LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 9, 2020) — From memes to monographs, generating content with digital tools is an increasingly ubiquitous part of our academic worlds. As we all work to make sense of what can seem like an endless array of digital tools and platforms, University of Kentucky Libraries is excited to offer access to CreateUK, a web-hosting platform for members of the UK community to build, manage and share their academic and creative works.
With built-in open source applications such as WordPress, Omeka, Scalar and over a hundred more, CreateUK is flexible enough to accommodate diverse usage, whether it be creating digital exhibits, sharing research results or designing collaborative classroom projects. CreateUK provides scholars an opportunity to deepen digital literacy skills and engage in questions about issues of power, privilege and equity in a digital environment.
This past spring semester Ben Arnold, professor of musicology in UK School of Music, included a class web project, Recent Women Composers, for one of his courses. “I decided to use the CreateUK platform to give my students an opportunity to learn basic web content and to share their research. In doing so, the assignment moves out of the classroom into the real world. The intent is for them to be highly attentive in their research and writing and take pride in their contributions to do their best work. Others out there may be interested in what they write,” Arnold said.
Undergraduate Research Archivist and UK Libraries’ Learning Lab instructor Carol Street plans to integrate CreateUK into her work with students. Street said, “Before we had CreateUK, I would ask students to explore the use of digital humanities in their projects, but few were able to overcome the technological barriers to actually pursue it. Now we can give students not only the ideas and knowledge, but also the tools for successful projects. CreateUK is a game changer for student knowledge creation and dissemination.”
Other inspiring examples of how the University of Kentucky community is using CreateUK include:
- Guy Lab, Dean R. Kip Guy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy;
- Anti-Racism Readings, Jennifer Horne, business, economics, government information and public administration academic liaison librarian, UK Libraries; and
- Professional portfolio, Stacey Greenwell, instructional design librarian, UK Libraries.
Emphasizing the relevance of CreateUK, Trey Conatser, associate director for the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), said, “We're experiencing a time of great upheaval in higher education, and our innovations in teaching and learning have been accelerated by the pandemic. As teacher-scholars look for new ways that students can express knowledge, learn collaboratively, and connect coursework with lived experience, CreateUK provides a timely platform for engaging students in project-based learning.”
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.