Policies: Websites

Policies: Websites

The school’s communications team will  assist you with websites for your classwork, courses and research presentations.

Guidelines for professors and instructors

Personal or research websites: 

IU recommends Pages for publishing personal websites. Using Pages does require a level of technical expertise, such as HTML basics. You also may set up websites through WordPress.com, a free service that provides an easy-to-use interface similar to Microsoft Word. When you have your Web page set up, you may link it to your school bio page.  

Class websites:

Class websites with the purpose of displaying student work must be hosted on Indiana University servers to ensure the rightful ownership and security of student work and data.

Class websites provide links for students to use in their online portfolios. They also show how we prepare students through coursework that emphasizes solid storytelling skills and responsible and ethical practices.

For these reasons, please do not present classwork on your personal sites. “Classwork” constitutes examples of our offerings to current and prospective students, and we want to ensure a consistent presentation across all materials.

The Media School communications team will supply you with a WordPress-based website template to display student work. These templates conform to IU’s required branding conventions and are designed for ease of use in classroom settings. Use the Request a Website form for this purpose. Class website requests should be completed as soon as possible and at least two weeks prior to the start of each semester to ensure adequate time for completion.

You may see and download IU’s branding requirements for print, online, videos, logos and other materials online at the IU Brand Guidelines page. Students are free to use these on their projects as well, such as the official IU lower thirds for video projects.

If your students post their work on a class website, please make sure that students are perfectly clear with sources and interview subjects that the resulting projects will be live on the Web, available to anyone with an Internet connection and a browser.

Occasionally, people who have been interviewed for a student project tell us they had no idea their names, comments, quotes or personal stories would be on a public website. Their reactions range from puzzlement to indignation to fury as a result of their belief that they were participating in a “class project” that would never be public and certainly not show up in a Google search.

As part of your instruction, make sure students understand the ethical considerations of working with sources for any of their projects, especially those where the work will be online. If you are not confident of a student’s practices, you may choose not to publish his or her work online.

Managing your course online:

The Media School strongly advises you to use Canvas to conduct business, such as linking your students to syllabi, homework, readings or other materials. IU’s latest learning management software, which will replace Oncourse, provides a single place for students to communicate with you and one another, to share work, submit their work to you, and to retrieve and upload assignments and materials.

A compelling reason to use Canvas is that there are FERPA issues related to some student information stored on websites. Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning provides detailed instruction for using Canvas. You may attend sessions or seek private tutoring at the website or by phone ( 812-855-9023).

If you choose to create your own website for your course management, IU’s Webserve provides server space within the IU server realm. There are limitations: You still must adhere to IU branding and other guidelines described below, and you cannot put any private information (grades, student IDs) on this site

Please do not create websites for your course management outside the IU server realm. We want all online products associated with The Media School to have a consistent message, design and brand to better engage our prospective and current students.

Guidelines for students:

Your responsibilities in regards to posting your classwork online are the same as your instructors’ obligations. 

Be sure your sources understand that they are part of a story package that will be on the Web. These are not projects “just for a class.” 

Adhere to ethics of producing news stories, videos, documentaries, photo galleries and other material in the course of your work. The school uses professional organizations’ codes of ethics as guidelines. If you are not familiar with ethics guidelines, read one of these online: International Documentary Association; International Game Developers Association; National Press Photographers Association; Radio Television Digital News AssociationSociety for News DesignSociety of Professional Journalists


  • Questions? Contact the school’s communications director, Anne Kibbler.