Category Archives: Announcements

Welcome to week 4!

This is our last official week of Teaching with WordPress (though see the end of this post–we don’t think of the course as fully “ending”). It’s been a quick four weeks!

Week 4 activities

If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at the learning activities for weeks 3 and 4, including the activity support notes on the same page, and consider doing one or two of these this week. Or, write a blog post about anything that is on your mind at the moment related to teaching with WordPress.

Two things we would really love to see, if you have the time and inclination:

  1. Please contribute to our Assignment Bank! This is a collection of assignments you might give to students (or have already given) that use WordPress in some way. We’re hoping to build up a bank of numerous kinds of assignments that can serve as inspiration for anyone coming to the TWP site this week or later.
  2. Please consider sharing your “Word in Progress,” something you’re working on for which you’d like feedback. You can of course just do that through the blog hub (which some are already doing), or you can contribute to the WIP section of the site, here.

We also invite you to tweet a question to #TWP15, something you’d like to hear others’ views about. Tweet using #quest and #TWP15.

If you feel so inclined, you could make a video or screen cast talking about how and why you use WordPress for teaching and learning, as two of our participants have done:  Jim Luke: and John Johnston:

TWP15 Wrap-up event

We will also have a final synchronous meeting this week, during which we’ll ask you to share what you’ve been working on, ask for feedback, learn what others are doing, etc. It is scheduled for Friday, June 26, 12pm Pacific/3pm Eastern/19:00 UTC. It will be on Google Hangouts, and broadcast live on YouTube for those who just want to watch but not be in the hangout. It will also be recorded. Please see here for more information and to RSVP.

Not the end…

Though this is our last week of the “course” called Teaching with WordPress, we don’t think of this as the end–part of our idea with this course was to connect people who are using WordPress in teaching and learning so that we can continue to learn from each other. So though this is our last “official” week, we hope you will continue to connect with others from the course, add resources to the resource collection, and add assignments to the assignment bank. We hope the TWP site will continue to be a resource for many who are interested in teaching with WordPress, and we’d love it if you could add things to it now and then!

Week 3: Summary

This week we all rolled up our sleeves and delved deeper into the WordPress platform, and at the same time looked more into cohesive course design with WordPress. One of the high points of the week was a Google Hangout, WordPress drop-in with UBC WordPress developer Richard Tape.

  • Richard Tape answered our WordPress questions and reflected afterwards that “people *always* find a way to do something like they want to do in WordPress” View Archive (Please ignore the first 8 minutes).
  • John Johnston blogged about why RSS provide an answer that plugins failed to solve.
  • Jim Luke shared a great video reflection about his journey teaching with WordPress in Economics 
  • Reflections were shared about privacy, and open teaching including a discussion of a Domains of One Own and for some why private interactions were important.
  • Cindy Underhill live tweeted from #STLH2015 and the #TWP15 team shared their experiences at the conference and had a chance to meet some of the network.

Week 3: Course Design in WordPress

We are coming to the end of Week 2 in Teaching in WordPress and looking foreword to another exciting week learning from the ever expanding #TWP15 community.

Last week we dug a little deeper and started  exploring some of the affordances of WordPress in teaching and learning. This week we will start putting it all together and thinking about cohesive course design and more advanced functionality in WordPress

This week we will have a virtual drop-in clinic. On June 18th 1:00 noon – 2:00 pm (PST) join UBC’s Richard Tape, WordPress developer and all around good guy, for a virtual “support clinic” on Google Hangout. Ask your questions about plug-ins, approaches and general functionality for WordPress features that are commonly used for teaching and learning. RSVP to join the discussion using the event page on Google. We’ll take it from there. On the specified date and time above, just click on the live feed to watch.

Join us for the week to explore how we can design cohesive and effective courses in WordPress.  Share your experiences and tips and tricks for using WordPress in open pedagogy and continue the conversation on twitter (#TWP15) and on your blog.

Read more about the week in the schedule, week 3 & 4, which includes:

  • Share your work in progress with the network and receive feedback as you develop it.
  • We have a couple folks sharing their WIP, share some feedback with them
  • One of the TWP15 participants has already shared a screencast on a “blogging bootcamp” about using WordPress for educational blog
  • Discuss what are you learning about being a learner in the open in the Weekly discussion area
  • Explore blog posts from the group on the Blog Hub; “post one, comment on two,” as we are trying to encourage–do a blog post, and comment on (at least) two others!

We are looking foreword to another great week of discussion, sharing and connection.

Week 2: Summary

This week brought new participants and more great sharing of examples of courses built on WordPress:
* Chris Lott’s graduate course on Digital Literacy & Intellectual Property.
* Tom Woodward’s examples of making things work with duct tape and bailing wire (or plug-ins and forms of you prefer). Plus an interesting implementation of gravity forms and FacetWP for a course directory.
* Colin Madland’s online faculty development using the Learn Dash plug-in to help create “collections” of lessons and units within sections (hope I have interpreted that right, Colin!)
* Jeff Merrell writes about the design challenges he is grappling with in his course.
* Jan Webb has reflected on her learning experiences with WordPress as preparation for developing a WP backdrop for her english courses this fall.
* other great examples were shared via the Google Hangout for this week. You can view the archive here.

EconProph reminded us in his sign on post that one of the biggest barriers to “the spread of open pedagogy and open teaching is the hierarchical and “silo-ed” nature of higher education. It results in a lot lone wolf’s who all have to reinvent the wheel.”

And, Christina started a discussion around her big question of the week (captured below in Storify).

