The ETEC522 Course Weblog is the site where most course content, activities and discussions will take place. Once you have logged into the weblog (using the instructions that were emailed to you), you will be able to view all of the material, post new topics and comment or respond to existing posts that have been made by other students or the instructor. Please bookmark the course weblog so that you can easily find it again.
How to use the blog?
Creating a New Post in a weblog is just like seeding a discussion thread: you are publishing content to which other people can respond and comment. To create a new post, place the mouse over New on the top of your screen and select Post in the drop down menu. You can also Add New Post from the Dashboard.
You will be presented with a template that you can fill out to write your post. Start off by giving your post a title: this will be displayed on the weblog page.
Then, use the Post field to type in the body of your posting. You can edit using either the text editor (Visual) or use html (Text) and format your text with colours, links or embed media (images). For videos, you need to paste in the URL of the resource and the link will automatically be embedded in your posting. If you are going to embed a video, you have to already have the video hosted somewhere on the web.
SPECIAL NOTE: ETEC522 is transitioning to a new content streaming system, like Instagram and others applications, whereby the appeal of your post will depend significantly on whatever primary image you publish with the text. Please spend a few moments with every post to select an appropriate image to help capture your audience's imagination regarding its substance. We live in an attention economy - a post without an interest-sparking image may too easily get lost...
When you create a post you will need to assign it to a particular category, otherwise it will won't be found. We have created a list of categories you can click while writing your post that correspond to the topics and weeks of the course. You can link into individual categories on the right-hand menu as well as connect to Global Feeds (Top Menu) including:
- Announcements: Do NOT use this category - it is for your instructor to use to communicate detailed feedback and guidance.
- EVA's Café: Use this category for open discussion related to the entire course, or on topic for any current week.
- Radio 522: Actually, this isn't a category - it is an open feed of all posts and pulses in the course that may be useful to you for synching into the overall flow of the course.
Finally, in the Categories section of the right-hand menu you will see the Archive sections, which give you access to content created during previous versions of the course. For obvious reasons, please don't use the Archive category for any of your posts.
As soon as people start to post in a particular category, that category will appear as a link in the right side column, and you will be able to see any topics and comments that are related to the topic. If you make a mistake when assigning your posting to a particular category, you can go back and edit your post and change its category. To do this, click on "Site Admin" in the drop down menu, look for the "Posts" and then click on Edit. Any posting you have made to the weblog will appear and you will be able to edit the one you want to change. By default, postings that are not assigned to a category are "uncategorized." You don't want to have any posts that are uncategorized - there should be a place for anything you have to say in the course.
You can save a draft of your posting to work on at a later time without actually making it public. Only you are able to edit a posting that you have initiated. When you are ready to make your posting public, navigate to your page using the "Site Admin" link, edit your page and then click on the Publish button on the posting template page. All postings will show up in the left column, dynamically, with the latest topics at the top, but you will also be able to find them either through the Category links on the right-side column, through the tag-cloud or, even, by searching the weblog.
You can write an excerpt of your posting if you want, which will give people a shortened version of what a longer post might be about, but beyond that, you do not need to do anything with the other options that are listed.
To respond to or comment upon a Post you simply need to look for a link at the bottom of the original posting that will either indicate that there are comments or that there are no comments. When you click on that link, you will then see a template that allows you to enter in your own comments. Simply fill in your comments in the provided text field and then submit. Your comment will then be connected to the original posting and will form part of the thread of comments that will grow as others also respond to the original posting. Once you try out commenting a few times, you will quickly get the hang of it. Please also review the detailed instructions in the Participation Guidelines to learn how to add the greatest value in your responses.
We have set up the Eva's Cafe category for you to use to ask any general or content-related questions that might benefit from peer response. You may also email your instructor directly with more specific questions.
Also, if you're not used to WordPress, or even if you are, you'll want to develop a strategy for managing the flow of this course. There will be a lot of posts, replies, reviews, etc, and it will be easy to get overwhelmed and lost without a strategy. Check out RADIO522 (under the "Global Feeds" menu selection) for a daily breakout of new posts & reviews. You'll also find a feed for instructor Announcements and an open discussion stream (EVA's Café) for Q&A and diverse topics under Global Feeds. Hopefully you'll find the layout of the course landing page useful as a dashboard.
You may also wish to consider an offline RSS reader, a web browser RSS plugin, or an app for iPad or Android to help you manage your reading of both course content and colleague interactions. If you wish to use an RSS reader, configure it with the course URL: https://virtual.educ.ubc.ca/wp/etec522/
You will be assigned either author or editor role in the UBC Content Management System (CMS), which will enable you to add, edit or delete posts. Support on using the UBC CMS can be found at: http://support.cms.ubc.ca/
Contacting I.T. Services
Each time you log on to your course, you will have to enter your Campus Wide Login ID (CWL) and your password. If you lose or forget your ID or password, contact the IT Help Desk: http://www.it.ubc.ca/contact/helpdesk.html
If you experience technical difficulties with this UBC WordPress blog, please contact UBC Blog Support.