This page gives you step by step instructions for employing, within Moodle, both OU (Open University) blogs and user blogs.
A user blog is automatically set up as part of a Moodle 2 user’s profile; it is user-specific, not course-specific. You can also create user blogs or a course blog as an activity within a course.
When to use
Use blogs to prompt discussion and/or reflection among your students. Give students clear guidelines on what is expected of them, and choose a level of privacy that is appropriate to your specific blogging exercise.
To help you decide whether to use a blog, a wiki or a discussion forum, visit the page Blog, wiki or forum—which should you use?
You can use the OU blog facility to create user blogs (one for each individual user) and course blogs (shared by all students in a course, or in a group). These offer the following advantages:
- Comments can be turned off for a particular blog or post, but otherwise people can leave comments in both user and course blogs. Instructors can edit or delete posts and delete comments, but deleted or previous text remains available to administrator users.
- Several access control levels are available for blogging: private (user only), course members, logged-in users or worldwide.
- Blog-specific tags can be added, which are not connected to the Moodle tag system. Click on a tag to see all posts in the current blog with that tag. Full text search of blog posts is also possible.
- Students can change the name of their blog, and personalise it with a description.
- RSS and Atom feeds can be enabled.
- If you wish, you can make both student user blogs and OU blogs assessable, by manually creating a grade item in the Gradebook.
- You can use individual OU blogs, accessible only by the individual student and the instructor, to encourage student reflection.
Step by step instructions
- Create an OU blog
- Add an OU blog entry
- Add or delete an OU blog comment
- View and grade participation in a blog
- Add a user blog entry
To create a course-specific Open University blog:
- On the course home page, click Turn editing on , then click Add an activity or resource, select OU blog from the pop-up list and click Add.
- On the Adding a new OU blog page, enter a Blog name, and a Summary if required. The summary is a good place to describe the blog requirements.
- Choose whether to Allow comments, and from whom.
- Choose whether you will use Individual blogs in this case, e.g. select Separate individual blogs if you want a student to only be able to view or post to their own blog. (Click the Help icon for further information).
- If applicable, choose the level of Maximum visibility for this blog (click the Help icon for further information).
- Select whether you wish to Show intro when posting.
- Select the Maximum attachment size and Maximum number of attachments to this blog.
- Select whether you wish to Show blog usage statistics.
- Choose an Alternate activity name if desired. This will replace the default name 'blog'.
- Choose whether you wish to allow users to import blog posts from other blogs by checking/unchecking Enable post import.
In the Tags field type in any predefined tags you wish students to have access to. This will be helpful to give students a starting set of tags rather than creating their own. If you wish students to only use the tags defined by you here, check the Allow 'Set' tags only.
- Under Grade, select whether this blog will be marked by instructor or by ratings. If graded select what type of grade (scale or points), and which category of the Gradebook it should belong to.
- Under Common module settings, decide whether you will make the blog Visible, and whether you will use Group mode for this blog. This is sensible if the blog is part of a group project. Select Visible groups if you want students to be able to see other groups' blogs, or Separate groups if they are only allowed to see their own blog.
- Complete the remaining sections of the page as necessary and click Save and display.
To add an entry to an OU blog:
- On the course home page, click the blog name.
- On the blog home page, click New blog post.
- On the New blog post page:
- Enter a Title if necessary.
- Type your Message, and add any necessary Tags. (Tags apply only within the blog. Click a tag to see all posts in the current blog with that tag.)
- Choose whether you will Allow comments on this entry.
- Add any necessary Attachments.
- Click Add blog post.
- The new post displays on the main blog page, where you can Edit or Delete it if you wish.
Once you have added a comment to an OU blog post, you cannot edit it; you can only delete it. You can delete your own comments from any OU blog post, and the author of a blog post can delete any comments added to it.
To add a comment to an OU blog post:
- On the blog home page, for the relevant post, click Add your comment.
- On the New blog comment page:
- Enter a Title—this is optional.
- Type your comment in the Message box.
- Click Add comment. The new comment displays on a page with the relevant post, under the heading Comments. Use the breadcrumbs to navigate to other blog posts.
- On the blog home page, for the relevant post, click [number of comments] comments. The post and all its comments display.
- For the relevant comment, click Delete.
- In the confirmation page, click Continue. The post displays with all its comments. The comment you deleted displays with the message "Deleted by [you], [day, date, time]"'. This message is only visible to you, and to the system administrator, not to other users.
To view students' participation in a blog:
- On the course home page, click the blog's link.
- On the blog's home page, click Participation by user.
- On the User participation page, a table displays listing the number of Posts and Comments for each user. Click Details beside the user's name to view all the user's posts and comments.
- To award a grade to the user for their participation click the User grade tab, select the grade from the Grades drop-down list in their row and click Save Changes. This grade will be transferred to the Gradebook.
Your Moodle user blog, connected to your user profile, is visible to all other users of UNSW Moodle—you can’t keep your posts private to a particular course or group of people. To add an entry to your user blog:
- In the menu bar, click the dropdown where your name appears.
- Under Miscellaneous, click Blog entries followed by Add a new entry.
- On the Add a new entry page:
- Type an Entry title.
- Enter text in the Blog entry body text editor. If you are copying text from Microsoft Word, use one of the methods described on this page.
- Add any necessary attachments.
- Select or add Tags as necessary.
- Click Save changes.
If you experience technical or other issues, consult the Where to get help page.