ISUComm Sites grew out of a graduate-student-led technology collaborative at Iowa State University in response to both cultural and programmatic exigencies.
At the programatic level, Sites responds to the need for a coherent and integrated pedagogy of 21st-century literacies, as well as to the emergent genres and communication practices engendered by the continual development and expansion of the World Wide Web. Specifically, ISUComm Sites provides the ISUComm program with a custom solution for the integration of written, oral, visual, and electronic modes of communication.
At the cultural level, Sites aims to empower students by providing access to a web-publishing platform and ownership of a unique website, and therefore access to and ownership of the personal and professional representations of themselves on the Internet. According to technology and social theorists, as well as to professional organizations such as NCTE and CCCC, such access and ownership has the potential to foster greater democratic participation in society, greater understandings of selves and relationships, and therefore, ultimately, stronger communication practices.
In order to succeed in its mission, Sites must continue to seek out and maintain partnerships and collaborations both within the program and across the University. Under the leadership of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in partnership with Engineering-LAS Online Learning and the College of Engineering, ISUComm, together with the English Department and the Studio for New Media, must continue to work to identify the needs of students and teachers, to research and document emergent pedagogies, genres and communication practices, and to provide pedagogical and technological support and training for constituencies across campus.