WordPress is approved for academic use by request only.  Request a blog

What is WordPress?

WordPress is the blogging platform used at USask. It is widely used around the world for blogging and creating websites. It is an open source tool that is free to use and access.

What is the purpose of WordPress?

At USask the primary purpose of WordPress is for blogging:

  • Students to blog for a particular course or in general.
  • Instructors to blog about their teaching or research.
  • Instructors to set up a class blog where work from multiple students can be shared.

Why use WordPress?

  • WordPress is an easy to use platform for individuals to share information, reflections, and/or examples of works created by the individual.
  • Instructors can use WordPress to share reflections or information about specific courses, teaching in general, or about their research.
  • Students can use WordPress as part of a course or program to share reflections publically and works created, allowing for access and potentially, comments by instructors, other students, or members of the public (including experts in their discipline).

Learning Technology Ecosystem (LTE) Principles

WordPress most directly address these LTE goals:

Designed for reflection and growth Learning is refined and extended through prompted and supported opportunities to focus on understanding and next steps.  

Designed for students who are remixing or creating - Learning is most effective when systems are designed to help learners find, create, and/or repurpose significant content for the value of themselves and others. 

 

Best Practices

DO

DON'T

Share content that is openly licensed.

 WordPress is not intended for synchronous class activities.

Use for a course blog.

 Have students create individual blogs for reflective activities.

Create a blog to share your own reflections on teaching and research.

Support for WordPress

Technical Support

(Why isn't this working?)

Vendor Supported

Self-supported

Training Support

 (How do I learn to use this tool?)

Vendor Supported

USask Partner Supported

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning Supported

Self-supported

Teaching Support

 (How do I teach with this tool?)

Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching and Learning Supported


Tool Evaluation

Technologies are evaluated based on their alignment with the Learning Technologies Ecosystem Principles.  Click to see explanations of each principle and a justification of the rating. You can also view a complete blank rubric to see more details or read about the assessment process.

Learning must be found easily at any time, and all learners and teachers have equitable access, regardless of culture, language, ability etc. 
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Accessibility standards:
    • Meets accessibility guidelines and allows for materials created to be accessible.

  • Cost of use for USask students:
    • All aspects of WordPress can be used free of charge by students, instructors, and staff.
  • Platform/device:
    • Web-based and works on all devices.

Learning is a process of meaning-making, constructed through learning with others, and as a part of an intentional, deliberate system within a course and across experiences.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Collaboration:
    • Allows for multiple authors allowing for several students / instructors to contribute.

  • Sharing:
    • Posts can be made public or private. (Only those with login credentials can view the post)
    • WordPress allows commenting on posts, but is controlled by the authors/editors of the site.

Learning is refined and extended through prompted and supported opportunities to focus on understanding and next steps.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Reflection and revision:
    • Used as a blogging tool, students can share their reflections on learning or about the topic on which they are writing.
    • Users can save drafts of posts and pages to revise and publish later.
    • For a group blog, users can have others in the group revise/add to posts and pages.

Learning is most effective when systems are designed to help learners find, create, and/or repurpose significant content for the value of themselves and others.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Creating:
    • Provides an easy to use platform for the creation and sharing of users work, including the sharing of images and videos.

Learners create and control spaces for learning, understanding and retaining ownership, and purposefully choosing how and when they share.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Archiving, saving, and exporting data:
    • Users with permissions for the site can export Wordpress content for uploading to another instance of WordPress (WordPress is an open source tool that can be installed for free on a server of the user’s choosing.)

  • Sign Up/Sign In:
    • To view public materials, no sign in is required.
    • Students will need a free account to sign in to their blog for adding or revising content.

  • Customization:
    • Students can choose from a variety of “themes” to customize the appearance of their blog.

Learners need to work in a system that is fluid and requires a minimum number of steps in systems that are intuitive and integrated.
More Information

Rating: Works well

  • Interface:
    • WordPress is an easy to use platform that doesn’t require any knowledge of coding to use.

Learners exist in accessible networks, and connect to the experiences, concepts, people, and ideas that they need.
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Rating: Moderate Concerns

  • Scale:
    • Number of users viewing the materials is not limited.
    • Number of users editing materials is not limited by the technology, but the number of editors. per blog should be limited to individuals or small groups.
  • Flexibility of Media:
    • In addition to text, images and videos can be added to projects in WordPress.
  • Engagement
    • While an unlimited number of users can view the materials at the same time, only one user can edit a page at one time.

Learning and feedback are iterative, and assessment comes from multiple sources, including self, peers, teachers, and outside experts.
More Information

Rating: Moderate Concerns

  • Feedback:
    • No ability for direct feedback, however, comments can be left on individual posts.
  • Engagement:
    • Allows for a place for students to provide reflections on their own learning or other observations or materials they’ve curated or created.