Q. How do I set up a Class Blog in Edublogs, so that I can mark students' Blogs?
The Class blog feature is very useful for managing your students use of Edublog sites:
- To allow students to log in and contribute to a shared Class blog
- To ask students to create their own blogs and 'Join a Class', so that you can access their blogs, for example to give support or feedback
- To link students’ sites to the tutor's 'Class blog’ - providing the option to manually lock all the students’ work at the deadline.
Setting up a Class blog is a three-step process:
First you must create a Site in Edublogs, then make it a Class blog, and finally the students must create their own Student blog and Join (it to the) Class blog.
The last step can be confusing for students so we recommend you do this in class and present your Blog address to the students either onscreen or via the VLE (or both). Please follow the steps below to set up your Class blog, if you have any further questions please contact your Learning Technologist.
A. Create a site in Edublogs
Log into the university's blogging platform 'Edublogs': my.pad.northampton.ac.uk
- Create a new site, for which the name should be all in lower case, without spaces, and should include: module, class, and year (e.g. EDUM129, class, 2019-20 would be edum129class1920)
- Tick 'Only registered users can access this site', then scroll down to click 'Create'.
- Under the message 'The site for Class blog xxx is yours' click the link to go to your new site - this will be the class blog.
B. Make the site a Class blog, for assessment of students' individual blogs
- In the Dashboard of your new site, click: My Class > Create a Class
- This is a class blog - tick
- Allow Students To Post On The Class Blog - no
- Moderation on Student Blogs - do not tick either box
- For 'Privacy' tick Only registered users of MyPAD network can view this site.
- For 'Reader' untick Allow all students in this class to read each other's posts in the dashboard 'Reader' tool.
- Allow all student permissions (i.e. leave all ticked)
- Default Blog template - None.
You have now created the Class Blog, and can set it up with posts, pages, widgets, menus, theme etc, as required. You may wish to set up the Class site as a Exemplar site for your students. If you would like your students to be able to set up their individual sites from a Template, please contact LearnTech.
(Note to LearnTech - see Knowledge Base 190988)
C. Students create their individual blog, then join it to the Class Blog
Students must create their own individual blog for assessment, and Join (it to) the Class Blog, so that you can access and mark it. (You may wish to set up a 'template' site for your students to use).
- In the Dashboard of their site, the student will need to click 'My Class' > 'Join a Class'
- Then Search for the url of your Class Blog e.g. edum129class1819 - then click on it to Send Request to Join Class
- In the Dashboard of the Class Blog, you need to Approve requests to join the class blog. (The student will receive an email notification when you approve their Blog to join the Class blog).
How to manage student blogs attached to a Class Blog
- Viewing student blogs: You will be able to access all student blogs attached to the Class, by clicking My Class. The dashboard view of Student Blogs will also enable you to see at a glance how many posts/pages a student has created
- Locking student blogs: You will also be able to lock all student blogs attached to the Class, for example at assessment deadline. To lock all student blogs at once, go to the Class Blog, Dashboard, My Class, Settings. Under Student Permissions, UNTICK each, and Save. (Student blogs cannot be locked/unlocked individually).
- Marking student blogs: You can leave feedback on the student blog itself, and you will also need to set up a grade centre column in NILE to give the grade (set Points possible to 100, and in Options set Show this Column to Students to No.
- For Resits (where you want to keep the first submission of the Blog in its original form), please ask LearnTech to clone the student's first site, to rename the clone to include 'Resit' in the title, and send you the url. If you have several resits, it would be worth creating a new class blog to attach the resits to. You would not use the original Class Blog, as this is now set to lock students from updating their blogs.
For further support and guidance, please:
- Sign up for the LearnTech training session 'Building blogs, websites and online portfolios with Edublogs'
- Look at the User Guides provided by Edublogs
- Enrol on the NILE online self-study Enhancements course, which offers helpful guidance and case studies on using Blogs
- Contact your dedicated Learning Technologist