Setting Up Course Blogging in eClass

Article Last Updated June 2021

There are two major kinds of blogs in eClass: blogs that can be added to course pages, and personal blogs that are external to eClass but are included in a course via the HTML editor. These blogs are generally available to all users at the U of A (or the broader internet). This page explains how instructors can setup blogs that are contained within a specific course, using both the built-in Forum blog tool and the inclusion of external blog feeds.

Built in blogging features in eClass

The most common blogging feature used in an eClass course is the blog forum. A blog forum functions like a standard forum; the difference is that the blog forum displays the user's first post as the main entry and nests all the replies underneath. The posts are also displayed in reverse chronological order -- that is, with the most recent entries at the top.

To create a blog forum:

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Choose a content section to add the blog to and dropdown 'Add an activity…'.
  3. Choose Forum.
  4. Complete at least the Required fields.
  5. In 'Forum type', choose 'Standard forum displayed in a blog-like format'.
  6. Configure other forum options if so desired.
  7. Click Save and Display.

To post to the blog forum:

  1. Click Add a new topic.
  2. To post, click Post to forum.

Students have 30 minutes to edit the post.

Instructors can edit posts any time.

External blogging tools

If you want to set up a separate blog for each student, there are several useful blogging tools that can be linked externally within eClass. One example is using Google Apps via the University of Alberta account. By default, each student with a UAlberta email has access to a (Google) Blogger account. Blogger’s URL is: https://www.blogger.com/

Other popular blogging tools include:

Weebly

Wordpress

Tumblr

Blogger

Once an external blog has been created, you can link them within eClass using one of the following options:

Option A: Adding a page with blog links

  1. Add activity or resource.
  2. Under Resources, choose Page.
  3. Enter some text and highlight it.
  4. Click on the Insert/Add Link icon.

  5. Paste the blog’s URL where specified. You can specify to have the link open in a new window if desired.



Option B: Adding a block with blog links

  1. Turn editing on.
  2. Add a block to your course and choose HTML and a new HTML block will appear
  3. Configure the block by clicking on the gear icon and choose the 'Configure (new HTML block) block'.
  4. Configure the block where needed.
  5. Add the Blog links using the same procedure from Option A (Step 3-5). (There may be slight visual differences.)
  6. Save changes when complete.
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