multiple course collections with individual exhibits

As part of a collaborative project a dozen faculty are teaching courses on one place in Seattle- Lake Union. I would like to have one omeka site for which we have each course - as a collection- and then the students do exhibits within those collections? Is that the right heirarchy? i.e. how do I keep the courses distinct with distinct exhibits but allow us all to see all the collections on the front page?Does that make sense- feel free to look at my site-

You can create specific collections for each class. Then, you can create user accounts for each student, so they can add items to the site and associate their items with their class's collection.

Exhibits and collections are not hierarchically-related. They are different entities, and so are listed and organized apart from one another.

Exhibits are built from items, and so students should add items first and then build an exhibit.

And, students will have access to all items in the Omeka site, not just the one's in their class's collection. But, you can advise them to only select the items from their class's collection.

That is great- now for one clarification- is there a way to set it up so when the public looks at a collection- they only see the exhibits that used the items from that collection/ that are connected with that collection? Otherwise we will have over a hundred exhibits given the numbers of courses being offered. I wonder if are going about this the wrong way?

Out of the box, no.

Someone coming to the site, would be able to see all collections and exhibits marked as "public."

But, there are a couple of ideas for work arounds that can be done in the admin settings without programming:

1. In the site's Appearance/Navigation settings, do not make the Browse Exhibits tab visible in the navigation, making it more difficult for someone coming to the site to go there and browse through all public exhibits.

2. Use tags for exhibits only, and then tag the exhibits from class 3 w/the same name as the collection. Then, you can rename the tags/browse link in the Navigation settings to Class Exhibits or Browse Exhibits by Class, and then there will be a tag cloud of class/collection names.

3. In each Collection description, manually add links to each exhibit built by the class using that collection.

I might do 1 & 3, if you want to force people into browsing the class collections first, but it would be the only way for a site visitor to find the exhibits. You could also just do #3 and let people browse exhibits any way they wish.

The other option is for each class to have their own Omeka site.