Creating Blogs in Your Course
A blog is a website where individuals make entries that are posted in reverse chronological order. The entries usually provide commentary, reflection, or news on a specific topic. It is possible to have group or individual blogs.
In a course site, a blog can provide a forum for students to reflect on course-related content, projects, and ideas. Using blogs in your course sites can:
- Engage students in reflective writing
- Facilitate learning via peer review and feedback
- Encourage critical thinking and creativity
The Blog tool in myWPI provides several options for configuring and using blogs in your course.
- Blogs can be placed directly into content areas of the course in order to relate them to specific content in the course. For example, you might add a blog to a topical folder within the
Course Materials section of your course. Blogs can also be placed in more generic areas of your course to encourage reflection across topics. There are two main types of blogs available:
- Individual Blog - a blog that is owned by one student but that is visible to others.
- Group Blog - a collaborative writing space where multiple people can post entries.
- A default Central Course Blog is available as a tool in the Tools area of your course. This can be used as a generic blog for the course, not related to specific content. By default, only the instructor can edit and create pages, but the Central Course Blog can be reconfigured to allow students to edit and create pages.
Creating a Blog
- Go to the folder or content area you want to add a blog to, such as Course Materials.
- Click Edit View in the upper right corner of the page.
- From the dropdown menu at the far right of the toolbar, select Blog and click Go.
- In the Blog Information section, enter a name for the blog in the Blog Name field and enter a Description.
- If you want to make the blog available to students, select Yes for Make the blog available.
- Select either Group Blog or Private Journal, depending on the type of blog you want to create.
- Select how you want users to be referenced in the blog. The default setting is by Person Name.
- In the Member Settings section, select the participants in the blog. You can select one, multiple, or all students. Click on the names of individual members and then click the forward arrow to move them to the right hand column. You can also select a predefined group of students. The individuals you select will be able to author entries in the blog.
The group option for selecting members only appears if groups have previously been defined within the course. See Creating Student Groups for details.
- Select the options for allowing students to delete blog entries and export their blog entries, if appropriate.
- If you want to restrict the time period for editing the blog, select the appropriate options.
- In the Non-Member Settings section, select the appropriate setting for the options that are available.
- Use the Create Grade Center Entry section if the blog will be graded.
- Check off the box for Create a Grade Center entry for this blog.
- In the Entry Name field, enter a name that will appear in the Gradebook.
- At the Category field, select an appropriate category from the dropdown menu.
- In the Points Possible field, enter the number of points that students can earn for the blog assignment.
- If you want students to be able to see their grade on the blog, select Yes for Make grade visible to students?
- Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click OK to add the blog to your course.
Configuring the Central Course Blog
The Central Course Blog is located in the Tools area of the course. This blog tool is not linked to any content areas and can be see by all students in your course. By default, only the instructor can edit and create pages, but the blog can be reconfigured for different options.
- Go to Control Panel > Course Tools > Configure Blog Tool. The Configure Course Blog Tool appears.
- Select the appropriate options for the Central Course Blog and click OK to save your selections.
If you do not see the Configure Blog Tool link in the Control Panel, it may be because you are using a recycled course or an older course that did not have blogs enabled. To enable blogs in your course so you can access the Configure Blog Tool link, go to Control Panel > Manage Tools > Building Block Tool Availability. Click the checkbox for Blog Tool in the Available column and click Submit.
Last modified: Aug 05, 2008, 08:50 EDT