FAQ

  1. What is WP blog?
  2. Should I use WP blog or Canvas campus pack?
  3. How can I request a blog?
  4. Who can I contact for technical questions
  5. Log in and Access dashboard
  6. How can I change the url?
  7. How can I edit the title or tagline of my blog?
  8. Can I change the theme?
  9. How can I enable/disable comments?
  10. Can I moderate comments before they are seen publically?
  11. How can I delete/disable my blog?
  12. How can I add users to my blog as editors, authors, or contributors?
  13. How can I increase my blog quota?
  14. How can I create and publish a post or page?
  15. How can I insert images or photos in a blog page?
  16. Categories vs Tags. How do I create each one?
  17. How can I migrate my WP blog that is hosted in other place?
  18. How can I create a password protected blog pages?
  19. How can I bulk add users for my class?
  20. How can I customize my theme, title, background, and etc?

 

1.     What is WP blog
UMD Blog is built on WordPress MultiUser platform, a free, open-source package. It is easy to use and is available to all students, faculty, staff for personal journal, departmental information website, or student organization site.

2.     Should I use WP blog or Canvas campus pack?
When trying to choose a blog, start with the goals for the blog.
WordPress blogs are very robust and open to the public for viewing and contributions. The downside is that they are not integrated with a learning management system, such as Canvas, which makes grading a challenge. WordPress blogs are good for organizations, assignments that will span several semesters, and assignments that will benefit from public posts.

Campus Pack blogs are integrated with Canvas so students’ work can easily be tracked and graded. It can be tricky to allow persons outside of the university to view and modify a Campus Pack blog. Campus Pack blogs are useful for term-based course assignments which you would like to keep secure.
Both WordPress blogs and Campus Pack blogs allow you to personalize it with text, images, audio and video .

3.     How can I request a blog?
a.    Go to http://blog.umd.edu
b.    Select “Request a WordPress Blog” from the top navigation bar
c.     Fill out all of the fields
d.    Click the “Request a Blog” button when you are done.
If you have questions call the helpdesk at 301-405-1500 or email learningtools@umd.edu.

4.     Who can I contact for technical questions
You can contact learningtools@umd.edu for technical support.

5.     Log in and Access dashboard
The control panel of your WordPress blog is called a “Dashboard”. From the Dashboard you can change the theme, manage users, view statistics and more. To gain access to the Dashboard:
a.    Go to http://blog.umd.edu/wp-admin
b.    Login to CAS with your UMD directory ID and password.
c.     This brings you to your profile page. In the upper right corner is a “My Sites” link. Click on that link to get a drop-down box with a list of all of the sites that allow you some level of access to the dashboard.
d.    Hover over the site you wish to access for a drop-down list of features to select.
e.    Select “Dashboard”. You will now see the word “Dashboard” on the main page and the navigation bar to the left

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6.     How can I change the url?
You may wish to change the url of your blog at some time. For instance, if you have a blog and the url is blog.umd.edu/engl101project, you may wish to shorten it to blog.umd.edu/engl101. Also, you can change it to http://engl101project.umd.edu, and remove the word “blog” altogether. To make a change to the url, contact us at learningtools@umd.edu.

7.     How can I edit the title or tagline of my blog?
The title is the “name” of the blog, and a tagline is a short description of the purpose of the blog. Here are directions to change the title and tagline:

8.     Can I change the theme?
We have 20 themes available for you to use. You can change a theme at any time, but any setting under Appearance will be reset.  It is recommended that you use “Live Preview” before making any theme changes. If you developed your own theme, you can send to learningtools@umd.edu, we can install it after evaluation.

To change a theme, login and do the following:
a.    Go to the Admin Dashboard
b.    Choose on Appearance
c.     Choose Themes
d.    All of the themes will be displayed. To try a theme for your blog, select “Live Preview”
e.    If this is the theme that you want, click the “Activate” link

9.     How can I enable/disable comments?
Comments can be enabled or disabled at any time. This allows persons viewing your blog the opportunity to leave a note or comment about your post. The steps are different depending on if the post is published or not. More information are here.

10.  Can I moderate comments before they are seen publicly?
Sometimes, you may wish to approve comments before they appear on your blog. This is useful if your topic is controversial. You can screen a commenter the first time they post, or you can approve all comments. More information are here

11.  How can I delete/disable my blog?
Once a blog is deleted, it cannot be retrieved. We encourage you to back-up your blog before deleting it. Please send an email to learningtools@umd.edu for this request.

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12.  How can I add users to my blog as editors, authors, or contributors?
When you request a blog, you are added with the role of “Administrator”. As an administrator, you can add and remove users and assign them the following roles: editor, author, contributor or subscriber. More information are here

Here are the steps to adding, and removing a user
a.    From the Dashboard left navigation, select “Users”
b.    From the drop-down list, select “Blog & User Creator”
c.     To add a user with a UMD directory ID, select “Add Existing Users” from the top tab
d.    Enter the UMD email of a new user for this blog
e.    Assign the user a role from the drop-down list under their email
f.      Repeat until you have added all of the users for the blog, there is a button at the bottom to add more
g.     Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the blue submit button

 

13.  How can I increase my blog quota?
To start, you are allotted 500 mb of blog server space. Images and videos take up a lot of space, so when you add them to your blog, your allotted quota may be used up quickly. To increase the quota for your blog, email learningobjects@umd.edu.

14.  How can I create and publish a post or page?
Blogs are composed of two main structures – pages and posts. Pages are the information that does not change frequently, like an “About” page, Guidelines for Posting and Contact pages. It provides the structure for the blog.
Posts are the main information that you update frequently. In a class, this might be a daily assignment, progress on a project, or weekly experiment results.
Publishing a Page instruction is here
Publishing a Post instruction is here

15.  How can I insert images or photos in a blog page?
There are three ways that an image can be inserted into a blog page: uploaded from your computer, inserted using a url, or using your media library. The media library is a repository within the blog where you can upload images, video, audio and more. It is an easy way link a file to multiple areas within the blog. More information is here

16.  Categories vs Tags. How do I create each one?
Categories are usually used to classify major subjects or to organize the blog. Tags are used to identify keywords throughout a blog. You can use these any way that you want to on your blog. Here are some ideas for how to use categories in your course/project blogs:
·      Categories are defined by students’ names (ex: John Smith, Joy Hardy, etc are each a category) on group project
·      Categories are research interests or topics that student can  be assigned

Here is information on how to add categories and tags to your blog from Edublog:

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17.  How can I migrate my WP blog that is hosted in other place?
If you have a  WordPress blog hosted somewhere else, you can migrate the content to your UMD blog space by the following Edublog instruction.

18.  How can I create a password protected blog pages
By default, anyone can view posts and pages on your blog. This may be a problem if you have content that you don’t want everyone to see, like student essays, photos, or drafts. To restrict who can view the content of your blog, you can create a password for posts and pages. There is no way to password protect the entire blog. Here are the steps

19.  How can I bulk add users for my class
To bulk add users (such as a course roster) email learningonline@umd.edu.

20.  How can I customize my theme, title, background, and etc?
Limited elements of a theme can be customized, such as background, header image (such as a banner or logo), theme colors, title, landing page and tagline.  You can also choose the landing page. Themes can be easily customized from the Dashboard. Remember to use “Live Preview” before you “Activate” the changes. More information is here