Documentation:Blogs

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UBC Blogs provide an interactive website platform where instructors and students can create content individually or collaboratively, resulting in outcomes like a course website, a group blog, a peer review space, or a personal portfolio or blog—all built on a flexible WordPress foundation.

Jump to a section: Get Started | Support | FAQ



Getting started How do I get started?

Plan

Planning starts with considering the kind of learning you want to support. Consider:

  • How might blogs support my goals for student learning?
  • What lasting benefit might students derive from their use of a blog?
  • What will they/ I need in the way of support to get started?

Blogs are particularly good at supporting:

  • Reflection: students may be encouraged to reflect on readings, experiences or their own learning as part of a course or program. Posts can be protected (for only the instructor or group to view) or shared publicly.
  • Portfolios: students can maintain their own blogs as spaces to publish, share and review their work over time. Since blogs can handle a variety of media (either via uploads or embeds), they are useful as a way to assemble work from a variety of online sources (video, slides, docs, etc). Online portfolios can help students build a scholarly digital presence.
  • Community building: Connecting student blogs via a course "hub" blog, allows students to see what others are thinking about, working on. Encouraging comments, feedback helps students learn from their peers and others, including experts from the community (if desired).
  • Digital/web literacies: Because blogs are essentially personal publishing platforms that are highly customizable, students can develop them as they do/build/create online. Mozilla has done some great work at defining entry level web literacies associated with so-called 21st century skills.
  • Open courses and resources: UBC Blogs can be used to create resources that are open and available to anyone on the web.

Functionality

We have highlighted 2 different blog options so that you can compare functionality according to your needs. Bring your questions about any aspect of functionality to the Learning Technology Hub - we are happy to consult with you about your project and your needs.

UBC Blogs WordPress.com
Authentication
Open Wrong.svg Tick.svg
CWL Tick.svg Wrong.svg
Student Control
Privacy Options Tick.svg Tick.svg
Commenting/Discussion Tick.svg Tick.svg
Theme Options Tick.svg Tick.svg
Instructor Management
Version Control (Revision History) Tick.svg Tick.svg
Clone/Export and Import blogs Tick.svg Tick.svg
adding users to blogs Tick.svg Tick.svg
embedding feeds/student content Tick.svg Tick.svg
grade book integration Wrong.svg Wrong.svg
LTI Integration Tick.svg Wrong.svg
Advanced Customization
Theme Options Tick.svg Tick.svg
CSS Stylesheets Tick.svg Tick.svg[1]
Network enabled plugins for extra functionality Tick.svg Tick.svg
Analytics
In-House Tick.svg[2] Wrong.svg
Google Analytics Tick.svg Tick.svg
Support
in-house Tick.svg Wrong.svg

Notes

  1. To use the custom CSS feature on WordPress.com, you will need to pay for the premium plan.
  2. UBC Blog uses xAPI for in-house analytics. Sauder, for example, used xApi in one of their courses. For more information, please contact blog.support@ubc.ca.


Setup

You can log in with your CWL to start, choose the theme of the blog, and manage your own blog and/or invite students to do the same.

UBC Blogs has its own website, which has detailed documentation on getting up and running with a blog.


What tools can I use with this?

Content from other UBC platforms can be embedded into your blog, including:

Using UBC Blogs with Canvas

Faculty and staff can create a new UBC Blog directly through Canvas. UBC Blogs can be made accessible through the side navigation bar or in a Module.

Create a new UBC Blog and add it to the course menu:

  1. Log in to your Canvas course.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Select the Navigation tab
  4. Scroll down until you find UBC Blogs.
  5. Click the gear and select Enable.

Create an External Tool link to UBC Blogs from a Module:

Step One: Generate an LTI Integration token in the blog

  1. Navigate to your UBC Blogs Dashboard.
  2. Go to Plugins.
  3. Find and activate the LTI Connector Token 1.0.0 tool.
  4. Refresh the page.
  5. Under the Tools menu, select LTI Token.
  6. On this page, copy the LTI Integration token for the blog.
How to Retrieve the LTI Connector Token from WordPress?
WordPress LTI Connector Plugin
WordPress LTI Token to copy

Step Two: Create an "External Tool" item in a Canvas Module

  1. Navigate to Modules in a Canvas course.
  2. Click the [+] button.
  3. In the drop down menu, select External Tool.
  4. Select UBC Blogs in the list of tools. In the URL field, you will see the following link: https://blogs.ubc.ca/
  5. Add ?custom_wplticonnectortoken= so that you obtain the following link: https://blogs.ubc.ca/?custom_wplticonnectortoken=
  6. Remove the square brackets and replace the content in the brackets as outlined below:
    • https://blogs.ubc.ca/?custom_wplticonnectortoken=[LTI CONNECTOR TOKEN]&custom_existingurlpath=[NAME OF BLOG]
    • Your LTI CONNECTOR TOKEN was generated in Step One.
    • The NAME OF BLOG appears at the end of your blog's URL. For example: https://blogs.ubc.ca/Test_Blog
    • You should obtain the following URL: https://blogs.ubc.ca/?custom_wplticonnectortoken=6598dfe10f936eb98519f57e30&custom_existingurlpath=Test_Blog
  1. Paste your custom URL in the URL field and click Add Item.

Note* If you would like to create a link that adds users as subscribers to your blog, add the following code at the end of your custom URL:  &custom_blogtype=ubcBlogsTypeStudentSubscriber

  • https://blogs.ubc.ca/?custom_wplticonnectortoken=6598dfe10f936eb98519f57e30&custom_existingurlpath=Test_Blog&custom_blogtype=ubcBlogsTypeStudentSubscriber

Please contact the Learning Technology Hub for assistance if you would like to link to an existing UBC Blog in Canvas.


Available support What support is available?

UBC Blogs has been developed by UBC's Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Contact blog.support@ubc.ca with questions.

Drop-in support is provided by the Learning Technology Hub. Additional expertise is available during CTLT’s weekly WordPress and Wiki Clinic, generally held on Thursdays. Check the events calendar for upcoming clinic times.


Frequently asked questions FAQ

UBC Blogs has its own FAQ page.