Documentation:Connect/UBC Blogs Quicksheet
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).
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.
This document will show you:
- Why use UBC Blogs
- Comparisons between UBC Blogs and Connect blogs
- Best practices
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|
The following Connect course roles are, by default, translated into the following UBC Blogs roles:
|Connect Roles||UBC Blogs Role||Role's Abilities|
For a more detailed view of the different roles and capabilities, visit the WordPress Codex.
- 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.
Resources and Support
- Blogs eLearning Toolkit
- A short guide on what is a blog and how it can support you in your teaching.
- WordPress Basics 1 Guide
- A step-by-step guide to help you get started with WordPress and UBC Blogs.
- 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.
- WordPress.com Essential Training
- Learn the ins and outs of using WordPress.com, 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 Lynda.com pilot
- WordPress Codex
- It is the living repository of everything to know about WordPress.