Ways To Share Your Stuff!

  • Offer your own reflection/summary of Week 2 by tagging your post twpweek2
  • Comment on this page, if you prefer.
  • Add your assignment ideas (for use in a WP course) to the Assignment Bank.
  • Share your work in progress. In week 3 we ask you to share your progress on your course and think about which aspects/elements you’d like TWP15 participants to review and offer feedback on.

Ways to Reflect on Your Learning

Most of us are doing this in an open/sharing way via blog posts. There may be value (for some) in other ways of reflection and perhaps using a rubric or guide as a springboard for this. We offer a guide for reflection/self assessment based on Wiggins and McTighe’s work on designing for understanding. Even if you don’t find it helpful for yourself, we’d love your feedback on whether or not you would find it helpful in your teaching contexts.

Thanks for another great week in TWP15!

Welcome to Week 2: Sketching on the Blank Slate: Affordances of WordPress

We are coming off an incredible week of connection and sharing about WordPress and open pedagogy. If you missed anything take a look at the Week 1 Summary.

Last week the discussion was focused on open pedagogy and this week we will be exploring some of the affordances of WordPress in teaching and learning. How can the WordPress environment be used to support teaching and learning? What are the benefits and limitations for using WordPress for teaching in your context?

We will kick off the week with a webinar WordPress for Teaching, Monday June 8, 12-1pm Pacific (3pm Eastern, 19:00 UTC): with Christina Hendricks, Alan Levine, and Tannis Morgan where they will talk about various ways in which they use WordPress for teaching and learning. This will be on Google Hangouts, broadcast live on YouTube. Click here for information and how to sign up to join the discussion if you want, and share how you use WordPress for teaching (or just ask questions!).

Join us for the week to explore how WordPress can be used as a flexible, blank-slate tool in teaching and learning. Share your experiences and tips and tricks for using WordPress in open pedagogy and continue the conversation on twitter (#TWP15) and on your blog.

Read more about the week in the schedule, week 2, which includes:

We are looking foreword to another great week of discussion, sharing and connection.

Week 1: Summary

It’s been a great start to TWP15 from our perspective! Here’s a brief summary of this week’s activity on the blog hub and Twitter discussion:

Please feel free to add your own summary – tag a post with twpweek1 (see all posts with this tag on our Week 1 discussions page), comment on this page (if you prefer) and (if you like) engage in a personal reflection.

Let’s keep the interactions going in comments on blogs, on Twitter, and here on our site as we move into week 2 soon!

Week 2: Join us for a hangout on June 8th!

computerMonday June 8, 12-1pm Pacific (3pm Eastern, 19:00 UTC): WordPress for teaching webinar. Join Christina Hendricks, Alan Levine, and Tannis Morgan for a deep dive (or shallow wade?) into the WordPress waters to talk about various ways in which we use WordPress for teaching and learning. This will be on Google Hangouts, broadcast live on YouTube. Click here for information and how to sign up.

Week 1: Launching TWP15!

Welcome to Teaching with WordPress! We are a small, but mighty group for our first run at this and we’re looking forward to learning with you! Here are a few things that we think you might find helpful:

Collaborative learning and lasting connections

This is an open, online course for anyone who wants to connect and share ideas about teaching and learning with WordPress, in any context. Whether you have no experience teaching with WordPress or quite a bit, we all have something to contribute and can all learn from each other.

Indeed, we expect that you will get as much or more out of your interactions with other participants than you do from what we have provided through the readings, videos and other resources. And we hope that your connections and discussions with other participants will last beyond the official end of the course. Ideally you would finish the course with a few people to add to your own learning network!

Find your own path through the course

For each week we have provided suggested readings and activities, but we would like to stress that you should feel free to read, discuss and do what you find most useful, even if it’s very different from what we have suggested. In fact, please contribute links to resources that you find useful, informative or provocative. You can share them in our Resources section.Focus on your learning goals and do what you need to fulfill them, and invite others to discuss and collaborate with you. We encourage you, therefore, to raise your own questions or topics for discussion on your blog posts and on Twitter if you feel that would be useful. Others might find it useful too!

Get help

We have put together a bit of a guide to help with setting up a blog on WordPress, with using Twitter if you’re new to it and want to start, and with creating videos (which you may want to do later in the course).

Check out the blog hub

We have set up a blog hub with all the posts participants are writing relevant to the course. We suggest you read through a few posts each week and comment on them! If you have an RSS reader, you can add all the posts from the blog hub to it just by adding our feed URL:

More feeds…
You can keep up on the activity in the course, by adding any one of the course feeds to your reader. You’ll find them on the lower right column.

And if you don’t know what an RSS feed or reader are, and you want to, why, just ask, whether on Twitter (#TWP15) or on a comment on one of the “weeklies” (discussion pages), or reply back to this email!

Tweet with #TWP15

If you have a Twitter account and want to join us on Twitter, our course hashtag is #TWP15. We hope you’ll tweet at least one “big question” each week to engage all of us (including your own networks) in what your grappling with.

What’s Up in Week 1?

Join us for our kick-off webinar! Monday, June 1, 12:00-13:00 Pacific/ 15:00-16:00 Eastern/ 19:00-20:00 UTC. Amanda Coolidge, Mary Burgess and Tracy Kelly from BCcampus in Canada ( will help us think through what open pedagogy is/isn’t and what it might look like in practice. See the week 1 schedule for a link to join when the session starts and for details about suggested readings, resources, and activities for the week as we focus on Open Pedagogy and Design.