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I'm new at a University. I'm not a technology fanatic, but I'm a bit taken aback how little the possibilities of the Internet are used to help students connect. I mean, there's a document download platform and all that, but little more. Announcements are still sent via E-Mail using CC; there is no way to stay in touch with fellow students except actively friending them on Facebook, which many may not want.

Does anybody have an idea of a web app - either hosted or self-hosted - that could help make this work better?

It would have to provide

  • Forums or a similar, simple means to ask questions
  • Opt-in E-Mail notifications for any event in the group
  • Extremely minimalistic and easy to use
  • Document downloads
  • Optionally, a Wiki or some other way to organize knowledge
  • Ideally, the possibility to manage multiple groups at once
  • Closed from the outside world (log-in mandatory)
  • The possibility to send announcements to all users
  • The possibility for students to start new groups (if the Professor doesn't want to get involved)

It should be independent from other online services (solutions that need a Google or Facebook account would be out).

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closed as not constructive by Eight Days of Malaise, phwd Feb 1 '12 at 19:31

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Perhaps openstudy would fit your needs –  Sathya Jan 25 '12 at 17:15
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1 Answer 1

There are several open source and paid platforms, but what you want to do must be done at the university level. If you set something up on your own you will spend a lot of time convincing your fellow students to join. Unless that is the official way to communicate, the professor will not get involved.

These programs are called learning management systems. They are similar to content management systems like Drupal, but geared for schools and classrooms.

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