Making a new banner for my course site


Well it’s that time between the admin finishing for the last teaching year and the new intake coming in, and I thought I’d have a look at my VLE course site, which I’ve neglected for too long. This is easily done when I’ve been distracted by using Pinterest, Youtube and Slideshare for my teaching, but ultimately the one thing all my students will enage with for sure is my course site, so I should probably make sure that’s top notch. I’ve also noticed that I’ve not blogged for nearly a year, so thought I may as well document what I’ve been doing today, namely putting together a new banner for the welcome page. I should probably add that this isn’t because I think I’ve done anything amazing, it’s partly to document how I did it for future reference, and I guess to invite suggestions about how I can improve the process and output!

Firstly my old banner. I’m not even sure how it came to be:

My old course site banner

My old course site banner

This banner is shit in so many ways. For starters it’s not visually appealing in any way, but it also includes completely irrelevant information (durham campus). Last year the course was split across both the campuses that I teach at, but the students know which campus they are on. This year the course is only being taught at the Durham City campus, so this really isn’t important information.

Southampton Uni have some very clear instructions on how to change your banner (apols to Durham, this was just the first and best guidance that google came up with) and they also recomended an online site to edit and manipulate the banner and this was really useful for somebody with no photoshoppy skills whatsoever (I get confused by MS Paint). This site was super easy to use, and I could straight away specify the 480 x 80 recommended image size.

I thought it would be a good idea to include some kind of relevant image, and used the creative commons search in Flickr to find something (after a bit of a distracted browse through the internet archive book images collection). So this is what I came up with:

FOUD0067

I know it’s not very sexy, but i think it’s a big improvement ( a bit less shit). I would welcome any tips or suggestions (maybe you’ve got a great banner you want to show off??).

I did actually have a photo attribution on there but it seems to have dropped off so I’ll have to add that again.

 

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About digitalscholar

I am a sociologist with an interest in new technology. Previously I’ve worked on a number of projects at Lancaster University and the Open University looking at the use of new technologies and social media by researchers. I was also a social sciences teaching fellow at the foundation centre at Durham University teaching sociology and anthropology. I am now a senior lecturer at the University of West London's Institute for Teaching, Innovation and Learning where I oversee the foundation provision and support retention. I'm sure I'll still be interested in, and occasionally blog about, tech related things. I use this blog to post thoughts about using new technologies in my professional academic life and wider thoughts and links relating to technology more generally.
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