and enabling students to develop web literacies through authentic communication practices that are essential to work and life in contemporary societies. In line with that strategic priority, Coventry.Domains gives access to content management systems like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, MediaWiki and other web publishing and collaboration tools that are commonplace in many industry sectors.

The possibility for students to use such systems to gather and disseminate content created throughout their studies may enhance their employability and help them position themselves into their respective fields, gaining visibility before entering the job market.

Lecturers may use their space to chronicle their professional presence online, providing a user-friendly space to help them share their teaching, research interests and publications online. Coventry.Domains gives them a sandbox for exploring emerging scholarly practices and may be used for a wide range of academic purposes: designing sites to house course resources, creating dedicated sites for research projects, exploring new tools for teaching and learning, etc.

Background

The phrase Domains of One’s Own (and its acronym DoOO) is often used to describe initiatives that provide students and staff with web-hosting space and a domain name, or sometimes a sub-domain. The phrase was first used at the University of Mary Washington (UMW), in direct reference to Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own, for a pilot project initiated by its Division of Teaching & Learning Technologies back in 2012. The premise underpinning the initiative was that “faculty and students must have a domain and web hosting of their own if they are to truly understand and engage the deeper possibilities of the open web” (Jim Groom). Since then, many other universities have adopted this term to refer to similar initiatives.

As Audrey Watters contends, it is not just about technical skills. By giving a domain to staff and students they can:

“… start to see how digital technologies work – those that underpin the Web and elsewhere. They can think about how these technologies shape the formation of their understanding of the world – how knowledge is formed and shared; how identity is formed and expressed. They can engage with that original purpose of the Web – sharing information and collaborating on knowledge-building endeavors – by doing meaningful work online, in the public, with other scholars. That they have a space of their own online, along with the support and the tools to think about what that can look like.”

The Disruptive Media Learning Lab

The Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL) is an experimental unit established at Coventry University with the aim of driving innovation in teaching and learning. DMLL is responsible for coordinating Coventry.Domains and offers support to users in getting started with the platform and making the most of the available web applications. In addition, several communities of practice at university and faculties level have been created with the aim connecting participants and sharing expertise.

Each Coventry.Domains account owner is solely responsible for the information posted and/or stored by means of any of the web applications installed into their allocated web space and subdomain. Any views or opinions expressed on the websites hosted under Coventry.domains are those of their author/s and do not represent those of Coventry University.