WordPress is an online, open source engaging communication tool. Deakin chose WordPress as the preferred blogging platform to be used as an engaging pedagogy tool. Currently WordPress is used in few Undergrad and Postgrad units for students’ assessments. Apart from using WordPress as a blog types it can also be used to evidencing and demonstrating professional capabilities, enhance learning activities, ePortfolios etc. Word Press provides ease of use, accessibility, sharing, privacy and security, embedding content, template based and can be personalised.
The WordPress will only release to units based on request. Staff and Students can use WordPress from particular unit’s CloudDeakin page; once it has been setup. No separate log-in details required. Unit chair can select blog type from three options unit blogs, student blogs and group blogs.
Site per unit: Students contribute to an overall blog for their unit of study. Students are assessed based on their participation. All enrolled students in particular unit are able to view and leave comments on all published blogs. However, only author of the blog and unit chair have authority to edit any content of the blog.
Site per student: Students maintain an individual blog and submit it for assessment in context of a unit of study. The submitted blog is only visible to the author and unit chair. Other enrolled students are not able to view, edit or leave comments on the blog.
Site per group: Students contribute to blogs created for sub-groups within a unit of study. Students are assessed based on their group participation. Only members of the particular group and unit chair are able to view the blog.
Please Note: Student blog accounts are created once a student logs into their unit for the first time. Until they have logged in (and clicked on the blog link), their names will not appear in the class list.
Education hub has a sleek, modern look with a great deal of versatility these days. Incorporating blogging in teaching can encourage and promote digital literacy, collaboration, engagement, active learning, participation, peer and self-assessment, critical thinking, writing skills, social interaction and interactivity. Currently units such as MPK732, MBA720, MPF745, MPF765 and MAA310 are using WordPress to facility students’ assessment tasks.
Features and Functionalities of WordPress
WordPress mainly features below tabs to assist its users:
Posts: Post is a single folio where in different users can post on different aspects or topics. To locate/find the topic/blog most efficiently by readers; post can be tagged and categorised under relevant headings.
Media: Media is used as a repository to store videos, audios, photos and documents. These can later be embedded in posts and pages as required.
Links: Facilitates adding and organising your website/blog URL to websites.
Pages: Pages are sheets which are static and do not change. Eg: Home, About us, Contact us etc.
Comments: This allows readers to post comments to the blog/content they read. This feature also has additional control functionality for administrator. Administrator can choose out of two options: Whether comments made are immediately visible or requires approver from administrator before they appear on any post.
Appearance: This feature lets the administrator control how the website airs with help of following sub-functions:
Themes: Look of the website can be changed; without any alteration to the content.
Widgets: Different features/functionalities can be dragged and dropped into site’s sidebar.
Menus: The navigation and link structure of the site or blog can be controlled. There can be
different menu bars like main menu, bottom menu, left side menu, right side menu etc.
Background: A custom background can be installed for your site.
Editor: PHP code of the site can be manually edited/updated. (Not required for Deakin’s use)
Plugins: Addition features that can be added to website like google plugin, clock plugin etc. There are heaps of customised plugins available which can used according to our needs.
Users: Permissions and rights can be controlled by allowing different users different access as per requirement like admin, publisher, guest blogger etc.
Tools: Varieties of tools are available that can be used for website or blog.
Settings: Manually control the website and plugins settings from this zone including but not limited to page title, descriptions, permissions, permalink structures etc.
Please refer to http://teachassist.deakin.edu.au/clouddeakin-guides/blogging-tool-clouddeakin/
for detailed information on:
How to create a blog in your unit site?
How do I set up a WordPress assignment folder?
How to access student’s blog assignments in WordPress?
How do students submit their assignments?