Request a McGraw Commons Course Website

McGraw Commons is an online publishing platform for teaching and learning, supporting the shared creation of projects as learning activity.  Sites developed with McGraw Commons can be cumulative in which students contribute to work done in prior semesters, or serve as the product of a single course. Course projects can be made publicly available on the web or restricted to the participants of the course.

McGraw Commons

Course sites and blogs are created in collaboration with faculty to support and encourage collaborative coursework that takes advantage of the multimedia and interactive aspects of online platforms. Course blogs can be used as platforms for publishing student work and as a vehicle for student peer-review. In addition to the basic features of a blog such as pages, posts, comments, tags, and categories, external tools for maps, timelines, and other visualizations can be integrated, and custom tools can be developed according to your teaching goals.

A unique feature of blogs is the extremely flexible and dynamic display of content. By default, blogs generate listings of post content chronologically, but blogs also automatically generate lists of posts based on months, authors, tags, and categories. This flexibility means that blogs can be used in a huge variety of ways.

A website on McGraw Commons can serve as a lasting artifact, representing the cumulative work over the span of the semester or can persist from year to year allowing students to contribute to an ongoing scholarly project.

Request a website

Use a blog ...

a close up of a text blog writing with footnotes

The writing environment

Wordpress is an easy-to-use website creation platform with features that make it particularly beneficial to active, constructive course assignments. Articles are published as date-stamped 'posts' that can be tagged and categorized allowing the writing to be displayed in wide variety of ways. Posts can include images and other media and can allow for threaded comments by other users.

a map of Europe with blue pin markers


Add maps to your blog to provide context and a visually engaging navigational element. Use the built-in Leaflet mapping plugin to add maps to individual posts or add a cumulative map that displays the locations of all of your posts.

Maps also allow for image overlays, including geo-referenced historic maps.

visualization of a network

Network graphs

Generate network graphs of the the relationships between posts and categories. The structure of a blog lends itself to a network visualizations. As posts are categorized, the form connections to other posts categorized in the same way.

thumbanil of an image being annotated

Annotated images

Commons includes the Annotorious plugin to embed images on posts and pages that can be annotated. Highlight areas of the image to annotate, comment, and reply to others.  Annotations can also include tags. The Media Tagger plugin, developed by the McGraw Center, provides a platform for crowdsourced tagging of images and other media.

Universal viewer zooming image viewer

Zooming image viewers

Use the built-in OpenSeadragon plugin to zoom into large images or work with resources from the Princeton University Library, Princeton University Art Museum, and institutional repositories using the IIIF-enabled Universal Viewer..

screenshot of h5p interface


H5P allows for the creation of a vast array of interactive content including multiple choice quizzes, interactive video, branching scenarios, drag and drop exercises, and flashcards.

Visit McGraw Commons

Visit the McGraw Commons website to see examples of course blogs from previous semesters.