Hello TWP15!

I’m part of a team designing and facilitating an open online course called “Teaching with Word Press,” which will be held in June 2015. You can see our developing site, complete with what we’ve come up with so far for modules, here: https://blogs.ubc.ca/teachwordpress/

And our twitter hashtag is #TWP15 (thus the title of this post!).

It’s still very much a work in progress, and we welcome comments, suggestions–just make comments on the pages/posts! Specifically, we’d love to have comments on our draft syllabus (and maybe we should call it something else, like “schedule”). You can comment on each of the three modules linked there as well.

A little about me and Word Press

I’ve been using Word Press for many years for this blog, but only recently started using it for my courses. Right now I manage sites for my on-campus courses, including the following:

Philosophy 102, Introduction to Philosophy (soon to be updated for Summer 2015)

Philosophy 230, Introduction to Moral Theory (last taught Fall 2014)

Philosophy 449, Continental Philosophy (last taught Spring 2014)

Arts One seminar (a group of 20 students)

Arts One Open (a site where we publish video recordings of lectures, podcasts, blog posts by students and profs, and more)

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On the Arts One sites, students and professors make blog posts on their own blog sites and we aggregate them to the main site. On the Philosophy course sites, I’ve just asked students to do posts on the main course site, rather than creating their own blogs (mostly because Arts One is a year-long course, so it makes more sense to ask them to o through the work of creating their own site!).

For all of the sites, I post most of my course materials publicly on the site, and the sites have a general site-wide license (excepting student posts) of CC BY.

On my Arts One seminar site, I’ve been working with some developers here at UBC to create a system where students can submit essays through Gravity Forms, and have those essays only be accessible to me and the members of their small groups. The small group members can then comment on the essays on the site.

What I’d like to learn how to do

I really want to start incorporating online quizzes, or comprehension checks–whether for marks or just for formative purposes. I have worked with Gravity Forms only a little bit, and would like to learn more.

Some people at UBC have been experimenting with Learning Wrappers around videos, such as can be seen on the UBC Digital Tatoo site, here. Below the video on that link, there are sections for “think,” “explore,” and “discuss,” which take you to places where you can answer questions, find more resources, and engage in discussion. That site is run on Word Press too, so this sort of thing is possible!

I’d also like to learn how to optimize the organization of materials on my sites. I think I could improve that, and I’d love to hear from participants how to do so.


One of my favourite things about facilitating courses like this is actually participating alongside others, and learning from them. I’m looking forward to that!