Documentation:WordPress/Intro

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Why use a blog?

Image by Arts ISIT

Blogging can be an effective way for students to share their work online - including text, images, documents, podcasts, and videos. They can be used to replace paper-based assignments with digital writing activities to encourage greater peer interaction and discussion. They can also be used as course websites, which can be made open and available to the public, so they are a good option for instructors who are incorporating open practices into their courses. There are a number of different ways to include blogs into your course:

  • Encourage students to create their own blogs as a way to build an online portfolio of work.
  • Have students contribute posts on course topics or comment on a question you pose.
  • Have students produce their coursework and document it in their own blogs - which they can later manage as part of a portfolio.
  • Encourage commenting and peer feedback as students develop their ideas through blogging .

What is WordPress?

WordPress is a free, online publishing platform that allows you to easily create a blog or a website. WordPress allows users to have control over the look and feel, organization and privacy options - making it a flexible option for instructors who want to manage the degree of openness desired for their open coursework. UBC maintains its own installation and support for WordPress.

How does blogging work?

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Choose a theme. Start writing. Publish!
Pick from over 30+ template themes. Get started by using a simple text editor to write your first page/post. Ready to share what you have written? Publish it to the Web!

Images and Texts by ARTS ISIT

What are the options available at UBC?

In UBC, there are two options for creating a WordPress website which are :

Both UBC Blogs and CMS use WordPress, but they have different set of plugins and options available. Generally, UBC Blogs is designed for e-portfolio and blogs, while UBC CMS is designed for administrative or resources sites.

Both UBC Blogs and CMS allow you to:

  • add a student as an editor of the course blog
  • add a badging functionality to the site. For information on badges, please see Open Badges
  • adjust comment settings to allow for public participation.
  • adjust privacy settings to limit who has access to which content on your site.
  • embed a content from UBCWiki ,YouTube, Twitter and any other sites that have embed code.
  • create a form using Gravity Form which will allows students to upload their assignment, take an open assessment quiz and take a survey.
  • add Google Analytics to track statistics

You can see the difference between UBC Blogs and CMS from the chart below:


Difference between UBC Blogs and UBC CMS

UBC Blogs

  • It is use widely for course blogs and e-portfolios
Advantage
  • Anyone who has an CWL account can create blogs as much as possible
  • You can select various blog themes including P2 or PulsePress, which are themes that allow you to create a site that is similar to forum.
  • You can syndicate UBC Blogs using nsync , which will allow you to create connected course similar to this site.
Disadvantage
  • some of the shortcode or plugin may not work depending on the theme you choose

UBC CMS

  • It is used widely for administrative and resource sites
  • Not designed for course websites.
Advantage
  • If you know HTML, CSS, or even JavaScript, you can customize your site a lot.
  • More options for shortcodes , such as adding multiple RSS feeds to your site.
  • If you want to add a voting feature to comments, you can use Pulse CPT plugin
Disadvantage
  • You will not be able to change the theme of the website. If you want to change the look and feel of the site, you will need knowledge in HTML and CSS
  • You will need to submit a form and go through an evaluation process to get a new site

Getting Started

Support

  • WordPress Drop in clinic from 1-3pm every Thursday at the Irving K Barber Learning Centre, Fraser River Room (Room 2.27). You can sign up in advance at CTLT Event Registration site
    • The drop-in clinics are designed to support course, teaching and learning needs for users of UBC Blogs, UBC CMS and UBC Wiki.
    • Please sign up for the WordPress Clinic before attending.