Segue is an open source content management system designed for e-learning that combines the
ease of use of course management systems with the flexibility of weblogs for creating various types of
sites including course, news, journal, peer review and e-portfolio. When integrated into an
institution’s administrative systems, it can become a portal providing access to an indivual user’s
course and personal websites.
Segue is really a collaborative learning system. It has a
granular permissions structure that allows site owners to assign individuals or groups to be
collaborators and specify precisely what content block, page or section of the site they can view,
discuss, add to, edit or delete from. Contrast this to e-learning systems such as WebCT or Blackboard
in which faculty post the majority of a course’s content with tools available only to them. With
Segue, students can contribute as much as the instructor or more to a course website. In addition
students can make their own websites that can be associated with a course website or can build a
website for their own personal use such as a weblog or an e-portfolio.
Segue is based on a
publishing model of content delivery which regards faculty not as course managers but as authors
and/or editors and students as contributors/collaborators. Indeed, Segue encourages the publication of
course work (where appropriate) and opens the classroom to the world community. At the same time,
Segue allows for a site to become a personal workspace, where site owners can develop ideas in a
private web-based environment accessible anywhere; or a community workspace, where individuals or
groups can share ideas amongst only themselves.
Segue is browser-centric and relies on
hyperlinks to provide both site navigation and organization. Built into its interface is a
customizable three level navigational structure. This means that a given site can be organized into
sections each of which can contain any number of pages. Pages in turn can contain any number of
independent timestamped content blocks (text, images, file downloads). These content blocks can be
sorted by recent first or recent last, or can be sorted by user’s who added or edited them, sorted
alphabetically or sorted by some custom ordering.
Segue is themeable. Content is completely
separated from form. Users can customize the appearance of their site by choosing from a number of
themes and adding custom headers and footers. Themes themselves have settings that can be altered
resulting in well…variations of a theme.
Segue was first written under the name
(‘CoursesDB’, then later ‘SitesDB’) during the summer of 2002 at Middlebury College.
Segue’s principal authors are Gabriel Schine, Alex Chapin, Adam Franco and Dobo
Gabriel Schine is the lead programmer of Segue, a resident of Middlebury, Vermont, and a
student at Kenyon College in Ohio.
Alex Chapin is the project manager of Segue and Middlebury
College’s Foreign Languages Educational Technology Specialist.
Adam Franco, programmer, employed
by Middlebury College’s Educational Technology Group.
Dobo Radichkov, Middlebury College student,
Contributors to Segue include:
Reinhold Lange, web programmer.
Special thanks to:
Middlebury College Center for Educational Technology
Shel Sax, director of Educational Technology at Middlebury College.
Assistant Professor, Spanish, Middlebury College
Gloria Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, Spanish,
Carole Cavanaugh, Associate Professor, Japanese, Middlebury College