Earlier this month, Dr Lisa Bernasek, Academic Coordinator for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies approached us with a request for assistance. Like many academics who recognise the benefits blogging in support of learning, Lisa had included a blog post writing requirement as part of her new The Arab World (in and) Beyond the Headlines module. She asked students to contribute posts outlining their reflections on developments in the Arab world to the modules’ blog site, the aim being to help them organise their thoughts on the topic, give feedback (both student to student and student to tutor), and to keep a record of their progress. The problem was most of her 60 students had no experience of using blogging applications and only a few had used WordPress (the University’s blogging app of choice).
As WordPress is widely used it’s very likely that students will come into contact with it, and use it, in their future employment. In fact I re-built my own business web site using WordPress earlier this year and regularly use it to blog about my work.
To help her students get started I worked with Lisa to devise a 30 minute introduction to WordPress and produced an online resource to provide post-workshop support. I ran 3 workshop sessions in computer rooms at the Avenue campus during the third week of the module. The workshops covered:
- logging in,
- writing your first post,
- using categories and tags,
- a brief overview of the law and copyright, and
- an introduction to embedding media within posts.
Feedback from the workshops was good, and we expect to run similar sessions with the next cohort taking this module.
If you need assistance getting started with WordPress, or using other digital and social media, please get in touch.