Facilitate creative thought and discussion through this world-leading blogging and website building platform
WordPress is a free online blogging and content management system (CMS). It is one of the most powerful yet easy-to-use website creation tool available for anyone without programming knowledge. UBC’s hosted instance of WordPress is available at UBC Blogs to all faculty and students. Choose from over 30+ themes and add content using its simple user-friendly text editor.
How does WordPress Work?
Choose a theme.
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!
How Are UBC Arts Instructors Using WordPress?
Laurie McNeill from English and Arts Studies uses scholarly blogs
"Learning to blog at the same time that students are learning academic writing also reinforces the idea that...
Aim Sinpeng in Political Science uses blogs for online engagement
"Blogging is a great way to increase student interaction with the class materials as well as current events."
Christina Hendricks in Philosophy uses blogs as a course site to share student work
"The work students do in my courses can also be very valuable to others who want to learn...
- Hosted with UBC, so it’s already installed and ready to use. All you need is a CWL to login and create an account, for free!
- Easy to use and does not require any programming knowledge.
- Already includes many built-in plugins available for use.
- Choose from over 30+ theme options available through UBC Blogs.
- Easy to invite and manage users.
- Easy to add Google Analytics to track usage statistics.
- Design and function modifications beyond what is available in the theme options typically requires some knowledge of HTML, CSS and/or PHP.
- Although the UBC Blogs has plenty of plugins available, requesting for additional ones requires them to go through an evaluation process. See plugin evaluation criteria page.
- The URL for websites created through UBC Blogs must prepend with “blogs.ubc.ca/”.
- Each user is allotted a limited amount of file upload space, so it’s recommended that large files be hosted on external platforms that you can integrate with UBC Blogs (Example: YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos, etc.).
- Embed content from UBC Wiki and see changes reflect on your site.
- Easily embed feeds from the UBC Events calendar.
Quizzes, Surveys, Assignments
Now you have the ability to create self-tests, receive assignment submissions, and gain valuable information by conducting surveys of your students.
Add Google Analytics to give an insights how visitors use your website which can help you analyze and learn from your data.
Allow learners to earn digital badges so they can get recognized for their skills and achievements.
Ideas for Using WordPress
- Flipping the Classroom: WordPress is a great CMS that can be used to organize and present online materials for a flipped approach. Instead of just uploading content online, assign out-of-class activities to students to free class time for more interactive learning. For example, employ effective pre-recorded videos as homework and encourage students to ask questions in class.
- Peer Collaboration: WordPress allows for discussion creating opportunities for collaboration. It creates an arena where the sharing of ideas and communication is encouraged making it possible for learners not only to work together but also to learn from one another.
- Self Assessments: WordPress has the ability to integrate self-assessments such as quizzes with instant feedback as results. This form of self-assessment approach allows students to study, reflect, evaluate and revise promoting one’s own learning.
Tips for using WordPress
- You may need to clear your cache in WordPress from time to time if you do not see the changes being updated onto your page.
- Unlike organizing files within folders, WordPress’ Media Library does not have this capability. Name your files to include keywords including their file type extensions such as IMG and PDF to make searching easier.
- When uploading an image, be sure to enter some text for the title and alternate text tag so readers using an assistive device will know what they are.
- Copying and pasting from websites and rich text editor programs such as Microsoft Word is discouraged as they may import “junk code” along with the content, causing things to malfunction or not display properly.
- Time for Training and Content Development: Time and technical training is required to learn the system, as student satisfaction is tied to a smooth process (particularly when marks are involved). Although there is upfront time commitment, this won’t be required for subsequent terms and students will continue to enjoy the benefits.
- Instructor Workload to monitor discussion: It can be time consuming in large classes to monitor all of the student comments. If there are TA’s, a good workflow is for them to monitor questions and comments and then flag for the instructor any items that need to be addressed.
- Student attitude and motivation: Using another tool other than Canvas may create some resistance from students having to learn a new technology. Make sure to communicate clearly to students the benefits of using this platform and define what the expectations are surrounding its use.
To login to UBC Blogs or CMS you will need your CWL. If you do not have a CWL, you can create one here.
If you already have a CWL, you can login to UBC Blogs here. Once you are logged in you can create a UBC Blogs site from the main page.
To login to CMS, click here.
To request a CMS site, click here.
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