Documentation:Connect/UBC Blogs Quicksheet

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UBC Blogs is a blogging platform running on the WordPress platform designed to provide an individual or group space for instructors and students. It can be used to build a course website, allow group authoring on a blog, provide peer review (editing with comments) of authored content, provide class webspace development (adding annotated links/building a shared resource for a class), and provide a personal portfolio for students, faculty and staff (upload media - slides, video, images of your artwork).

A screenshot of the UBC Blogs Homepage

Through the new UBC Blogs Tool Link, instructors can easily create a course or group blog on UBC Blogs through Connect. These blogs are independent from Connect and can be made publicly accessible. Students can easily join the blog by clicking on the link within their course.

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This document will show you:

  • Why use UBC Blogs
  • Comparisons between UBC Blogs and Connect blogs
  • Best practices
  • Resources

Why use UBC Blogs?

Create an online archive of your course activities.

Students lose access to their course and their course activity 8 weeks after the term has ended unless they have downloaded or kept copies of their work. Course blogs on UBC Blogs can be made available indefinitely in public or private modes, if appropriate to the copyright conditions of the content. This allows students to a wealth of resources that they can link back to.

Develop a wider learning network

Course blogs can be made public and indexed by search engines, making them easily searchable. It expands the audience of students' work to a wider network of learners and experts that can easily contribute their own knowledge and ideas in the discussions through blog comments, pingbacks and trackbacks.

Opportunities for student growth beyond the course

Students can create their own individual blogs that is independent of the course. It can be their own space where they can reflect on course material and how it fits in with their learning. They can use the same space as they take other courses and keep track of their progress both as a student in your course and as a learner. It can alternatively be their own portfolio to share with potential employers and graduate schools.

High levels of customization

Since UBC Blogs is hosted using the open-source WordPress platform, it is highly customizable in both its look and its functions. Many themes are available or being developed that allow you to change the blog's look and feel. If you are knowledgeable with CSS, you can easily customize the themes yourself. Plugins are also available that extend the blogs features and functionalities such as adding a built-in audio player to play your uploaded sound files or input math functions using LaTeX.

Comparison: UBC Blogs & Connect Blogs

UBC Blogs and Connect Blogs have the same basic functionalities and features that all blogs share such as writing entries and posting comments. Below is a comparison of the different features between the two tools.

UBC Blogs Connect blogs
Blog creation
  • Create a course blog either through Connect or through UBC Blogs
  • Blogs can only be created in Connect
Blog Availability
  • Public by default
  • Can be made private or open only to blog users
  • Only accessible in your Connect course
  • Can limit date and time restrictions
  • Students need to click the course blog link within the course in order to write entries
  • Blog link availability can be limited to specific course groups
  • Student can only create their own blogs when they go to UBC Blogs
  • When creating blogs, you can choose to either have individual or course blogs
  • When creating groups, you can choose to have group blog available to them
  • No built-in grading system
  • Grades need to be manually added to the Connect Grade Center
  • Easily grade from within Connect and have them automatically included in the Grade Center
  • Highly customizable with the organization, theme, and plugins
  • Limited to the functions available in Connect
  • Limited to your course's look and feel

User Roles

The following Connect course roles are, by default, translated into the following UBC Blogs roles:

Connect Roles UBC Blogs Role Role's Abilities
  • UBC Instructor
  • UBC Secondary Instructor
  • Full access to the blog's functionalities and features
  • UBC TA
  • Write, publish, edit, and delete their own posts and pages
  • Edit, publish and delete other users' posts and pages
  • Moderate comments
  • UBC Auditor
  • Student
  • Write, publish, edit, and delete their own posts and pages
  • Upload files

For a more detailed view of the different roles and capabilities, visit the WordPress Codex.

Effective Practices

  • A course blog on UBC Blogs is separate from your Connect course. Any changes you want to make on the course blog must be made within UBC Blogs and will not affect anything in your Connect course.
  • Blogs on UBC Blogs created through Connect are publicly available online by default. You can change their privacy settings by going into the Dashboard. More information is available at WordPress Privacy Settings Guide.
  • Turn off your browser's pop-up blocker when accessing UBC Blogs via Connect as the link opens in a new window.
  • Creating another UBC Blogs link creates another course blog. You can have as many course blogs as you like.

How-to Guides

Resources and Support

  • WordPress Basics 2 Guide
    If you're ready to wade in a little bit deeper with UBC Blogs, this guide can help you with widgets, plugins, custom menus and back-ups.
  • WordPress Workshops and Drop-in Clinics
    You can register for any of the WordPress Basics Workshops for a guided hands-on learning experience. Drop-in clinics are also available every 1-3PM, Mondays and Thursday at the CTLT Offices in IKBLC.
  • Essential Training
    Learn the ins and outs of using, the same platform that we use to support UBC Blogs, in this online course. This is only available to UBC faculty and staff and as part of the pilot
  • WordPress Codex
    It is the living repository of everything to know about WordPress.