Getting Started with Blogs.ed
A quick start guide for adding Blogs.ed blogs to your Learn course
Setting up Blogs.ed from your Learn course
It is possible for you to create 3 different types of Blog from your Learn course.
Course Blogs can be created by using the WordPress Course Tool. This allows you to create a single blog for your entire Learn course, all Instructors will be given administrator-level access by default and students will be given author access allowing them to add their own posts but not edit other peoples or have the option customise the blog site.
By using the WordPress Course Tool available in Learn but restricting it to a pre-created Learn group you can create a Group Blog. This will again give Instructors administrator-level access by default and allow students to author posts. Only students who are members of that group will be able to access that specific blog site as authors. They cannot make changes to layout or style.
You may wish for your students to each have their own blogs.ed.ac.uk blog within your course. You can enable this by adding the WordPress Student Tool link into your Learn Course. Once the tool link is created students will then be able to connect to the Blogging Service to create their own blog that is linked to the Learn course. The students can then personalise the layout, style and content of the blog. By default, when setting up individual blogs, students will be added as administrators to their blogs and staff on the course will be given author access meaning that they cannot adjust the layout or style. Once you have added the tool link to your course you will not see blogs until students have used the link. At this point the student blogs are created and are then visible.
Enabling Blog Notifications
Blogs.ed notifications can currently be enabled for blogs created with the Wordpress Student Tool. These are blogs created from Learn where each student creates their own blog with the instructor(s) being enrolled as Authors.
In order to enable notifications for a series of blogs you will need to add an instructor’s email into the Custom Parameter field either when creating the tool link or when editing the link. The format for adding this email address is:
Where [instructor email] is replaced by the desired receiving email address.
Notifications will be sent to this email address in two scenarios:
Where a student publishes a new post on their blog created by the WordPress Student Blog tool via Learn.
If a student replies to a comment from the instructor whose email is set as the desired receiving address.
Please not that currently this notification feature will only send to one email address. If more than one is listed, it will use the last email listed.
Once students start blogging, it is possible to leave comments on specific posts. This can be a useful way to provide feedback or create discussion. If you wish to add a comment to a blog post, then use the tool link in Learn to navigate to your list of blogs. From here you can select the blog in question, either an individual student blog or group blog. Once here you will need to make your way to the specific post you want to comment on. At the bottom of the post there is an area for comments, this allows you to leave a new comment, browse existing comments or reply to previous comments.
To Add a new comment, type your comment into the ‘Your comment’ field and then click ‘Post comment’
To Reply to a previous comment click on the Reply button underneath the comment in question. This will open a comment box as above.
Please be aware: students will be notified by email that they’ve received a comment. Your first comments will need to be approved, after this, future comments will be automatically approved if they have not changed the default settings for comments.
By default, all blogs.ed are only visible to users who’ve been added directly to the blog (in the case of the individual student blog, only you and your student have access, for example). Students can change the visibility of the blog by going to Settings>Reading from the blog dashboard as shown below.
Writing a blog may be your students first experience of creating public content. You may find it useful to ensure that your students are aware of concept such as managing their digital footprint, creating accessible blogs and content and understanding copyright. The University of Edinburgh have created guides to help your students. Please use the following links and consider placing them on your Learn course to highlight them to students:
More in depth guidance on creating blogs can be found in this document