OU Blog

The blog activity module allows for creation of blogs within a course (these are separate to the core Moodle blog system). You can have course-wide blogs (everyone in the course posts to the same blog), group blogs, or individual blogs.

Getting Started


Adding / Editing a Blog

  1. Select Turn editing on.
  2. Click on the Add an activity or resource link.
    Add Activity or Resource Menu
  3. Choose the OU Blog tool.
  4. Click the Expand all link to view all settings
  5. expand

  6. Under the General section, type the OU Blog name (required) and Intro into the text boxes.
  7. Select any settings that you would like your blog to have.

  8. Options

    • Allow comments (if chosen for post) determines who can comment on the blog.
      • Yes from loged-in users allows comments from users who have access to the post
      • Yes from everybody allows comments from users and from the general public.
      • Comments not allowed prevents anyone from making a comment on a post
    • Individual Blogs determines if the blog is separate or in groups.
      • No (blog together or in group): Individual blogs are not used. Everyone is part of a bigger community depending on group settings.
      • Separate individual blogs: Individual blogs are used privately. Individual users can only post to and see their own blogs.
      • Visible individual blogs: Individual blogs are used publically. Individual users can only post to their own blogs, but they can view other individual blog posts.
    • Maximum attachment size: determines the largest size of file that can be attached to a blog post.
    • Maximum number of attachments: determines the maximum number of files that can be attached to a post.
    • Show blog usage extra statistics displays a Blog usage block for visible individual and visible group blogs only.

    Blog Usage Block

    • Group mode (under the Common module settings section) can allows students in a group to submit their files and blog entries into one area. After the group is created, you can choose the name of the group from the list.
      caution icon

      Warnings about groups...

      WARNING: Wait to create groups until the Add / Drop period is over... then DELETE those students from your course.

      Once a student has been added into a group and they have participated in a group blog, you cannot change their group association. Changing which group the student is in WILL break the blog page and it will no longer be viewable to you or the student.

      • No Groups: There are no sub-groups, everyone is part of one big community.
      • Separate Groups: Each group member can only see their own group, others are invisible
      • Visible Groups: Each group member works in their own group, but can also see other groups.
      • Restrict access allows the instructor to set a condition on the assignment until other assignment(s) are completedAdd restrict access imageAdd restrict access menu image
        • Date: Access can be restricted from or until a certain date and time.
          Note: ALL dates must be changed when copying courses. [We recommend that you do not use the DATE option in Restrict access. Dates can be set above within the Availability.]
        • Grade: determines grade conditions which must be met in order to access the activity.
          Note: Multiple grade conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only allow access when ALL grade conditions are met.
        • Group: If groups are used in the course, it is possible to restrict the activity to a certain group.
        • User Profile determines access based on fields within the student's profile, such as department or email.
        • Restriction Set allows you to set nested restrictions (of those listed above).
    • Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.
  9. Choose either Save and return to course or Save and display.


Adding / Editing a New Blog Post

Within a blog, you can separate content into different posts.

  1. Click on the OU Blog activity.
  2. Click on New Blog Post

    Create page button
  3. Give your post a title
  4. In the Message text box, put in any content you desire. Apply necessary Tags and Attachments and click Add Post.
  5. To Edit a post, click the Edit button at the bottom of the post.
  6. Edit Post
  7. To delete a post, the poster or instructor can click the Delete button located at the bottom of each post next to the Edit button.

Comments

After a post has been added to the blog, users can leave comments on the post.

  1. Click on the OU Blog activity.
  2. Click on the Add your comment button at the bottom of a post
  3. Add your comment button

  4. Type in a title for your comment in the Title text box and then the content of your comment in the Add your comment text box.
  5. Click Add comment when you are finished.
  6. To view the comment after it has been posted, click on the comment area of the post
  7. View Comments


Participation by User

User participation in the blog can be viewed including number of posts and comments each participant has added.

  1. Click on the OU Blog activity.
  2. Click on the Participation by user button at the top of the page.
    Wiki Changes Button
  3. You should see a list of all users and the number of posts and comments that each has submitted. If you have enabled grading for the blog, this is also where the instructor can enter grades for each student.
  4. Note: You can view the posts and comments that have been added by clicking on Details next to any user who has posted or commented.

    Wiki Changes Tabs


Downloading User Participation

The Participation by user table can be downloaded to an Excel file for easier viewing and grading.

  1. Click on the OU Blog activity.
  2. Click on the Participation by user button at the top of the page.
    Wiki Changes Button
  3. At the top of the page, there is a Download table data as pull-down menu. Choose Comma separated values text file, and then click Download.
  4. Download table data

Additional Features


Blog Permissions

The Blog permissions are established by the PolyLearn System Administrator. The permissions are given to the various roles in order to grant the ability to perform actions within the activity. The instructor can view these permissions with these steps:

  1. Click on the existing Blog activity.
  2. In the Administration block, click the Permissions to view all possible capabilities pertaining to the blog, and which roles have access to each capability. Alternatively, click the Check permissions button to specifically view a list of all enrolled individuals in the course.
  3. OU Wiki Settings Block

  4. In Check permissions, click on the user's name to check and then click Show this user's permissions.
    Note: Type the user's name into the search box in order to refine the display and more easily locate the intended user.
  5. This page lists all of the various actions that are capable within the activity. The list will tell whether or not the user is capable of each action.


Blog Grades

The OU Blog automatically appears in the gradebook when grades are enabled in Edit Settings for the blog.

  1. To edit the maximum grade value for the blog, Go to Edit Settings in the Administration block.
  2. Edit Settings

  3. In the Grade category you can choose a value from the Grade pull down menu
  4. Grade Setting

  5. To give your students grades: while viewing the blog, click on Participation by user button at the top of the page.
  6. Participation by user

  7. For each student, the number of posts and comments are shown as well as a pull down menu to select a grade

    Wiki Grades Page

  8. Make sure to click Save grades when you are finished.

View Posts from Other Users

If the blog has been set to Visible individual blogs or Separate individual blogs, the instructor will be able to view individual student blogs using a pull-down menu. If the blog has been set to Visible individual blogs, students will also be able to view each others blogs.

  1.  Click on the OU Blog activity.
  2. From the pull-down menu at the top of the page, select the user you would like to view.
  3. Note: You can choose to view all users instead of individuals as well.

    Visible individualsView Separate Individuals

    Note: Only users who have already posted will show up in the pull-down menu.