From UBC Wiki

Open draft syllabus on google docs (for feedback):


Teaching with WordPress (#TWP15) is an open, collaborative online course on using WordPress for teaching and learning in higher education. Join us to talk about and experiment with, among other things:

  • Open education and open pedagogy
  • WordPress as a highly customizable framework for teaching and learning
  • Examples of instructors and learners using WordPress sites in many different ways for multiple purposes
  • Plug ins, applications and approaches for creating, discussing, sharing and interacting with each other
  • Throughout the course, you’ll be creating your own WordPress course site, so that by the end you’ll have a beginning structure to build on with your learners.

Teaching with WordPress is designed to be a “connectivist” open online course, in which the contributions of the participants are crucial to what each of us learns; we will connect with each other through blog posts, Twitter and discussions on this site. Most importantly, we’ll learn from each other’s course design on our WordPress sites.

Intended Learning Outcomes

As an open course participant, you will decide how and what you will learn from the course and each other. We will be learning with you. We hope you will take the opportunity over the next four weeks and beyond to:

  • Evaluate the affordances of incorporating open pedagogies into one’s own approach to teaching
  • Understand how WordPress can be used as an open tool for teaching
  • Connect with a learning network for on-going support

Week 1: Introduction to Open Pedagogies & Open Course Design (1 week)

In week 1, we will:

  • Orient ourselves to the course structure and approaches for sharing and receiving feedback on work in progress.
  • Discuss what we mean by “open pedagogy” and openness in teaching and learning.
  • Reflect on the value of open


Topics to be covered in week 1 include:

  • Introduction and welcome to the course
  • Open pedagogy - examples in practice
  • Iterative design principles and their application to open course design
  • Learning Activities:

In week 1, we will:

  • Create our own individual Wordpress sites and add them to the course blog hub, make an introduction post, comment on someone else’s introduction
  • Read the assigned readings, which will consist of a curated list of resources on open education
  • Choose a license for our sites, post and short explanation to our own blog for why we choose that specific license
  • Participate in a synchronous video/audio chat about open education
  • Watch some short video stories showcasing open teaching examples
  • Use the course twitter hashtag to share an open resource that we use in our teaching or that informs our thinking about openness.
  • Participate in the course discussion forum on the following topics:
    • What you that was effective or what you thought was not good teaching
    • Discuss David Wiley’s question: “what can I do in the context of open that I couldn’t do before?”
    • Describe your own learning networks, how expanding them through online connections might be helpful
    • Share links or resources that should be added to the reading list for week 2

Week 2: Sketching on the Blank Slate: Affordances of WordPress (1 week)

In week 2, we will:

  • Discuss how the WordPress environment can be used to support varied teaching and learning goals.
  • Share strategies for designing assessment and engagement activities in WordPress
  • Reflect on benefits and limitations of using WordPress for teaching and learning


Topics to be covered in week 2 include:

  • Overview of how WordPress is a flexible, blank-slate tool
  • Examples of different teaching and learning approaches using WordPress
  • Strategies for supporting common teaching and learning needs, including:
    • Enrolling students
    • Student discussions
    • Assessments
    • Applying open pedagogies to WordPress, specifically

Learning Activities

In week 2, we will:

  • Read the assigned readings, which will consist of a curated list of resources on teaching with WordPress
  • Watch short videos highlighting different teaching and learning projects using WordPress
  • Pick one or two learning activities and explore in a blog post on their own site how they could be accomplished in WordPress. Comment on someone else’s post.
  • Participate in a synchronous video/audio chat about using WordPress for teaching and learning
  • Contribute an assignment to the assignment bank
  • Participate in the weekly on potential risks in using WordPress as a learning environment

Weeks 3 & 4: Pulling It All Together: Cohesive Course Design in WordPress (2 weeks)

In weeks 3&4, we will:

  • Understand how WordPress can support their teaching goals
  • Identify “advanced” teaching and learning functionalities in WordPress
  • Use course structure as model learning network for support
  • Experience working with WordPress and leave this course with a beginning of course/project shell


Topics to be covered in weeks 3&4 include:

  • The lifecycles of WordPress Courses: creating new sites each term, using the same site, archiving
  • Incorporation of external tools (i.e. Twitter, etc)
  • Managing content strategies: separating content from the presentation layer
  • Best practices for designing multi-platform learning pathways and minimizing confusion for students in working through multiple spaces

Learning Activities:

In weeks 3 & 4, we will:

  • Develop a teaching and learning project or activity using WordPress
  • Describe your learning project in a post on your own blog; comment on someone else's post
  • Attend an in-person drop-in clinic or synchronous video/audio chat for WordPress support
  • Provide support to your fellow participants using the course twitter hashtag or discussion forum
  • Sign up to showcase your project either on the course site or in a short video.
  • Attend showcase synchronous video/audio chat

Time Commitment

The time you commit to the activities and interactions related to the themes in the course should roughly correlate with what your learning goals are. If you are aiming to meet the intended learning outcomes we have laid out, you will likely need to set aside 4 or more hours each week for connecting, reflecting and building activities related to the course themes.


This course is open to everyone interested in the topic. However, participants should be minimally familiar with WordPress and understand basic functionality such as posts, pages, tags, categories, menus, etc.

Specific Questions for Feedback

We are in the process of developing and would love to hear your feedback on any elements we have so far. What are we missing? What’s unclear? Please leave a comment with any thoughts (open comments thread in upper right corner). We are really looking forward to your feedback as it will help us improve the design of the course.