First, some lingo: the “Dashboard” is the website’s administration panel–that’s where all the mechanics happen. You will access the Dashboard to author blog posts and set up your profile.
Once your instructor has added you as an official “author” on the course blog, you are ready to go! When you’ve arrived at the course website, look at the top for a login / sign-in button. You will be prompted to enter your CofC User Name (what comes before the “@” in your CofC e-mail address) and Password. Please note that this is your official CofC password: if your CofC password changes, this password changes.
The two items on the Dashboard that will be most important—both along the left-hand side column—are the links for “Posts” and “Profile.” Through the “Profile” link (through the User area), you can change things like how you want your name to appear in your post using the “Nickname” function. The default here is your username, so I recommend changing how your name appear.
Once you set up the user name that you want displayed, you’ll want to click on the “Posts” link, which is where you will compose, design, and publish your posts. Clicking on “Posts” should reveal a sub-menu. Click on “Add New.”
I have the blog set up to use the new “block editor.” This means you compose your post using “blocks”–the most basic one being the paragraph block. You can just click on the open space where it says “Type / choose a block” and begin typing. You can insert new blocks using the “+” icon on the right for images, “verse” if you are writing poetry, pull-quotes, and embedding elements from spotify, twitter, instagram, tiktok, etc. There are a ton of cool blocks to use, so when you go to add one, click on “browse all” to explore.
Make sure you offer an engaging title and not just “blog post 1,” for example. You can save posts that are still in progress as a draft if you want to check it later before you “Publish” it. You can also “Preview” the post. The “Preview,” “Publish,” and “Save Draft” buttons are all on the upper-right side of the Dashboard. I encourage you to review all posts so you can check the links and the general aesthetics of the post. You can always go back and edit your own published posts.
Please also note that you can click “settings” if you want to make your post “private.” Just click “visibility” and you can make that change.
Make sure you also properly categorize your post by clicking on the “Settings” button on the right. You’ll see a drop-down for the categories.
Blog posts are great because they can point (link) to other things online. You can also make them visually appealing by adding pictures and videos. All of these things help bring a blog post to life. Below, I offer instructions on how to move beyond mere text posts.
To add a link: In order to link to other blogs or news items or anything else online, you need to add a link. The link button will appear when you highlight texts. Highlight the text in your post that you want linked and click on the “link” button. You’ll be prompted to enter (cut-and-paste) a URL (web address). Make sure the “http://” tag doesn’t appear twice.
To include a picture: Use one of the image blocks.
To add video: use the video block.
Adding Tags: When you compose a post, it will help readers of the blog if you offer 1-3 keywords what will help identify your post. If you are enrolled in the Honors First-Year Experience course (BGS) you will be required to add tags that indicate certain values- and competencies-related keywords for your blog reflections. In order to insert a tag, look for the “Post Tags” box to the right-hand site of the composition box (you may have to scroll down just a bit). You can choose from frequently used keywords or add new ones.
To Comment: Commenting on other posts should be self-explanatory, though make sure you are logged on–otherwise the blog server won’t accept your comment.
Good luck, and happy blogging!