What is WordPress and what does it offer instructors and students?
WordPress is a tool used to create interactive websites that contain blogs, information pages, and apps. Classroom sites can range from a simple site with just one page of information, to a site with a blog, information about a course and assignments, connections to social media, and feedback forms for comments or data collection or surveys. So, what is the difference between a classroom website and a class blog?
A classroom website is a collection of static content pages containing information that does not change frequently. On a website, the content is not shared chronologically but rather organized by topic or type of service. Some examples of this might be sites used to distribute course materials, or sites used for signing up for projects.
A class blog is a series of “posts” containing ideas, viewpoints, and/or thoughts. A blog is structured in chronological order with the most recent content first, followed by previous posts. Blogs also allow for comments which encourages conversation around the topic. Blogs are ideal for instructors and students wanting to share content and engage in written discussion. Blogs provide an avenue for reflective thinking that might otherwise not take place in the classroom.
Who is eligible for creating a WordPress site?
If you are an instructor at UM who is either part of an LSA department, or teaching a course listed within LSA, you are eligible to have a wordpress.org site set up on lsa.umich.edu servers. Anyone is eligible to create a wordpress.com site. If you would like to request a wordpress site for use in an LSA course or training program, contact the ISS Learning Technologies and Consulting Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. One of our instructional consultants would be happy to discuss your teaching objectives and how to best incorporate a class website or blog.
What are some examples of classroom activites and assignments?
- Respond to readings
- Maintain a writer’s notebook or journal
- Post reflective, exploratory, or open entries about learning experiences
- Share student-generated research or links related to class content
- Practice writing skills such as developing voice, considering tone, drafting, peer review, etc.
- Create a showcase for final projects
- Craft an online image or presence
- Communicate announcements, share content and assignments
- Share instructor-generated exercises or prompts
- Build community within your class
- Create a public place where student work can be “published”
What additional resources are available through LSA Instructional Support Services?
The ISS Learning Technologies and Consulting Group has put together a comprehensive guide for using LSA Instructors interested in using WordPress. This guide is available on the ISS WordPress Resource page. ISS-LTC consultants are also available to schedule one-on-one consultations to discuss needs, ideas, and questions revolving around WordPress. If you would like to schedule a consultation, please email email@example.com or call the ISS-LTC office at 734-615-0099.